February 13th was one of the best culinary experiences in my short time as a foodie. My girlfriend and I went to Atelier for an amazing 12 course tasting menu. Atelier is an awesome restaurant just off of Preston that serves a blind 12 course tasting menu every night. This means that you don’t know what you’re going to get until its in front of you and they have explained what it is. Before explaining how our adventure at Atelier went I want to say two things, first the food was amazing (out of this world even!) and second my pictures suck of the food. I hate to disturb other dinners and I feel that taking pictures with a flash on can get really annoying, so I didn’t use one. I tried to make them a bit better in Adobe Lightroom but I am still figuring out how to use it so they didn’t turn out the best. Check out ottawafoodies.com or atelierrestaurant.ca for some awesome pictures.
We have been talking about going to Atelier forever! I always hear amazing things about it but just haven’t had the opportunity. In December we made the decision that this year would be the year to go, so we tried to make a reservation for Valentines Day. What we didn’t realize was that Atelier seats about 24 and is always in demand. I was super lucky to score a reservation for the Sunday night before Valentines Day at 9:30. When we left it was kind of creepy out, rainy, foggy and dark. On top of that we had never been to Atelier before, so we didn’t know what we were looking for. When we found it, it wasn’t what we thought we were going to find. Atelier is a small grey building on a bit of a side street, there are no signs announcing that it is Atelier, you just need to know the address. Once you’ve found your way in, you are greeted warmly and the seats are super comfortable, which is good because you will be there for about 3 hours enjoying amazing food.
The first thing that you get is of course bread and butter. However this isn’t your normal bread and butter, instead of getting your butter as a bunch of little balls, you get it in a toothpaste tube! This just sets the tone for the night. While I could go through and explain the entire tasting menu, I feel like that would ruin the experience for others. Instead I will tell you about my favourite dish and leave you with some bad pictures.
My favourite dish of the night was called the Duck Perogie. The Duck Perogie is a crispy perogie filled with duck comfit. It comes with beets, a smear of sour cream, with onion stings and to top it all of a sliver of black truffle!
Here is what our scrumptious menu looked like:
5.) Duck Perogy
8.) Dirty Potatoes
11.) Area 51
While the food was out of this world! It was the atmosphere that really made Atelier great! The staff were awesome and really knew their stuff! The sommelier Steve was awesome! While we only ordered a bottle of wine and not the wine pairings, he still gave us some great tips about wines.
Eating at Atelier lead me to an epiphany, I have been comparing restaurants against each other to try and figure out which one is the best. I have realized that there isn’t just one best restaurant in Ottawa; there are a whole bunch of amazing restaurants. I don’t think that it is fair to compare the food and atmosphere at Atelier against a place like Fraser Café or Murray Street. They are all different and do amazing things!
If you’re ever looking for a great place to try some amazing food and have a true culinary adventure, go to Atelier!
Ps. Here is a video from their YouTube channel.