Conveniently located next to the Byward Market at 700 Sussex, just steps away from Parliament Hill, Métropolitain Brasserie is home to Ottawa’s largest raw bar.
Open seven days a week, serving lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends, we had a wonderful summer Saturday evening dinner on their spacious patio. The weather was threatening that afternoon, but it would not interfere with our reservation for the spot is completely covered by a tent-like structure. The patio can accommodate 125 people. It nearly doubled in size when restaurants reopened during the early stages of the pandemic. The capacity inside is 300.
During the 2022 winter truckers convoy, the Métropolitain was directly in the eye of the storm. “We were deeply affected,” Marketing Director Sofia Santiso Borsten told me. “Fortunately we bounced back and business could not be better.”
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 that offers the most extensive list of varietal wines by the glass in the city and this is considered a prime place for a large event or a romantic dinner for two.
We started off the evening with some drinks and then took a good hard look at all of the options available among the appetizers. Some bread, rolls and butter and order of outstanding mushroom Flatbread, with spinach, ricotta, Gruyère and truffle oil, started things off. Then came one of our favorites: a seafood platter for two (which was more than enough for three): shrimp, oysters, mussels, snow crab, cod croquettes and scallop Crudo. This could have been a meal itself and savored every morsel. There is a larger platter for four available.
There is a nice selection of main courses. The Duck Confit caught my eye, an item I do not see available at too many restaurants I frequent. It was superbly prepared, with crispy skin and served with warm fingerling salad, roasted peppers, grilled onions, black olives, fresh basil, apricot harissa toss, and lime crema. As for the others, they opted for the steak frites petit (five ounces), heart of Angus ribeye and mâitre d’ hotel butter and Coquille St. Jacques, with seared scallops, mashed potatoes, wilted spinach, Mornay sauce, melted Gruyère & toasted Panko bread crumbs.
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, 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.
Weekend brunch is available from 10 am to 2 pm Saturdays, Sundays and select holidays. It is indeed something I look forward to trying on another visit.
The patio and main entrance are completely wheelchair accessible, as are the washrooms. There is plenty of street parking and paid lots close by. If you park in the indoor lot next door and remain at the first level, you can gain direct entrance to the restaurant.
The restaurant is co-owned by John Borsten and Sarah Chown, with Mike Poliquin as chef de cuisine. Meals are also available for take-out and delivery. For more details log on to www.metropolitainbrasserie.com or call 613-562-1160.