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A return trip to the fabulous Métropolitain Brasserie in Ottawa

    Last summer I made my first visit to the Métropolitain Brasserie in Ottawa, conveniently located next to the Byward Market at 700 Sussex. That is just steps away from Parliament Hill.

    Home to Ottawa’s largest oyster bar, the restaurant is open seven days a week, serving lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends. When we planned our return summer trip to the Nation’s Capital, this was the first dining establishment on our list.  It was a beautiful evening to once again experience their spacious patio, which is completely covered by a tent-like structure and umbrellas. This way, in the case of rain, the spot usually remains open. The patio can accommodate 125 people while the capacity inside is 300.

    The Brasserie presents a Hill Hour every day from 4 pm to 7 pm for discounted oysters and shrimp, and every Thursday for Buck a Shuck. There is an award-winning wine list and this is considered a prime place for a large event or a romantic dinner for two, adding that certain Parisian flavor.

    We started off the evening with some drinks and then took a good hard look at all of the options available among the appetizers. The small size seafood tower was more than enough for three of us to share. It contained shrimp, oysters, mussels, snow crab, cod croquettes, scallop Crudo and ceviche. Wow, this was a meal unto itself and we savored every morsel. There is a larger platter for four available. 

    The burrata toast for two was another treat for the three of us to share. It includes sunflower seed and beetroot pesto, avocado, fried sourdough, sprouts and chili oil.

    There is a nice selection of main courses.   I remembered The Duck Confit from my last visit,  an item I do not see available at too many restaurants I frequent. It was superbly prepared, with crispy skin and served with warm potatoes, red cabbage citrus slaw, duck fat fingerling, orange curry sauce and basil.   As for the others, they opted for the fish of the day, some perfectly seared scallops and an order of lamb chops.

    While we were quite full, it was pretty hard to resist the dessert menu. We agreed to share the flourless chocolate cake, with caramel sauce and raspberry preserves. It literally melted in my mouth. 

    Other items on the menu include burgers bouillabaisse, steak,  spiced impossible meatballs, veal paillard, fish & chips, impossible Italian sausage spaghetti, roasted Arctic char, lobster ravioli, seared walleye, tagliatelle, halibut, mussels and frites,  poutine, baked oysters, albacore tuna tartare and beef tartare, calamari, charcuterie and cheese board, soups and salads, sandwiches and omelets.

    This was the perfect evening, with great food, excellent service from our waiter Kelsey and an ambiance that you just can’t beat.

    Weekend brunch is available from 10 am to 2 pm Saturdays, Sundays and select holidays.  

    The restaurant is co-owned by John Borsten and Sarah Chown, with Mike Poliquin as chef de cuisine. Hours of operation are 11:30 am to 11 pm Monday to Wednesday, 11:30 am to midnight Thursday and Friday, 10 am to midnight Saturday and 10 am to 11 pm Sunday Take-out and delivery service is in place each day from 11:30 am to 9 pm. For more details log on to www.metropolitainbrasserie.com or call  613-562-1160.

    Mike Cohen

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