POUTINEFEST 2019

Events, Food

Happy Friday!! I’ve got some good news… POUTINE FEST is back!

IMG_1329Poutinefest on Sparks Street is on this weekend and will fulfill all your gravy-soaked, cheese-curd loving dreams. I was invited last night to the VIP Poutine Parlour tent where we were able to sample just about every vendor’s poutines as well as some tasty cocktails. Topshelf Gin, and Big Rig Brewery were some of the sponsors serving in the drinks tent. The bartender shook me up a concoction of gin mixed with cider… and it was INCREDIBLE.

 

Some of the poutines samples they were giving out in the tent included:

–          Buffalo Cauliflower Poutine

–          Montreal Burger Poutine

–          Mac and Cheese Poutine

–          Nachos Poutine

–          Thanksgiving Turkey Poutine

–          And even a VEGAN Poutine

9FA01D81-AD7A-49A8-A574-204DCE482EEBI absolutely LOVED the Thanksgiving Turkey Poutine. Thanksgiving is my favourite food holiday and I can never get enough of turkey (like seriously, why can`t there be a Thanksgiving every month..)

If you’re as big of a fan of poutine as I am (and I think the rest of Canada), Poutinefest is a MUST visit this weekend! Be sure to take lots of photos of your poutines, and if you post them on Instagram – tag me!

Winter Presdelicious 2019

Events, Food

Presdelicious is BACK! If you haven’t heard of Presdelicious it’s an annual festival that aims to highlight the diverse restaurant scene Preston Street has to offer. There’s a total of 10 restaurants that participate each year and the list has been announced on the Preston Street website. The way it works is – each restaurant creates their own fixed menu offering the patron a choice between 3 appetizers, 3 entrees, and a choice of dessert (you pick 1 from each course). The restaurants can price their menu at either $28, $38 or $48. I was invited to do a few menu samplings from the restaurants included in this year’s festival! I brought my good friend Line Pelletier (who you may recognize as MasterChef Canada Season 2s runner-up).

Our first stop was Trattoria Cafe Italia and their menu is priced at $38. They’re a traditional Italian restaurant that’s been open for years. I chose the bruschetta to start, and Line chose tortellini in brodo. I love bruschetta and feel like you can’t really screw it up, so it was as good as it should have been. As our mains, I chose the sundried tomato & aspargus cream chicken, and Line picked the filet of sole. I substituted my vegetables for pasta (because of course, carbs all day) and had a nice side of housemade spaghetti. The chicken was cooked perfectly and the cream sauce was all kinds of yummy. For dessert we had the panna cotta and chocolate tartuffo. Both were really good but the panna cotta is what really stood out for me. I don’t know if I’ve ever even tried panna cotta but it was scrumptious! They served it with a berry compote on top that was the perfect balance of sweet and fruity.

Our second stop was Kuidaore Izakaya and their menu is priced at $28. It’s a Japanese pub food style restaurant and hasn’t been open for fairly long but has become quite well known fairly quickly! We started with a SAKE BOMB (see video), then for appetizers had the veggie tempura and karaage (japanese fried chicken). The karaage was probably some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. For mains, I got the pork belly ramen with black garlic oil, and Line got the salmon poke bowl. And last but not least, for dessert we had DEEP FRIED matcha ice cream, and sakura mochi! This was my first visit to Kuidaore and boy did they ever blow it out of the water! I will be back SO very soon…

 

Presdelicious is on now until March 10th, don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to experience the restaurants in Little Italy! Go to their website for more info 🙂

Ottawa’s FIRST EVER Food Hall

Events, Food

IMG_4491As you probably already know (because I’ve posted about it a million times) Ottawa has officially opened its own food hall! The concept comes from major cities like NYC and Boston but is the first of its kind. It’s called Queen Street Fare and its the second food hall in Canada, the first being in Toronto. Queen Street Fare is special however because it’s the first food hall to offer live music every. single. day.IMG_6115 That’s right, no matter what day of the week, there will be live music playing at some point in the day. This is HUGE. There’s no other food hall doing this, we are the first. I worked closely with QSF during their launch phase. I was one of the only people that got to see the space grow, visiting regularly and giving my followers exclusive sneak peeks on the space. I also was the first to try Capitol Burger Counter and attend the VIP Launch Party!

Now for the food, and oh my GOODNESS where do I start?

IMG_4467

Capitol Burger Counter is changing the burger game here in Ottawa. Their standard burger is inspired by that of Shake Shack (a famous burger chain in the U.S.) and is like nothing Ottawa has seen before. They feature a double patty, cheddar cheese, special sauce, pickles, lettuce, tomato, all served on a POTATO bun! I also tried their chicken burger which is Nashville inspired and, I honestly was left speechless.

Bar Robo is open for coffee, tea, donuts and everything in between. They also serve cocktails in the evening. I have yet to try their donuts but at the launch party I saw them and- they look God-sent.

Green Rebel is pretty self-explanatory, Everything GREEN. From salads to fresh juices, they have everything to keep your body happy and healthy. At the VIP party one of the dishes they made were AVOCADO BROWNIE CAKE POPS… need I say more?

Fiazza is already Ottawa famous. They make thin-crust oven fired pizzas that are ready in 3 MINUTES! Not to mention they taste phenomenal and have some pretty unique flavours (my favourite is the prosciutto & arugula).

Mercadito offers Mexican street-style food crafted by the one and only Top Chef Winner, René Rodriguez. I missed my opportunity to try Mercadito at the launch party (and I’m still mad at myself for it) but I can’t wait to try it ASAP!

Sen Kitchen offers traditional Vietnamese cuisine, like bao buns, banh mi etc. Their first location can be found at Lansdowne Park in the Glebe!

And last but not least, Q-Bar. Q-Bar offers a long list of speciality cocktails with expert mixologists. They also have a killer happy hour with $1/oz of wine from 4-7PM during the week!

I had SO much fun and was honoured to play such a big part in the launch of QSF. I can’t wait to make a return! *wipes drool*

0D593A76-3710-422C-A0C7-3B68DE035571

Umber Winter Gala

Events, Food

I was thrilled and honoured to EMCEE (or MC) [whichever way you spell it :/] the first annual Umber Winter Gala. The event was held at the beautiful, new OAG(Ottawa Art Gallery), on the third floor. The views from the location are spectacular and the venue itself is sooooooo incredible.

I had only ever MCed one other event before (and it was my cousin’s wedding) so I think it was safe to say I was BEYOND nervous. I had a number of jokes in the speech that I was obviously hoping went over well, but I determined it was more important to direct my prayers at NOT stumbling or screwing-up while speaking. To my surprise I got BOTH. The audience LOLed at every single one of my jokes, and even a lot harder than I could’ve expected… maybe I have a new career choice???? Hahaha no just kidding (I think).

Now for the FOOD. The food was catered by e18hteen and was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. The charcuterie boards were the highlight and there were also baby cupcakes made by Thimblecakes alongside a delicious vanilla fondant poundcake!

All in all a perfect night – thanks Umber for believing (and trusting) in me!