The Urban Pear, Ottawa

Urban Pear, Ottawa

Our New Year's celebration continued over Sunday brunch at The Urban Pear, one of my favorite brunch spots in Ottawa. Their seasonal menu always has a great selection of sweet and savory dishes, and I love the layers and layers of flavors in every dish I've tried.

Our meal started with home made baguette with toasted rosemary butter.

Toasted Rosemary Butter
Toasted Rosemary Butter

Between the nine of us, here are the dishes that were ordered:

I ordered the poached eggs with seared lentil & bay laurel crusted rainbow trout. This was served on top of a house smoked walleye & turnip latke, sauteed winter kale, and mushrooms. And all of that was served over a spicy pool of yam broth with chipotle aioli. Like I said, just layers and layers of flavors! The spiciness of the creamy broth paired well with the fish and poached eggs.

Poached Eggs and Trout
Poached Eggs with Seared Lentil & Bay Laurel Crusted Rainbow Trout

CK ordered the sweet + savory dish: a brie stuffed oat & brown sugar coated French toast with double-smoked bacon, thyme infused maple syrup, summer raspberry coulis, vanilla whipped cream, and fresh pear. If you love sweet with a bit of saltiness, this dish is for you.

French Toast with Brie
Brie Stuffed Oat & Brown Sugar Coated French Toast

The penne pasta was the most beautiful dish of the bunch, and the fabulous red color from the beets wowed everyone at our table. The pasta was served with duck confit, brussel leaves, squash, fried egg, radish sprouts, and a beet broth with saffron aioli. They did a great job turning an otherwise boring pasta dish into something exciting.

Beet Penne
Penne Pasta with Duck Confit

The heartiest dish was the triple 'A' beef tenderloin & leek sandwich served with blue cheese creme fraiche, lemon-thyme gravy, turnip & caper remoulade, and green salad. Everyone who ordered this dish loved it.

Steak Sandwich
Triple 'A' Beef Tenderloin & Leek Sandwich

I've never been disappointed with the brunch here. The flavor combos are awesome, and the atmosphere is bright and cheerful. The place is normally packed with locals,which is always a good sign of a great establishment.

You can check out my past brunch at this link here.

The Urban Pear
151 Second Avenue, Unit C
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-569-9305

The Urban Pear on Urbanspoon

Happy Persian New Year!

Haft Sin

Happy Nowruz everyone!

Today is Persian New Year, also the first day of Spring! Eid-e Nowruz (Persian New Year) is the biggest holiday for Persians, celebrated in many countries including Iran, Albania, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

This is the first year that CK and I are celebrating Persian New Year without his parents, which means that we (including his sister) had to do all the New Year prep ourselves. All the prep revolves around the idea of starting the new year with a fresh start: a thorough Spring cleaning of the house, purchase of new clothes, and the purchase of new flowers.

Another major prep for Nowruz is the Haft Sin spread (pictured in the title photo), a traditional table setting reflecting the major symbols of life and signifying all the things we want in life.

Sabzeh: signifying Rebirth and Renewal

Haft Sin means seven 'S', and everything displayed on the haft sin table starts with the letter 'S'.
The Haft Sin is the focal point of the New Year celebration, and families take pride in displaying beautiful, elaborate settings. I think the three of us did a pretty awesome job with our haft sin this year.

The seven major haft sin items are:

1. sabzeh - legume sprouts (symbolizing rebirth and renewal)
2. senjed - dried fruit of a lotus tree (symbolizing favorite one!)
3. sib - apple (symbolizing health and beauty)
4. samanu - wheat pudding (symbolizing fertility)
5. serkeh - vinegar (symbolizing age and patience)
6. somagh - crushed sumac berries (symbolizing the color of sunrise...sun conquers evil)
7. seer - garlic (symbolizing medicine and good health)

Additional 'S' items are optional such as eggs (fertility), candles (energy), gold fish (life), hyacinth (life and beauty), coins (wealth), mirror (cleanliness and honesty), and pastries (sweetness).

One of my favorite parts of eid is the egg decorating. Every year, we all compete for the best decorated egg.

Decorated Eggs
Decorated Eggs

The winning egg, hands down, is CK's 'kumbaya' egg. Isn't this the cutest egg you have ever seen? He has never been the artistic type, so I'm impressed that we even got him to decorate an egg. Thank god for March Madness...he decorated his egg while watching basketball. I'm so proud of him for doing this! His egg just makes me smile.

Decorated Eggs
Kumbaya Egg

My sister-in-law, naturally, creates the most symbolic and thoughtful egg of the bunch. This year is the Year 1390 in the Persian solar calendar.

Year of 1390
1390 Egg

And this was my egg! No significance, it's just what came to mind.

Decorated Egg
Peacock Egg

It is also important to eat a traditional New Year's dish for Nowruz. In CK's family, it is traditional to have lentil rice with sauteed onions, raisins, and dates. A very simple yet delicious dish.

Lentil Rice
Lentil Rice

Sauteed Raisins, Onions, and Dates
Sauteed Raisins, Dates and Caramelized Onions

And Nowruz is all about visiting family and friends (which we did). It is also imperative to eat something sweet to ensure a sweet year to come!

Persian Pastries
Pastries to Start a Sweet Year

Town, Ottawa

TOWN, Ottawa

When I made the move back to Ottawa, there was buzz about new resto Town everywhere I went.
When our friend, N, made dinner plans with us, I knew where I wanted to take him. We hadn't seen N in ages, and it was great catching up with him, especially over great food. What I really loved about Town was the vibe of the place. It was casual, funky, and friendly. A place where locals could just hang out. If you wanted to have a big hearty meal, they had that. If you just wanted some small plates to share, they also had that. If you wanted a good drink with dessert, you could also do that.
The three of us ordered a bunch of plates to share. My favorite way to dine.

The first dish was the tuna crudo: fresh tuna topped with coppa, mint, lemon, and truffle oil. I loved the mild tuna and salty coppa combination.

Tuna Crudo
Tuna Crudo

Next was a simple plate of olives with pickled fennel and citrus.


The ricotta gnudi with coarse pesto was a dish that people seemed to love when I read reviews of this place. Maybe I expected too much because I thought it was just ok. It was good, but nothing spectacular.

Ricotta Gnudi
Ricotta Gnudi

The cod fritters were served with smoked pork ragu and lemon mayo.

Cod Fritters
Cod Fritters

A favorite of mine was the lamb ragu pappardelle dish. This was served with oyster mushrooms and pecorino romano. The pasta was fresh, and the slow cooked ragu was delicious.

Lamb Ragu Pappardelle

This crispy trout was hard to share but we managed. The trout was served with roasted potatoes, king mushrooms, black olives, and agrodolce. I really liked the addition of the black olives...something I don't see very often with fish.

Crispy Trout
Crispy Trout

The last dish, which also was my favorite dish, was the dirty lasagna bolognese. What made this dish amazing was that it was topped with a slow poached egg! The runny egg with the warm pasta was perfect. This was also served with swiss chard and toast. I'm pretty sure I ate this dish all by myself. Everyone just stayed away because I was loving it way too much.

Dirty Lasagna Bolognese
Dirty Lasagna Bolognese

296 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Canada
Telephone: 613-695-8696

Town on Urbanspoon

Tennessy Willems, Ottawa

Tennessy Willems, Ottawa

CK and I celebrated our be-lated Valentine's dinner at Tennessy Willems in Hintonburg. We're huge fans of Pizzeria Libretto in Toronto, so when we heard that Tennessy Willems had a connection to the place, we were all over it. I've been disappointed with Ottawa's attempt at Neapolitan-style wood fired pizza, but this one I had to try.

CK and I started with a mackerel plate: Whalesbone smoked mackerel on top of an apple beet slaw + lemon Crème Fraiche, served with fresh bread. This was delicious. The fish was perfectly smoked, and it was just the way I like it. The mackerel was a bit too fishy for CK...which meant more for me :)

Smoked Mackerel
Mackerel Plate

CK and I both ordered a pizza each. We were handed a big bottle of chilli oil, and it was happy eating from there. The thin crust, one of the most important elements, was chewy and charred in all the right places.

I ordered the bianco: pear, walnuts, fresh smoked prosciutto, fiore de latte, and Gorgonzola. This one is highly recommended.

Bianco Pizza
Bianco Pizza

CK ordered the simple margherita: fire-roasted tomato sauce, fresh Mozzarella, and basil. The sauce was a bit acidic, but a decent margherita overall.

Margherita Pizza
Margherita Pizza

For dessert, we shared the lemon tart. A shortbread pastry crust covered with a creamy, runny lemon custard. The custard was fresh, and you could tell it was made with love.

Lemon Tart
Lemon Tart

Tennessy Willems
1082 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-722-0000

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