My chef brother and his pastry girlfriend came to visit this past weekend. After going on the food walking tour in Montreal, I decided to look for tours in Ottawa. C’est Bon hosts a whole bunch of different food walking tours all around Ottawa. One of them being a Chocolate Walking Tour in the Market. Here is a sample of our tour without giving away all of their secrets!
Most of the C’est Bon tours in the Market start in front of Stubbe Chocolates on Dalhousie. Their chocolate is delicious! Friends of ours ordered their chocolates as favours for their wedding this past summer and I tried to get my hands on a few more!
Heinrich Stubbe explained to us his family history dating back to 1845 in Germany and how he brought his family’s chocolate tradition to Ottawa. The location on Dalhousie is the original location and they have been there since 1989!
Small handmade batches of chocolate are made often to ensure freshness and a high quality chocolate. Chocolates are also hand painted with coloured cocoa butter.
Our next stop on the tour took us to the Mexican Restauarnt Los Tacos de Mauro by day and La Discoteka Lounge and Bar by night. Chef Mauro serves up tacos and is open on weekends for brunch!
He let us sample some of his spicy hot chocolate where he adds Mexican cinnamon. I couldn’t get enough! He even let us try his chicken mole. Truly superb! We can’t wait to go back for a full on meal! Tacos, here we come! With a side of hot chocolate of course!
While walking from place to place, we were given a sample of Dark Chocolate and Almond Granola by Siren Bakery which can be found at Market Orangics around the corner from the tour. I tried some this morning, and it would make a great snack any time of day!
One of our many stops on the tour took us to the back of La Bottega! Owned by one of the Nicastro brothers, this Italian market is a staple of the By-Ward market. If you haven’t been, please check it out. You may want to give yourself some time as this Italian market is covered with neat and unusual products. They also hold cooking classes!
We got taken to one of the most magnificent parts of the store. The cheese section! Big wheels of padano and reggiano! Did you know these wheels could weigh up to 100 lbs!
As this is a chocolate tour, you are probably wondering why we’re having cheese! Well our pieces of cheese were supposed to be drizzled with a chocolate balsamic, however they ran out as it’s so popular! Instead we had honey. I wasn’t complaining. There is nothing like a fresh piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano right from the wheel!
When we came out, Luciano, the roasted chestnut guy gave us all a few to try! Sad to say, it was my first time… and I loved it! I can’t wait to go see him again. The chestnuts also keep your hands warm! They would be delicious covered in chocolate or incorporated into chocolate desserts!
The last place I will share with you is Play. One of three restaurants owned by Steven Beckta.
I love open concept kitchens. I can’t help but mesmerized by a chefs movement. Like my friend Chantal says, “They’re like superstars that can feed me.”
We tried a spoonful of chocolate paté topped with burnt meringue, almond and graham. A little bite of heaven. A must try if you have reservations there this season!
C’est Bon hosts tours in the Glebe, Westboro, the Market and now China Town! It would be interesting to see what new treasures we will be introduced to. Thank you Carmen and Joelle for a wonderful tour this past weekend!