In this issue
• Where to eat right now: Food editor Shawna Wagman’s top 10 list
• Who’s got buzz?
• Is fine dining dead?
• The new focus on local food artisans, homespun breweries, and small-scale vineyards
• The rise of the chef-owner
• Small plates
See the editor’s letter and a full table of contents below.
Letter from the Editor
When food editor Shawna Wagman packed her bags last summer and took off for Europe on a one-year sabbatical with her professor husband, we missed her. A lot. For 365 days, Wagman taste-tested her way around the Netherlands, France, and Italy, waxing poetic about the local ingredients and the bistros. And so we were a little worried about what her state of mind would be upon her return last July. Would she be too world-weary to go back to writing about the Ottawa food scene? Too spoiled by Parisian bistros to recognize the great things happening here?
No need for anxiety. Within a week of arriving back, Wagman was out and about, emailing or calling regularly to exclaim about this new restaurant or that new ingredient. In Paris, she had partaken of her most memorable meals in casual brasseries with simple menus inspired by what the chef discovered at the daily market. In Ottawa, Wagman found herself looking at the local restaurant landscape with new eyes, drawn to the same type of casual chef-owned restaurant that so impressed her in Europe. Forget Best Restaurants, Wagman declared. The theme for Ottawa Magazine’s November cover story would be Where to Eat Right Now.
Says Wagman in her feature: “Ottawa is nothing if not unassuming and low-key. It’s no place for food snobs.” Indeed, though our collective population regularly beats itself up over not being Montreal or Toronto, Wagman says Ottawa has proven to be ahead of the curb in its distrust of “snooty-pants haute dining.” And that has led to great things: smaller, more casual restaurants that serve top-notch cuisine. In Ottawa, we love being casual, but we also love to feel special. When your night out includes face time with the chef, the meal just tastes that much better.
Coming up: Writer Jamieson Findlay and photographer Harry Nowell lace up their skates for a photo essay of legendary local rinks; Ottawa Magazine’s expert shoppers take to the stores to bring you the annual holiday gift guide; and writer Roger Collier digs deep to get the gritty details on a white-collar crime.
Sarah Brown, EDITOR
Table of Contents
Protecting the PM
As the top cop in charge of keeping the prime minister and other VIPs out of harm’s way, Bruno Saccomani always keeps his eyes open for threats — and opportunities
The Good Lawyer
They’re often characterized as rich and ruthless, a stereotype that’s reinforced by the media. In reality, lawyers tend to be the first to open their chequebooks during fundraising campaigns. How local lawyers are combining fun and philanthropy
Where To Eat Right Now
Is fine dining dead? The city’s most buzzed-about restaurants are serving up a convivial atmosphere and refined dishes that take local and seasonal cooking to new heights. Food editor Shawna Wagman’s top 10 list
Step in the Dark
Two decades ago a devastating accident almost shattered the life Sandy Benoit had built for herself. It also started her on a long and winding path that has culminated in a new outlook and career
Bank On It
Private bankers Graham Mayes and Daniel Hunter seek to embody the ideals of the heralded Swiss banker, a particular breed of financier and all-round handholder who does far more than channel money into esoteric investment vehicles. In a wide-ranging discussion, they reveal that they’ll tackle any challenge to serve their clients — even a dead man or a live mouse
In a bold adventure in adaptive reuse, four heritage heroes have bought an old Lowertown church, turned it into a performing-arts centre, and are restoring it as a lively monument to Irish heritage
Meet the open-data guy • Lunching with the Sens • Partying with Diana Krall • Telling Tales of weddings and barbecues • The dog-park diaries • Surrounded by street art
Ten things clothing designer Leigh Bequette can’t live without
A kitchen anchored by a grand piano
Everything but the kitchen sink
Top 10 tips for underground sips
Discovering bordeaux from small wineries
Sugar rush at La Maison Chaloin • Enticing eggplant • Duck in a can • Plus our star-rated reviews
Alexander McQueen’s costumes in ÉONNAGATA • On the ice with the OTTAWA 67’s • Moths at the MUSEUM OF NATURE • Artists on the rise at CARLETON UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY • Plus our arts and entertainment listings