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Nearby points of interest

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About Social - Ottawa

Opened in the summer of 1999, SOCIAL was conceived as the perfect blend of restaurant and bar. It was envisioned as a place where guests could enjoy an evening drink without feeling obligated to order dinner too, but where a sizzling menu meant that food was always an excellent option. When its doors first opened, SOCIAL was the first restaurant in the capital to regularly feature a live DJ, which instantly gave it a reputation for innovation. Ten years later, SOCIAL continues to deliver, known in the capital city for its imagination and its chic, modern vibe. With fifteen-foot ceilings, ultramodern decor and gorgeous exposed stone walls, the space offers an unparalleled atmosphere for a sit-down dinner or some after-work cocktails. Guests can expect high-quality professional service and a menu to match, proving that SOCIAL is truly a downtown destination that has it all.

537 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 6Z6
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Bistro, French / Canadian

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Mon-Fri.: 11:30am - 3:00pm/ Brunch Sat-Sun : 11:00am - 3:00pm/Dinner:Nightly: 5:00pm - Close.

Cross Street:
George / York

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
CAN$31 to CAN$50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(613) 789-7355

Website:
http://www.social.ca/

Entertainment:
Live music can be heard every Wednesday night in the summer on the Courtyard - a mix of jazz, acid jazz and blues. An assortment of DJs are spinning on Friday and Saturday nights all year round.

Catering:
Let us host your next corporate dinner or special occasion. We love to celebrate! Please call for details.

Parking Details:
We are located between George St. and York St. on Sussex Drive. You can find meter parking and 2 parking garages on York Street. Parking is also available across the street at 700 Sussex Drive and around the market area.

Public Transit:
There are public transit stops on Rideau street and at the Rideau Center (which is within walking distance).

Executive Chef:
Martin Levesque

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Happy Hour every day!from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Social - Ottawa Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.0

service

4.3

ambience

4.3

value

3.7

Noise

Moderate

78% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (14)
Romantic (12)
Notable Wine List (11)
See All
Good for Birthdays (10)
Good for a Date (10)
Good for Groups (10)
Fit for Foodies (10)
Creative Cuisine (9)
Fun (7)
Quiet Conversation (7)
Business Meals (7)
Casual (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Healthy (6)
Great for Lunch (6)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Authentic (5)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Cozy (4)
Hot Spot (4)
People Watching (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Sunday Lunch (4)
Vibrant Bar Scene (4)
Bar Seating (3)
Happy Hour (3)
Late-night Find (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Great for Brunch (3)
Comfort Food (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Great Beer (2)
Local Ingredients (2)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Tapas (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Disabled Access (1)
Live Music (1)
Organic (1)
Quick Bite (1)
Scenic View (1)
Seasonal (1)
Spicy (1)
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570 reviews
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·Dined on December 3, 2017

I have been going to social for a while now and was very excited to take my sister there for her first time. The food was out of this world, delicious and well presented.

Our waiter on the other hand is a different story. Several times throughout the night we had to ask a different server, the hostess and the people delivering water for assistance. She was very cold towards us and I stead of seeing if we wanted dessert after our meal we watched her do a shot at one table and share wine at another. Extremely frustrating when all you would like is a dessert menu. It also took more than 10 minutes for her to come with the machine to pay, we ended up asking the hostess walking by.

It's really left a sour taste in my mouth because I was so excited to take my sister there. If it wasn't for the food I wouldn't go back.

Tags: Good for a Date, Fun, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, Healthy, Seasonal, Good Vegetarian Options, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service2
value5

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

Went to Social about one month ago for the first time. I had heard about the place before and wanted to try it out. I was very empressed with the ambiance, the food, the service, the dj.
Pleasantly surprised that the girl who served us spoke french.
We asked for wine suggestions (red and light tasting wine) and she knew exactly what to recommend !
We had the tartare and the charcuterie plate. It was awesome !

We went back for a second time last Friday to celebrate one of my 2 daughter's birthday. We decided to go again with the tartare and charcuterie plate. I was a bit disappointed with the tartare, looked like hamburger meat! It was tasty but not as good as our first time.

The girl that served us also spoke a little bit of french and I was pleased by her making the effort. A bit disappointed on her knowledge of the wine list. Again we asked for her suggestion to recommend a light red wine. She didn't seem to know what to tell us, hesitating, her choice was disappointing.
My daugher had the steak and fries, one word for the steak : WOW! It melted in your mouth and the side garlic sauce for the fries was awesome !
My other daughter had the lamb which was very tasty and tender.
And I almost forgot the warm raisin bread !!!! It's to die for!!!!

The Social is a bit pricy (especialy the wine list) we went with the glass 20$ per 8 oz, because the bottle starts at around 70 $ and up.

It's a great place to go to for a special occasion.
We will go back for sure ;)

Tags: Late-night Find, Cozy, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined on November 10, 2017

I just love this place, one of my constant Ottawa faves. I had to go and test out the new chef and loved everything from our amazing waiter, to the food, gorgeous ambiance...no no complaints.

Tags: Romantic, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 7, 2017

My only complaint was with the service. There was no problem with the ordering of the food but we were engaged in a conversation between friends who hadn't seen each other for some time and were interrupted every five minutes with did we want this? Did we have enoigh bread? How were the first bites? Etc. And it wasn't the aame person but at least three different people. And I was trying to send off, politely, please leave is alone vibes. The table needs to be "read" better. Otherwise the occasion loses some of its enjoyment.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
·Dined on November 6, 2017

Great - booked a table for 13 only 10 mins before arriving. Couldn't have been more accommodating, seated our large table with minimal fuss quickly after we arrived. Both the food and the service were very good, everyone had an enjoyable evening. I would definitely return should I visit Ottawa again.

Tags: Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Authentic, Healthy
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on November 4, 2017

A few of us arrived early and they seated us right away. Server was courteous and knowledgeable. Service was quick without rushing us, server was around but didn’t hover. Food was excellent as were the drinks. They didn’t rush us out the door. We stayed for over two hours. Ambiance was good. Music wasn’t too loud as to impede conversation. Will definitely return.

Tags: Fun, Quiet Conversation, Healthy, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

I selected Social to impress a visitor. It is an impressive space but almost empty for Saturday lunch. Good service. I ordered a warm beet salad. Beets were not warm and rest of salad tasteless. It seemed not to have any dressing. Disappointing.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

 
·Dined on October 26, 2017

Excellent spot for a birthday. Ambiance was great! Quiet enough to have conversations as well.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 21, 2017

I had a wonderful evening meal and (several) drinks here, with my sister. Absolutely gorgeous, lush and thoughtfully designed decor and several different dining rooms and area, make for an absolutely delightful ambience - whether for a night out with your sis, a group of colleagues, birthday gathering or a cozy, romantic date. The service was friendly and prompt, and the food was delicious. If I lived in Ottawa, this place would be a real trap! :) Highly recommended.

Tags: Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Late-night Find, Authentic, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, People Watching, Quick Bite, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

Poor service from waitress. Very slow and the place wasn’t crowded. She disappeared for a while before our main course came out (which was served by someone else) and never came back until after we finished. Ordered a medium steak. The steak was medium but charred on the outside to the point of being bitter tasting with every bit. But since she disappeared I had little choice... and when she did finally come back she never asked how the food was.

Definitely not worth the money we spent.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on October 1, 2017

A really delightful brunch menu! This restaurant was a hidden gem and I’m happy to have discovered it with my good friend today. The menu ranged from traditional breakfast items to a delicious duck confit! Truly wonderful!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Good food, hip atmosphere with someone spinning tunes in Saturday night. Service was slow and off.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching, Great for Lunch, Bar Seating, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service2
value1

vip
 (Toronto)·Dined on September 24, 2017

Brunch with friends. Very good, unhurried service delivering standard menu items - with especially wonderful bacon.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on September 23, 2017

We used to come here years ago, and the food was always excellent. It was great for a special occasion. Things have slipped a long way! Starting with the positives, the patio was a great place to eat on a warm evening, and the service was friendly and very knowledgeable. We had a glass of prosecco and some calamari from the Happy Hour menu: the wine was fine, but the calamari was leathery and devoid of interesting taste. It also took a long time to come.

The main course came quickly, but was very disappointing. My lamb was perfectly cooked, but was supposed to be a dish with indian spices. They were hard to discern, and the flavours were disappointing. My wife's dish was not much better. The Spanish wine was excellent, however! The wine list is impressive, if pricey.

I had the vanilla creme brulee for dessert, which was awful - a gelatinous blob.

We will not be returning anytime soon unless they get a new chef.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Paleo Friendly, People Watching
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food1
ambience4
service4
value1

 
 (México)·Dined on September 16, 2017

I have been to Social many times and have always had a good meal. There were 5 of us there and all of us were really disappointed in our meal this time. It was a Saturday night and the restaurant was empty. I'm not sure if the usual chef was away and everyone else knew so stayed away but this experience was a major change for me

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food1
ambience5
service3
value1

 
·Dined on September 9, 2017

Walked over from our condo across the street, having been to Social several times in the past. This was our first trip back post renovation.. Looks great. Food generally amazing with the exception way too much salt on the Pasta on multiple occasions. (Note- explained to us as the Pasta sous chef is a smoker so he has less sensitive palate- always resolved to our complete satisfaction) This specific occasion we waited 10 minutes after being seated, no server arrived. After attempting for 5 minutes to catch an eye of an employee still no server, we decided to leave and we to another restaurant. Not what we had expected, hopefully an off night.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience4
service1
value3

 
·Dined on September 1, 2017

Had dinner at the newly renovated Social. We tried some appetizers (scallops, flat bread and calamari) all were outstanding. Main course was just as appetizing. Staff were friendly and attentive as always. Generally Manger took time to speak with us as well. Overall a wonderful experience. Definitely will go back.

Tags: Romantic, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining
1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Naples)·Dined on August 26, 2017

Ordered a chef "special" that was not as advertised and had to wait for properly prepared special after my guest ate alone. The "only 1 slot left" at 5 pm ( the place was empty except for 2-3 tables) and "no tables" at 6 pm was an out right lie or manipulation by either the restaurant or Open Table. The total dining experience including the actual reservation process was bust.
Quality of food mediocre at best.

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food2
ambience2
service4
value2

 
·Dined on August 26, 2017

The atmosphere was soothing and calm. My friends and I enjoyed our time there without any problems. The staff were friendly, knew the menu very well and made sure we were taken care of. The food came fast and was delicious. The menu prices might be seem a tad pricey to most; but considering the quality of the food and the ingredients in the dishes, it makes sense. Great place to sit down and have a conversation with friends, a date or colleagues. Highly recommend!

Tags: Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Late-night Find, Romantic, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Cozy
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on August 23, 2017

The food was excellent but there was just not enough of it. I am a petite woman and I generally like small portions but this was too small. Ordered the duck confit & got a duck leg on a beet purée with 3 or 4 cherry size potatoes sliced in half with a beet or 2 . I was still hungry. The dish should have had more vegetables & a side for a $30 price tag. Wine list for 8oz glass of wine was very pricey.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Comfort Food, Sunday Lunch, Authentic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on August 21, 2017

"Social" carries wine from Prince Edward County. We ordered a Norman Hardie Chardonnay; it was superb!
I reserved for 8:30 which is later than I typically prefer, since I enjoy... lingering. And, we did linger. Nonetheless, the staff gave no indication that we had overstayed our welcome. The service was professional, friendly and unobtrusive.
The young lady I was escorting, a vegetarian, was free to order off-menu, and she was pleased with the results.
A particularly pleasant evening all round. We'll be back.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 20, 2017

Good Food, the Tuna and Cod were excellent! Service was good. I would go again

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on August 14, 2017

An excellent restaurant with efficient service, great ambiance and excellent food

Tags: Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on August 12, 2017

Excellent service, great space. Food was delicious!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Late-night Find, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 12, 2017

It has potential, but our experience was hit and miss. Great service backed up by an inconsistent kitchen. Some of the dishes were delightful (bread and pasta) others were woefully undercooked (squid and lamb). The quality control needs to be raised to the level of the prices.

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food2
ambience4
service5

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Seems to they recently changed chefs and the results so far aren't nearly as impressive as they used to be. Flavors were bland and unimaginative.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Excellent service, delicious food in a great setting. Highly recommend

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 11, 2017

We went to your place based on a reference.
1- The chairs outside are really uncomfortable.
2- The service received by your waiter gave us the impression that we had to rush.
3- The waiter could not even say bonjour or merci which is pretty rare in The Ottawa Gatineau région. Nonetheless, we gave him a 33$ Tip.
4- For The appetizers my wife took The tartarre which was dry and not tasty. I took the scallops which were excellent.
5- For The main course, my wife took The schrim raviolli but she did not like it. I took The ling club. Both meals were not tasty and in our opinion to expensive.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
·Dined on August 11, 2017

We sat outside on the patio in the courtyard, very nice atmosphere. My wife had the shrimp ravioli, which she loved. I had the lamb which was cooked perfectly.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on August 5, 2017

Catherine was fantastic !!!! Great service. Table of 8 people, she did a fantastic job.
Thank you.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on August 2, 2017

C'était notre première visite au Social. Nous y allions d'abord pour entendre notre ami, Jean-Pierre Allain, au piano (3 août). Puis nous avons découvert un lieu très sympathique. Nous aurions voulu manger dehors mais un orage subit nous a obligées à rentrer à l'intérieur. Très beau décor. Le service a été impeccable. Les charcuteries que nous avons partagées ne nous ont pas tellement plu. Les trois personnes que nous étions avons aimé le «salami» mais pas les 2 autres viandes trop grasses à notre goût. La salade du fermier, je crois, était amère et manquait de légumes. Il y avait trop de laitue à notre goût. Le pain, le vin et le dessert - gelato frit - étaient divins!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Quick Bite, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Afternoon Coffee, Cozy, Great for Lunch, People Watching, Happy Hour, Live Music, Pre/post Theatre, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on July 29, 2017

Social does not disappoint. The food is excellent, visually appealing, and the ambiance is great for a romantic date or anniversary.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, People Watching, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Toronto)·Dined on July 23, 2017

The place looked beautiful. The menu seemed inventive...but it just missed the mark. Where is really counted in taste...it fell short. At $200 for he two of us - it should have delivered. Fail. Hopefully the chef was on holidays and this was a one off...otherwise, go back to chef school and learn it all over again.

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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on July 22, 2017

Très bel endroit, un peu à l'écart des restaurants touristiques de ByMarket. Nous avons dîné à l'intérieur mais le restaurant dispose d'une belle cour ombragée. Les plats servis étaient très originaux et le service assuré par Sarah a été exceptionnel. Une adresse incontournable à Ottawa !

Tags: Casual, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on July 20, 2017

La terrasse est exceptionnelle et le décor à l'intérieur très joli et moderne. La nourriture très bonne. Et les serveuses dont Liz, vraiment très gentilles et professionnelles.
Merci beaucoup!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Montreal)·Dined on July 18, 2017

Went to this place again after a review in the newspaper about a new menu and reno. We tried the oysters ($1 each !!!) frog legs and squid from the "Happy Hour" snack menu - oysters were from PEI & excellent. The squid was a bit tough and the battered & fried frog legs were wet/soggy when they arrived. Both had the same dipping sauce that was pretty bland. the server was very pleasant and gave us the wine "no charge" due to a long wait for food despite a near-empty dining room & ordering before 6. Overall - I was expecting a better meal & experience. My 1st visit here was much better so may try this again .....

Tags: People Watching, Happy Hour
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food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on July 8, 2017

Eating on the patio on a nice July evening was a good experience, although it was somewhat of a challenge for my wife with a walker to access. She especially liked her carrot ginger soup. Otherwise the food was good but not outstanding.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Romantic, Fun
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on July 8, 2017

Brought friends here for brunch for the second time and it was as amazing as the first. Great service from Dewey, the eggs benedict and mimosas are classic satisfiers! Will be back!

Tags: Hot Spot, Romantic, Good for a Date, Fun, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Seasonal, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Ottawa)·Dined on July 2, 2017

Loved the decor of the restaurant. Our server was outstanding, very friendly and knowledgeable of the menu. Only one problem. My sister ordered the shrimp ravioli. It was tiny. She went home hungry. My brother in law and husband has the seasonal pasta and I had the hen. All were excellent. We didn't go home hungry.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Nice atmosphere, pleasant service. Duck confit was good, but accompanying dishes were somewhat bland and uninspired.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

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