Eating & Drinking

Sweet! 8 Great Spots for Treats

Bread & Sons
Bread & Sons, a gem of a bakery, is always hopping. And no wonder! The buttery chocolate chip cookies with orange zest are simply the best. Or try babka, a little cake swirled through with chocolate. You won’t go wrong, either, with glazed carrot cake or the rich, dense brownies. 195 Bank St., 613-230-5302

Carben Food + Drink
The grey minimalist style at Carben belies the gorgeous plates. Try Violets Are Blue, a romantic dessert that sees delicate cubes of violet gel decorate a semolina cake drenched with light lemon syrup. On top is olive oil ice cream (fruity aroma!) and basil foam. 1100 Wellington St. W., 613-792-4000

Clover’s creme brulee. Photo by Amy Zambonin

Clover
Traditional desserts at this unpretentious restaurant often come with a surprising twist. Crème brûlée, incredibly, is made with honey from co-owner/chef West de Castro’s own beehives. The creamy custard and caramelized crust are comparable to, let’s say, food for the gods. A morsel of honeycomb perched on top simply oozes with honey. Clover, 155 Bank St., 613-680-8803

Cucina Barone
Many cakes and cookies at Cucina Barone are flourless and dairy-free, yet richness triumphs. No-grain peanut butter cookies are oh-so-peanutty. Beets, chickpea flour, and olive oil make moist, intensely flavoured walnut brownies. The mookie? Muffin meets cookie: fruits and nuts galore. 393 Winston Ave., 613-695-6995

Fairouz. Photo by Christian Lalonde – Photoluxstudio

Fairouz
Opulent interior colours of turquoise, silver, black, and gold set the tone at Fairouz. This upscale Lebanese restaurant makes beautiful desserts, too, including rosewater lokum, an imaginative twist on Turkish delight. The lemon in the silky, oh-so-English posset cream matches it well, as does the pistachio-sesame crumble. Honeyed katifi (shredded filo) adds crunch. 343 Somerset St. W., 613-422-7700

Good Eats
This casual café offers an intriguing variety of homemade breakfasts and lunches, but do try their desserts. Top choices include the soft bars filled with the classic comfort combo of peanut butter and jelly and their dreamy, creamy cheesecake. Fridays, go for bomboloni — Italian doughnuts filled with the likes of lemon curd, caramel, and chocolate. 388 Albert St., 613-720-7346

Mantovani 1946. Photo by Angela Gordon

Mantovani 1946
Located in a high-ceilinged space decorated in Italianate style, Mantovani 1946 continues its 70-year-old Neapolitan tradition of gelato-making right here in Ottawa. You’ll always find raspberry, lemon, and pistachio; occasional flavours include lavender, pineapple, and chocolate coconut. And be prepared to die for affogato, a dessert of fiore di latte (simple, unflavoured gelato) drowned in a shot of hot espresso. 87 Murray St., 613-422-4255

Three Tarts
For over 20 years, this take-away bakery has been making rich, satisfying pies and tarts. You won’t regret trying their creamy milk tarts: velvety white custard in sweet pastry. Another treat is the Hungarian rhubarb shortbread, which looks like a streusel but is actually grated shortbread dusted with icing sugar. Don’t miss the cookies — the lineup includes peanut butter, chocolate cremes, and gingersnaps. 464 Bank St., 613-729-9832