Articles Tagged ‘Ottawa’

ANNE’S PICKS: Seasonal doughnuts! Pumpkin Spice Berliners from Art-Is-In Bakery


Art-Is-In’s Kevin Mathieson is the king of the doughnut and this seasonal one filled with pumpkin cream is a true treat.

By Anne DesBrisay

There’s an urban myth of long ago, that claims JFK, in a speech delivered in Germany, and attempting to tell the people of Berlin that he was one of them, said “Ich bin ein Berliner” which translates not as he intended — “I am a citizen of Berlin” — but as “I am a jelly doughnut.”

There were some guffaws, apparently. And some don’t believe he actually said that, but the story’s better than the facts, so it lives on.

To be confused with one of Kevin Mathieson’s Berliners would be no great insult, it seems to me.

Mathieson is the king of jelly doughnuts in this town. Berliners, they are called. Or Pfannkuchen, a North German pastry made from sweet dough, sprinkled with shiny sugar, and typically filled in with jam.

And this seasonal one, filled in with pumpkin cream is a true treat, because yes, the pastry itself is fresh and light and not too sweet, but it’s the quality of the pastry cream that’s so fantastic. With the added bonus that he hasn’t gone crazy with the nutmeg. Nothing ruins pumpkin more than an indelicate hand with the nutmeg grater.

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SHOP TALK: Ottawa jewellery stores showcase vintage-inspired jewellery

This story appears in the October edition of Ottawa Magazine, on newsstands now. Click here to subscribe to the print or digital versions. 

Photo by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio.

Photo by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio.

Infinite Luxury
Chains and chokers have made a comeback. The 18-karat gold and nine-carat diamond Bulgari Roman necklace and matching earrings hold ancient Roman coins at their centre, offering a one-of-a-kind statement that will be passed down for generations. (Necklace, $52,450; earrings, $18,500).

Keeping with ancient times, the Equine bracelet is hand-carved in 18-karat gold, with diamond and ruby accents; it’s stackable but can easily stand on its own ($12,550). If you’re in the market for a new, distinctive ring, look to the Golden Leaf Ring in rose gold with diamond accents ($3,175) or its counterpart, the Kiss of a Rose ring, which features a delightful pear-shaped diamond ($23,000). Howard’s Jewellers, 220 Sparks St., 613-238-3300.

The silver and glass jewellery box is modelled after museum display cases and is lined with linen to showcase your treasures. $102.69. Available online from Pottery Barn.

Bijoux Beauties
Add stackable cuffs to your jewellery box, mixing dainty with daring for true wrist appeal. (From left: oxidized silver bangle with black crystals, $95; silver and clear crystal bangle, $95; gold metal bangle with clear crystals, $69). If you’d rather layer elsewhere, try a necklace that does it all: delicious pendants in mixed metals for pretty and punk allure are the ultimate game changer ($95). Or perhaps you’re after a Gatsby moment? Opt for vintage pearl clip-ons for a pop of posh ($275). True Bijoux, 206 Sparks St., 613-232-2229.

Nostalgic Opulence
Bring upscale glamour to a vanity with vintage perfume bottles (tall geometric perfume bottle, $25; short floral-motif perfume bottle, $38). The White Monkey, 395 Gladstone Ave., 613-321-4678. Dress your vanity with the inviting glow of crystals and vintage flare. The crystal vanity lamps (set of two, $300) bring warmth to a room while illuminating your most cherished charms. Architectural Antiques, 145 Spruce St., 613-722-1510.

Knotted Elegance
Tranquil and serene, this 18-karat diamond necklace with blossom and leaf detail (far right, on perfume bottle, $10,600) reflects unique style. Dripping with femininity, this piece acts as the finishing touch to a polished look and draws attention to a woman’s décolletage. Jubilee Fine Jewellers, 50 Rideau St., 613-238-1886.

RECENTLY OPENED! Anne DesBrisay checks out Cylie Patisserie and Chocolaterie


DesBrisay describes Cylie chocolates as “exquisite, worthy of unabashed indulgence, beautiful to look at, gorgeous in the mouth.”

By Anne DesBrisay

If you consider one of the markers of a great city a critical number of great chocolate shops, then Ottawa, particularly with the arrival of this latest one, must surely now be counted.

Cylie is new. The shop has patisserie in its title, but for now sells only chocolates and a line of teas, and is an amalgam of the names of its owners.

Cyril Nebout and Leslie Yang are life partners and partners in chocolates. They met at the Ottawa campus of Cordon Bleu — he an instructor, she a student — and Cylie is the result of that meeting.


Each chocolate....

The coloured designs for each chocolate are hand-painted.

The chocolates are exquisite, worthy of unabashed indulgence, beautiful to look at, gorgeous in the mouth. The coloured designs for each bonbon are hand-painted, the coating is well temperred, shiny, glossy, cracking good stuff. The infused ganaches (dark chocolate and cream with flavouring) are rich and luscious, clean and pure tasting

I bought a box of truffles in every flavour but hazelnut. I’m not a hazelnut girl. And some chocolate coated orange peel. And one robot for the kid. My favourite: the framboise. Or perhaps the caramel beurre salé. Though the piment d’espelette is a kicker.

Check them out.

Open: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cylie Artisans Chocolatiers, 204 Dalhousie Street, 613-695-8887.


CAPITAL PINT: Whitewater Brewing Co. enters Ottawa

Capital Pint by Travis Persaud is published regularly at Follow Travis on twitter @tpersaud. 


whitewater-1Whitewater Brewing Co. will make their first appearance in Ottawa this weekend.

The Ottawa Valley brewery, about an hour and a half northwest of Ottawa in Forester Falls, opened its doors this past summer to a very warm welcome. “Currently we’re selling out every week,” says Thompson, one of Whitewater Brewing’s three owners. “I would say for a lot of people in the Valley [drinking our beer] is a learning curve, it’s tough to move people from Blue and Canadian, but everyone loves to support local guys trying to do something new.”

And now they’re ready to give Ottawa a taste of what they’re brewing. They’re one of the eight breweries on the bill for the last Brewery Market of the year at Parkdale Park on Oct. 20. They’ll be pouring all four of their beers — Farmer’s Daughter (blonde ale), Whistling Paddler (English style ale), Class V (IPA), and Midnight Stout (oatmeal stout) — to give us a sneak peak before they start popping up on taps across the city.

“We should be rolling into [Ottawa] bars and restaurants by Christmastime,” Thompson says. “I can’t say where, just yet, but we’re talking to places that prioritize local food and that have similar ethical values as us.”

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WEEKEND LONG READ: This sinister short story by Nadine McInnis forms part of Blood Secrets, short-listed for an Ottawa Book Award

“The Men Have Gone Hunting” is part of Blood Secrets, local author Nadine McInnis’s sophomore collection of short stories, published in September 2012. It is short-listed for an Ottawa Book Award for fiction. The winners will be announced on Oct. 22


Illustration by Anthony Tremmaglia

By Nadine McInnis

Last evening, shots were fired in the bush around the farmhouse, although officially hunting season started this morning at dawn. They live just north of Highway 3, which runs horizontally, cutting the province of Saskatchewan in two, north from south. The season starts one week earlier in the northern half, where the forest begins, and the muskeg and the lakes that are cold even in the heat of summer. All the hunters from the cities drive just as far as this line drawn in the snow before loading their guns.

She had settled Maya in her crib for her afternoon nap when she heard the knocking on the kitchen door. Looking down on the stoop from the upstairs window in the hall, she could see the guns propped over the men’s shoulders, the bright orange hunting vests hurting her eyes against the unfamiliar white. The winter snow had come only two days before and she wasn’t used to it. She couldn’t see a truck in the yard, not even any footprints so she couldn’t tell if they’d walked in by way of the overgrown northern approach or looped around, following the caragana that swung closer to the barn.

She ducked, hoping Maya wouldn’t wake up, but heard the knocking again. Not daring to raise her head, she squatted beneath the window ledge, hoping they would go away. Norman was farther north, hunting as well, in the vast unpopulated forest reserves. He thought that only rude city folk would hunt in places where people lived. Even though he was a city boy himself. He’d taken up these opinions over the two years they had lived in rural Saskatchewan, first renting a small bungalow in Glaslyn, then a rambling farmhouse out in the country.

Last November, her first with him in the country, she’d been pulling Maya in her sled, wearing a scarlet jacket against the new snow. A truck had pulled over and the man had said to her, “You’re going to get shot walking the roads this time of year. Do you want to leave that little one without a mother?” Norman was incensed when he heard what a stranger had said to her practically in her own driveway, but he couldn’t be dissuaded from leaving her alone this year too. It’s what the men in his family had always done, even though they were now two generations removed from rural living. He told her a little self-righteously that she would have to give up her city sensitivities if she was going to be happy here.

She heard the kitchen door opening and the men’s footsteps in the mud room. Heavy steps moving into the house. A glance out the window confirmed it. The two black rifles were leaning against the door frame but the men were gone.

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MUST-TRY VEGAN: 5 top spots from Ottawa Magazine’s 2013 Eating & Drinking Guide


SOTM13EDANN_1201Eating & Drinking Guide is a food lover’s bible for everything local, with 80+ pages of restaurant, wine, food shop, and kitchen store recommendations. Look for it on newsstands or order it here.

Anne DesBrisay lists her picks for the city’s best places to eat vegan and raw food — kitchens that think beyond the interminable salad bar.



Photography by Amelia Johnston

Lunchtime at La Belle Verte in Gatineau. Photography by Amelia Johnston

Café My House
The menu at this adorable South Ottawa café is predominantly vegan, Pan-Asian in focus, and best known for its brunches. Try the ample vegan bibimbap, the polenta-crusted tempeh, or the gnocchi fashioned with squash and sage. Café My House1729 Bank St., 613-733-0707.

Try exceptional international vegan cuisine at Zen, where you’ll find dishes that are adventurous and playful and attract both meat lovers (on a break) and meat shunners (who have found a high-end restaurant to call home). 634 Somerset St. W., 613-233-6404.

La Belle Verte
Cheery green and proudly bohemian, La Belle Verte’s soundtrack to lunch is the high-speed blender whirring and grinding the day’s menu. What isn’t raw is mostly vegan. Desserts are shockingly good. 166, rue Eddy, Gatineau, 819-778-6363.

The Table
The daily buffet at this Wellington West institution casts its vegetarian net widely for inspiration. Dishes are fully indexed and coded, with all ingredients clearly spelled out. The Table1230 Wellington St. W., 613-729-5973.

The Green Door
The first and the longest-running, the Green Door daily buffet caters to vegans, vegetarians, dairy-free, nut-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, and parliamentarians weary of rubber chicken. The food is fresh, well made, clearly labelled, and awfully wholesome. Communal seating. 198 Main St., 613-234-9597.

101 TASTES: Ottawa Magazine presents the must-eat list you cannot resist

101 Tastes: the must-eat list you cannot resist

(Image: Lalonde)

We sent our food insiders on a quest to comb every corner of the city to find — and share — the very best things to eat. They left no crumb unturned. From classics and cravings to guilty pleasures and palate-challenging picks, it’s the stuff that makes eating in Ottawa an awe-inspiring adventure. Dig in to the ultimate guide to the city’s must-try tastes.

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WINE PICKS: 10 fine cellaring wines (perfect gifts for Thanksgiving hosts!)

Illustration by Remie Geoffroi

Illustration by Remie Geoffroi

Ottawa Magazine wine writer David Lawrason says this international selection of more expensive $25-to-$50 wines is fine to give as gifts, either to wine lovers intent on building up their cellars or to good friends who enjoy a fine bottle.


Cloudy Bay 2012 Sauvignon Blanc
$29.95 / Marlborough, New Zealand / 93 points
This is a very intense, complex, nervy young sauvignon blanc. But for all its exuberance, it retains a nice sense of control and rigidity. The nose sparks immediately with passion fruit, pepper, nettle, celery, wasabi, and grapefruit rind. It’s mid-weight and crisp, yet juicy, with a firm, dry, almost mineral finish. Outstanding length. Vintages Essentials 304469.

Sonoma-Cutrer 2010 Chardonnay
$26.95 / Russian River Valley, California / 89 points
The cool Russian River is a hot zone for winemakers who draw chardonnay inspiration from Burgundy, France. This one has complex, if subdued, peat smoke, toasted almond, pear, butter, and lemony flavours in a crisp yet generous texture. Very stylish, fairly slim, and long, with a mineral edge common to this region. Vintages Essentials 608653.

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TIMELINE: The story behind the cool and colourful murals around Chinatown

The public art project “Chinatown Blossoms” has brought colourful mini-murals to shops and restaurants of Somerset Street West. Here’s how it all came together:

Photo courtesy of Chinatown BIA.

The weather was fine when the murals began popping up around Chinatown last May. Photo courtesy of Chinatown BIA.

Summer 2012
Grace Xin, executive director of the Chinatown Business Improvement Association, reaches out to the Ottawa School of Art. A long-time fan of the OSA, Xin sees the future of Chinatown as a hub of art and artists. Eventually she connects with Claudia Gutierrez, development officer at the OSA, and presents her with the concept for Chinatown Blossoms, a beautification project that gives students an opportunity to gain experience working for a client while bringing colourful murals to doorways and windows of Somerset Street West.

Over at the OSA, Gutierrez pushes for the development of a course that teaches students about the process of working for a client on a piece of public art, using the Chinatown Blossoms project as a case study of sorts.

March 2013
Eleven artists from the OSA’s three-year diploma program register for the public commission course, which runs from May to June. The curriculum includes various aspects of working with clients, from creating proposals to communicating openly with them, as well as understanding the difference between private and public commissions and how to navigate grant funding.

When the Chinatown BIA hosts an open house later in the spring at the Dalhousie Community Centre, the art students showcase mock-ups of their designs. Community members and property and business owners come to check out the proposed murals.

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MOST WANTED: Checking out the kick-ass knives at Knifewear in the Glebe


Nerves of steel: Three very sharp (in more ways than one) kitchen tools from Knifewear in the Glebe. Photography by Dwayne Brown

On the Cutting Edge: Ottawa Magazine visits Knifewear, a recently-opened Glebe specialty store that takes this crucial kitchen tool to a whole new level

From left:

Masakage Koishi Santoku, by Kato San, is a carbon-steel knife clad with stainless steel; $275.

The Maboroshi Santoku by Fujiwara boasts a white carbon-steel core with a stainless-steel jacket and a finger notch for easy chopping; $345.

Konosuke’s Sakura Nikiri  (or vegetable knife) is hand-forged from ginsan stainless steel, a metal that has the sharpness of carbon steel but is stainless; $387.