After a long week at work CWM and I like to spend our Friday night at home watching a movie, sitting in the hottub and ordering take out. This Friday was a rare exception as we have been wanting to go to The Whalesbone for weeks! In September we got the privilege of attending a dinner at the Prime Minister`s house where they had an oyster station catered by the Whalesbone. We got to talking with the amazing guys running the station and we were immediately sold on the idea of stopping in for dinner. We finally made time and cannot believe we have been missing out on this gem. The atmosphere was awesome: low light, great music and cozy tables ( seats about 30 people in the whole restaurant). The liquor, beer and wine selection was all top of the line and set the tone for a night of exquisite, gourmet food prepared with care that we have never experienced in a restaurant before.
Sidenote: As my Mom reads this I know she will be saying to herself, oysters…my daughter? NEVER! However, since we were in Sweden this summer I have taken a new attitude about food. CWM has really pushed me to try new things and now when I see something I have never tried I dont even hesitate. I wouldnt say that I was ever overly picky, but I definitely knew what I didnt like and was not willing to budge on it. This year so far I have tried and even learned to love, caviar, mustard, oysters, and seared tuna.
To start they brought out what appeared to be simple bread and butter but we were quickly surprised when the server described how they brown their butter and then whip it so it’s almost caramely and sweet.
We then shared a platter of oysters with a grapefruit granita on top, deep fried clams with pickled onions and tartar sauce, and mussels done asian style with sesame oil and crunchy green onions. Nothing pleases me like a restaurant that takes the time on details that are not totally necessary. The deep fried shells of the clam definitely contributed a little bit of richness however they would have been great without them too, so I was thankful that they would take the time to do something so different.
My main was a delicious lobster barley rissoto. On the website it says that it is served with pecorino, asparagus, croutons and caviar however as you will see in the photo it was updated for the season. CWM had the steelhead trout and again the website said it was served with cavatelli, cream, and fiddleheads but were not sure what actually ended up in either of them. The portions were just the right size and the flavours complimented each other perfectly.
For dessert we opted for the cheese platter despite the couple next to us having churros and chocolate mousse that smelled like heaven calling our name. I can easily say the cheese platter was the most amazing combination of flavours and textures I have ever had. There was a Blackburn, a Bleu Elizabeth, a soft brie like piece, honey drizzled crostinis, figs, granola (a pleasant surprise), marmalade, blueberry jam, all topped with a delicious (unknown) glaze.
I find that we have become slightly food snobby since moving here because the quality of food in Ottawa is just not like Vancouver. The selection mainly consists of deep fried pub food, rather than seafood and fresh, innovative restaurants like Vancouver. I am so happy to have finally found a real treat in this city. I can’t thank The Whalesbone staff enough for such a great overall experience, we will absolutely be going back and taking all of our friends!
Have any of you lovely people been to the Whalesbone? Any other great restaurant suggestions in Ottawa?