Ottawa has a lot of restaurant change overs, just like any other big city. Some are worth getting excited about and others, well, miss the mark. In this case, when Beckta moved out of 226 Nepean Street, it was interesting to see what would take over the space and when North & Navy opened their doors February 2015 it was, and still is, a must try when you’re in Centretown/Downtown. They are inspired by Northern Italian cuisine with clean fresh seasonal flavours. The menu changes often, so going back will always be like going for the first time. The Atmosphere lends itself perfect for date night, or a night out with friends.
The first time I went, I was with a friend after delivering Bon Appetit Ottawa posters around town. I didn’t feel that what I was wearing would be appropriate, so I called the restaurant to inquiry what their dress code was. I was informed by the gentleman on the phone to “Come as you wish.” I loved that! When we arrived, we sat in the back bar area where you can see the happenings of the kitchen. The bartender guided us through the menu and suggest wine pairings, which were all on point. We just had a few cichèti’s and a pasta dish each. I ended my meal with a cappuccino and baicoli.
One of the other times went, it was for a friends birthday and he wanted to have the whole experience. Not a problem for us, we love food! We started with the cichèti plate, a sample of all 6 (x2). The polpette is very tasty! (Lamb meatball, top centre). The one of the right side, was one of my favourites, from what I remember it was like a pesto on the a piece of baguette with a fresh anchovy and a fried one. I could have eaten a plate of those!
Since there were four of us, we each ordered one of the Primi’s. Hands down my favourite is the Beet & Goat Cheese Scarpinocc (most left picture). I could go there and eat that every time and never get bored. The second photo is rabbit with papperdalle (excellent as well), third is squid ink seafood risotto (different but tasty), and the fourth is delicious farfalle (bow tie) pasta with cherry tomatoes and basil (simple and delicious).
Next were the Antipasti’s. (in order from left to right) Carpaccio, Stuffed zucchini blossoms with cod and Fresh heirloom tomatos and fresh buffalo mozzarella with basil and olive oil. All delicious.
For our secondi’s, we all kept stealing from each others plates as they were all so delicious! (in order from left to right) Two way Trout with pea puree and fresh vegetables, Rabbit wrapped with prosciutto on top of soft polenta (x2) and (my favourite) Warm Octopus and Potatoes. I’ve had this dish a few times since. The octopus is sous-vide making it very tender and the potatos and sauce bring it all together. The rabbit as well was a table favourite!
For dessert, because you always have to get dessert, was (I can’t remember the name) like a pavlova, but because of the strawberries and rhubarb, it has a taste like an Eton Mess. As well, we order the Tiramisu. Perfect balance. I believe my friend said, best Tiramisu ever!
You can even check them out for lunch as well! I’ve been meaning to do so and I think I’m due for another visit. Would anyone like to join me? 🙂
North & Navy
226 Nepean St.