Eating & Drinking

It’s a grand slam! Belmont’s new, public-friendly resto at Tennis Club offers “camp vibe, better food”

He’s known as the man behind The Belmont, a tiny (just 30 seats) Old Ottawa South haunt known for its snacks and cocktails. Now Adrian Vezina has taken his creativity in a whole new direction, partnering up with the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club (176 Cameron Ave.) to turn the club’s second floor into The Cameron, a neighbourhood hangout with a cottage-chic vibe and a club-friendly menu.

Vezina got talking to the club last fall, but only began renovating the upstairs dining hall and kitchen in April. The tennis club has always pushed the idea that it’s “a cottage in the city” so Vezina ran with that theme, taking out the old-school banquet chairs and tables and replacing them with picnic tables. “I had in my mind a big, friendly camp mess hall — but with better food!”

A room adjacent to the restaurant has a piano and ping pong tables. Vezina made the "log wall" himself
A room adjacent to the restaurant has a piano and ping pong tables. Vezina made the “log wall” himself

The Cameron is open to the public and, since its May 5 opening, the 200-seat spot has been crowded with tennis and volleyball players, people from the neighbourhood, Belmont regulars, and Vezina’s fellow food industry friends. It’s tough to choose between the indoor “cottage” and the massive patio with views over the courts (that might be why he began getting wedding and party bookings just days after opening).

A closer look at the antique racquets, which were lent to the club by a local collector for the "racquet wall
A closer look at the antique racquets, which were lent to the club by a local collector for the “racquet wall

The menu boasts a vintage vibe, with tennis club favourites (think classic salads, steak frites, and fish and chips) creatively reimagined and made with local ingredients. Vezina notes that Glebe Meat Market supplies all the beef for their burgers, Rideau Pines Farms has them covered for many of their veggies, and Beau’s is their biggest beer supplier.

A huge second-floor patio is a great place to enjoy a cold beer or cocktail, with views over the tennis and volleyball courts
A huge second-floor patio is a great place to enjoy a cold beer or cocktail, with views over the tennis and volleyball courts

Hours: Monday – Friday, 4pm to 10pm; Saturday-Sunday, 9am to 3pm for brunch and lunch.

The Cameron's menu covers, which play to the tennis club theme
The Cameron’s menu covers, which play to the tennis club theme

Menu Sneak Peek (a few items to give you a taste):

On the Dinner Menu:

  • Steak Frites: 10-ounce butter basted AAA N.Y. strip served with buttered green beans, truffle fries, and horseradish mayo
  • The Serena Burger: Beef patty served with smoked gouda, bacon, mushrooms and horseradish mayo
  • Cobb Wrap: Bacon, roast chicken, smoked blue cheese, tomato, pickled egg, avocado mayo, lettuce in a whole wheat flour tortilla

On the Brunch Menu:

  • The Billy Jean Benny: Two poached eggs, Farmer Fred’s smoked ham and hollandaise on a toasted English muffin. Served with home fries and green salad
  • The McEnroll: Fried egg, hollandaise, Seed to Sausage pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing on toasted rye. Served with homefries and green salad
  • Huevos Rancheros: Crispy corn tortilla topped with two poached eggs, cheese, pinto beans, tomatillo salsa, jalapeno, avocado, pico de gallo, and cilantro

On the Cocktail Menu:

  • Cameron Centre Court Crush: Gin, sweet vermouth, cucumber, strawberry, simple
  • Pimms Cup: Pimms, cucumber, lemon, ginger beer, simple
  • Cameron Raspberry Mojito: Havana club white rum, mint, simple, vodka

 

Adrian Vezina, who also owns The Belmont, has partnered with the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club to launch The Cameron restaurant
Adrian Vezina, who also owns The Belmont, has partnered with the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club to launch The Cameron restaurant