What do you want to discover in Ottawa?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Furniture Sale! Today Only- Dec 2 2010

Hey O' fans, I received an exclusive email today from our friends at MIKAZA. The sale is on today only, DECEMBER 2 from 5pm to 9pm.
Remeber my chair that I wanted in the window... I blogged about it here. Anyways, they really want me to have it at a good price. I sorta have plans tonight... but I will try my best to make it out there!
Let me know if you get anything.
The address is: 120 Du Portage, Hull, QC, J8X 2K1

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunnyside Village Sale!

Just in time for the holoidays!

Thursday November 25th from 5:00pm to 9:00 pm.
Visit the Sunnyside Village (Bank street at Sunnyside) merchants for great deals and special rates!
Store include:

Ottawa Folklore Centre

Seize the Moment Photography

The Clothes Secret

Grace in the Kitchen



Life of Pie

Mother tongue books

Global Pet Foods

Boomerang Kids

Mud Oven


Monday, November 1, 2010

shopping in the o'

I was in the Market resently and discovered that maybe the shopping scene is getting a bit better. I mean, it's nothing comaparable to Montreal or Toronto, but I think with time, we will be pleasantly surprised. Here is a list of my top favorite stores and boutiques. This post was inspired by a one page flyer that I took from a store that I just discovered (Roadtrip... younger sister to
Trustfund, which I am familiar with) Lots of cities have these types of maps that are available to tourists (heck, or even locals!) to help them find like-minded business :)

  1. Trustfund- trendy clothes with higher end labels ... "it's more for investment peices..."
  2. Roadtrip- Trustfund's younger sister. Great labels, but way more affordable.
  3. Schad- very expensive wishful shopping
  4. Urban Outfitters! Finally open.
  5. Frou Frou- for the wilder/unique side of your look
  6. Milk (this blog needs some work)
  7. Workshop- hand crafted clothing by local designers, very orginal stuff
  8. Victoire- very cute trendy stuff
  9. Zara
  10. Aritzia

Please feel free to share your experiences or let me know if there are any stores that I have missed in the market!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ottawa Fashion Week!

Hello my O'valleyers,

I know you are all busy this weekend between Halloween parties, trick-or-treating and just plain old looking forward to dressing up at work... but it's OTTAWA FASHION WEEK starting on Friday October 29 2010 to Sunday October 31 2010!

Check the site for more details of the schedules and locations.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Out with the old and in with the used!

Hello my O'valliers,

Just a quick reminder that this weekend is the "Ottawa Antiquing Event". October 22-24 2010.

Here is a $2 coupon!

You can also subscribe to get this email at antiques.show@sympatico.ca

Here is a past post about the things I bought at this show:
Antique shops in Ottawa
Things I bought

Hope to see you there!

Friday, October 15, 2010

tom-mac and cheese!

This week has been one of those weeks that are just sooooo busy at work... you need to eat at your desk and stuff your face in about 2 minutes. And so I did :(

But since my week has been busy I had no time to do groceries, and so I bought my lunch! I swung by at Serious cheese... but I had no idea what to get.

The gentleman behind the counter was very helpful. As I was aimlessly gazing at the menu board, he was making a few suggestions. "How about Tomato Soup with a grilled cheese?" I said I am not a bread dipper. Then he says "What about drizzling tomato soup on your grilled cheese?" I said I hate mushy bread and things like hot chicken sandwiches.

THEN HE SAID... "What if I pour some tomato soup in your mac and cheese!!!!" I said... "Now you're talkin' ". (not exactly in those words, but you get my point!)

Here it is folks! He called it bloody mac n' cheese, I called it delicious. It was like a twist on a rose sauce. Delish!

Boy did it hit the spot!

Bon appetit!

For more info about Serious Cheese check out an older post of mine.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Be a social butterfly...

Whatever you wanna call them, they are beautiful!

Carleton University is featuring their yearly Butterfly Show from October 2 to October 11 2010, from 9 am to 4 pm.
It's amazing to see the different size, shapes and colours these wonderful creatures come in.
I might make it out there this weekend... get some fresh air and make room for all the turkey that belongs in my belly!

Hope to see you there!
Happy Thanksgiving my O'valleyers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"...bake me a pie as fast as you can.."

Life of pie is their name. Baking is their game.

Finally a place where I can grab a coffee and a breakfast treat in the morning before I make my way to work.
I didn't have my coffee at home this morning, a ritual that I have been doing for a while now to save a few pennies. As I hopped out of the bus, I said to myself "I deserve a little treat, what a great way to try the new little bakery that just opened up around the corner!"

I have had their scones and cookies here before... stick with what you know! I grabbed a delicious tripple berry scone and a coffee. The coffee is excellent and the scone was still warm and moist inside. You don't need butter or jam, it has a great flavour and it's not too sweet, which is what i like most about the scones.

It's so refreshing to get a fresh local treat and coffee that doesn't have the green circle on it :)

Have a great morning!

A little history lesson:
Life of pie was originally located in the residential area of sunnyside and Bank in a mud room type enterence of a home. It was the size of a closet! Obviously this didn't stop "the pie lady" to grow her business and open her store on hustling and bustling Bank Street! Congratulations on the growth of your local business!

Check their website for the dynamic menu of freshly baked goods :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

domus in latin is house or home

I had the pleasure of finally making it to Domus, I called up some friends for my birthday and made the dinner plans. They were very accomodating and were able to set up a nice spot for us, even though the restaurant wasn't that huge.

The service was a little slow, but in their defense our group didn't show up at the same time so we heard the special of the day about four times!
I really like it when the servers know their wine and can recommend something that pairs well with your meal. I went for a Pinot Grigio, though he recommended the Pino Gris. I had the tuna staek with wild mushrooms, it was a bit sweet, but very good. I like the green couli it was served with, it added a nice freshness to it (I didn't ask what it was :()

My friends had the steak and elk steak and everyone really enjoyed it. For desert I had creme brulé, it was tasty but a little runny. Maybe it wasn't chilled enough.

Someone at my table ended up returning their steak which was over done. The server took it back without any hesitation and replaced it. Unfortunately our table didn't eat at the same time, but this didn't ruin our night.

Since this is quite an expensive place, I don't think I will eat here again, but I would recommend you try it.

Elk steak
Tuna steak


sushi is delish

So, I googled "Sushi Takeout Ottawa" and came accross Sushi 88 on Somerset, which is right in the heart of China Town! At first I thought they delivered... but note to self, take out doesn't mean delivery!! Duh!
We ended up eating our sushi there instead of picking it up. I had platter J6 which is called "Surprise me!" Boy oh boy, was I surprised to see a sea creature on my plate! I think it was octopus. It was light purple and had waves and what looked like tenticle. I only took the picture of my platter after I ate this mysterious creature... sorry. I recommend this platter, only if you are very adventurous, but the sushi was good and priced well.

The service was nice and the location was perfectly in front of the new Asian Arch they are buidling! The decor is very nice inside too... if this is important to you. Read about my asian arch post here.
This is the new arch that is being built on Somerset close to Bronson.

sale: children's book store!

I don't know what you are up to this weekend, but if you are getting a head start on your xmas shopping (:S Oh brother is it almost that time again) you might want to take advantage of this!

Kaleidoscope is a fantastic local kids book store, and this Saturday they are offering 20%off everything in the store!
Personally, I love books... children's books that is. I think they make perfect gifts and they are so much fun to collect. I also love shopping in quainte books stores, the atmosphere is so different then large chains like Chapters. Don't get me wrong though, I LOVE Chapters too!!
I know that they have recently moved (for the fifth time to their fourth location!) and maybe they want to show off their new diggs. They are located right infront of Lansdowne Park, North of the bridge on Bank street bordering the Glebe and the Old Ottawa South.

Have fun shopping!! I hope to stop by and get my neice a little something for her birthday... which happen's to be on Saturday too:)

Monday, September 13, 2010

opa! pilos on montreal rd

If you are looking for really good authentic Greek food, try Pilos restaurant. It's a great place for family get togethers. Quiet, cosy and original decor, this place just makes you feel like you are having dinner at your inlaws.
The staff are really friendly and the food is amazing, it tastes like what Greek food should taste like!

The portions of course are typically giant plates and the prices are good for what you get.

I hope you get a chance to eat here.

...mmm.. I am hungry now :S

salt and pepper... garden

Great food in the middle of nowhere!

If you like good food and you are on Montreal Rd in the East end, look for Pepper Graden. There isn't much around there other than Pilos (if you are in the mood for Greek!)

It's not very cheap, but the food is very fresh and tasty.

I usually get the grilled vegetable salad which is quite filling (roasted potatoes, red peppers, goat cheese...mmmmm).

They also serve a great Brunch Buffet on the weekeds, I would check theire site for more details about this.

I don't have any original pictures, I just borrowed from their site again.

Have you been there before?

what's a stone face dolly?

Anyways, that's not important! What's important is that Stone Face Dolly's is an amazingly delicious restaurant on Preston Street, located in the heart of Little Italy! They don't serve Italian food per say, just amazing culinary combinations that make your mouth water! I can never make up my mind when I go there.
"I'll have one of everything please!" Is what I truly want to say.

The two times I have been there, I was on a business meeting. This is a good fit because there is lots of discussion time. Not because service is slow, but because it is always PACKED at lunch time. I think many people go there for business meetings. The food is also really fresh and I think requires a longer cooking time, which I am okay with. I would recommend a reservation though if you are short on time.

I don't have any pictures, but if I return I will definately share with you!
Please just trust me on this one, or just vist their site :)

mangia! mangia!

If you are downtown in Ottawa and looking for really good Italian food, made simple and delicious, I highly recommend Tosca. I discovered this place online when I was looking for a nice restaurant to take my frind out for her birthday last year. We returned again almost one year later and had a great time, as usual!
The prices are not very cheap, but well worth the portions, the food and the experience.
I usually know right away that I am going to have a great time when the waiter brings bread and water when you first arrive. In this case we were brought some bread with oil and balsamic dipper, black baby olives and pickled hot peppers (my fave!).
We started munching on this stuff and enjoyed a much needed cocktail. I think that was the pupose of our visit in the first place.
I had the grill calamary (NOT FRIED NOR BATTERED!!), it comes with a spicy tomato paste. DELICIOUS! It's always cooked to perfection, and the texture is not rubbery at all, it just slices perfectly in your mouth.
For my main course I had the Fettuccini domenico, which in hind site was allot to have with the calamary, but it made a nice lunch at work the next day! The fettuccini tasted really fresh, and maybe even home made. I asked them to serve it with rose sauce and they were more than happy to do that for me! They said, anything you want can be made rose!
My friend ordered the mussels, which were good. I am not a huge fan of them, but they were tasty and the portions were very generous!
Although I saved my leftovers, I WAS STUFFED! I hate and love that feeling both at the same time.
The service is really great. They were very patient with us and helpful to make our selection.
I really hope you get to try this one out!
F.Y.I. I was looking into their space for a function last year and noticed that they have a cute little private room available. I know they also book parties there too.
I appologize I did not have my camera with me, so I borrowed some pics from their website :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Infused with flavour

Yesterday, I went out to lunch with some girls at work, and I suggested we go to Infusion. It's located in the heart of the Glebe.... I can't beleive they don't have a website though! Here is there Urbanspoons page.
Anyways, it's not about there website, it's about their food! It's always so fresh, flavourful and constantly changing with their speacials of the day.
It's not really fancy inside... Until they installed a chandelier!!! Those who know me well, know that I have a soft spot for them.
I like how the napkin rings are hose clamps... it gives the place its eclectic feel.

I like it when you can see the chefs cooking. It gives the real Bistro feel, and you can see that they are not spitting on your food, wiping their nose with there hands or dropping stuff on the floor before it goes on your plate! (I hope these are all myths about others restos.. I hope!)

For Lunch I had the Infusion Club with half fries and half salad. OMG! It was delicious. The best part is that creamy herb/garlic mayo heaven dip!! So worth the garlic breath all afternoon. Gawd I was thursty that evening!
So the I had a huge full breast of chicken in that sandwich served in 3 slices of delicious focaccia bread. The salad and fries were very good too.
My friend had the lamb salad, which was ENORMOUS!!! She seemed to like it but could not finish it! I think she had a hard time getting to her lamb steak... it's hard to cut aroud the little T-bone. They are hard to eat, but I just find them so cute :)

If you are looking for a place with good food, and a no fuss attitude. I highly recommend Infusion! Plus, you need your little boost for the walking you will be doing around there!
Bon appétit!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a social place

Last night I had a reservation at Social. I had never been before and wanted to try it out. They have a birthday coupon emailing list that you can subscribe to on their site. So it was a perfect opportunity to redeem my free desert coupon and try a new place!

The buidling and decor are spectacular! Beautiful art hanging on old brick walls, chandeliers and drapery hanging everywhere. Chandeliers are like jewellery for decor. I mean you can wear a nice dress and have makeup on, but your jewellery is what makes you sparkle!

We were greated by a very handsome waiter at our table, which is always nice:)

We both started off with a glass of Rosé (Domaine Roncée, Chinon AOC, 2009). It was very fresh and so perfect for the hot weather. We aslo tried a delicious peice of multigrain bread and butter.

The menu is simple and straight to the point. They offer you minimal selection but using a distinct variety of proteins for each dish. I had the duck confit with green mango salad and my friend had the pan roasted salmon with quinoa and greens. My duck was very well flavoured and very well cooked. The mango salad was fresh and herbal and the cashews gave it a nice crunch! The jus poured on my duck had an orange essence to it which was tart and fresh, it paired well with the dark meat.
The salmon was cooked to perfection and had a nice crispy skin which was not wet on the plate.
It was cooked medium rare (their recommendation).

And for desert, I had my favorite... Crème Brulée, and my frind had the chocolate desert. This is definately one of my top best crème brulée's that I have had. I love it when the vanilla beans are all sunken at the bottom of the ramekin. The sugar crust was crunchy and hard, which is perfect! And the texture of the cream was soft and creamy.

We were there on a Tuesday night, and it was PACKED! Which is a sign of a very good place. They aren't even affected by the construction on Sussex! The food was really tasty and the portions of meat were enormous. Definately a place to make your man happy if you are going out for a night on the town. I wish I was more dressed up, but we went right after work, so I tied my hair differently and slapped on some lipstick.
I will definately go back or recommend it for a function. They have lots of different private spaces that have a unique decor to them and that can accomodate different parties.
I hope I haven't made you too hungry :)
Bon appétit!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

happi hour

Last week, my friend and I had hair appointments at the Loft on Elgin Street, which you can read about here.

Since our appointment was after work, we decided to kill some time and have $5 cosmo and half price Nachos at the Standard. These were probably the best nachos I have ever had... and I have had the ones at the Royal Oak lots of times. They had home made colourful chips, delicious chicken, loads of good cheese and home made salsa (cut up tomatoes).
Oh ya, don't have more than one drink before you get your hair done... it's not a great idea. Thankfully it wore off :S

Bless happy hour and the good conversation it comes with!

This was no standard place. Great location and decor. Friendly and helpful staff. But most of all delicious food and drinks!
Please note that these images are from the Standard's website as I did not have my camera.

need your hair did?

So last week, I purchased a $30 Groupon to get my hair cut at The Loft on Elgin Street. If you don't know what a groupon is...

  1. You are missing out

  2. Click here and join the email list.

The atmosphere is very trendy and hip. They use top of the line hair products like Marocanoil and Kerastase by L'Oréal (probably the best shampoo next to Bumble and Bumble).

Before booking my appointment, I made sure to book with a stylist that could work with thick hair. The receptionist was very patient with me and booked something that was convenient with my schedule and their availability.

When you arrive in the salon, you are greated by a beautifully lit white counter and behind it a friendly receptionist. They have you wait in their seating area which is equiped with sleek sofas and chairs.

My stylist (Emma) was very patient with me, we talked baout my hair and what I wanted to do with it. In my case, there wasn't too much to do to it, other than trim and THINNING it out! My shampoo was amazing, my overal experience was fun, and my hair looked amazing!

After I washed and styled it myself, I noticed that the cut is great, but I still found that my hair was thick. But I can't really complain, can I?

This place also opperate Le Spa, which is esthetics services. Here is a glimps of the room.

"You had me at chandelier!"

Here are some Don'ts when you go get your hair done:

  1. Have $5 happy hour cosmos next door before your appointment :S (read about it)
  2. Bash your old stylist
  3. Try to rush them through it
  4. Ask "And what are you doing now"
  5. Run away without tipping
  6. Ask for a hair style, but a hair cut
  7. Lie!

Please note that the images were taken from the Loft's website as I did not have my camera with me.

Monday, August 30, 2010

lunch on a terrace

If you are looking for a great little place to have lunch on a terrace and watch passers by on a quiet but entertaining Wellington Street in Westboro, try Caffé Mio.
A small Italian caffé with tasty, simple fare.
Maybe it helped that the weather was perfect, and I was with great company and conversation. We shared the Pollo salad, and Caprese Cotto thin crust pizza. We top it all off with a delicious Lavazza Capuccino and herbal tea for my friend.
The Pollo salad was really fresh and had lots to offer: dried cranberreries, apricots, roasted red peppers, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, goat cheese and walnuts. Mmmm
The Caprese Cotto had a tasty thin herbal crust, with prosciutto, tomatoes, bocconcini. It was a paired nicely with the salad.

Do you have any gems that you would like to share or suggest that I try?

Friday, August 20, 2010

this film festival is not in cannes!

So much to do, so little time.

We welcome the Ottawa International Film Festival (OIFF)this weekend from August 20-22 2010!

They will be featuring music videos, Canadian, and International Films. Locations are primarily the Mayfair mobie theatre and local pubs.

You can check the OIFF website for all the detailed schedule.

I don't think I will have a chance to go this weekend, but if you do, please share your exeperience and feel free to send me your comments!

Ready, Set.... Action!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

b&b'ing in style

I'm not sure if you have ever B&B'ed, but if you want to start, I highly recommend doing it in style.

Merickville is about 45 minutes (South West) from Ottawa and is a great place to spend the weekend. It's a little kitchy, but fun. Lots of country antique shops, artisan glass blowing and jewellery, leather, fudge, homemade icecream... your typical Canadian tourisitic site.

The advantage of being in a place Merickville is taking the time to walk around, go site seeing, check out free historical sites and museums.

They have ruins too, which make for excellent picture taking.

Enough about Merickville, Here are some pictures of The Bed and Breakfast at 142 Rideau.

The service was amazing (Bob and Jon are such great people). They made you feel like you were visiting old family friends. The food was delicious and so fresh... fresh from the garden in fact! The beds were so comfortable and were even monogrammed!
The pool area and graden were spectacular! Every space was well decorated. I wish I took pictures inside the house... what a gorgeous home!

I guess if I had to give an honest review, I think the only downside to staying in the loft above the garage is that the bathroom is locate din house. But they provide you with cozy slippers and soft bathrobes, so need to worry!
I really hope you get a chance to go!

Monday, August 16, 2010

lazy rainy sunday brunch

So, what do you do on a lazy rainy Sunday morning? I used Urbanspoons in the morning to look for breakfast in Westboro.. this is what it recommended, The Wellington Diner. In the reviews it said to expect a long wait on the weekends, we were lucky to get a seat right away.

It was a great place. Great food, great service, great coffee, great location. It's nice being served by a younger yet professional crowd. Here are a few pictures. It looks like a red barn.

Lots of seating, upstairs and on the main floor. We were lucky to sit right at the front window of the restaurant. In Paris, you pay for that kind of real estate!
Below are some pictures of historical Ottawa milestones.

I love taking pictures of the menu! In fact, I didn't even have a chance to open the menu. We both ordered the breakfast special... see below!

All I can say was "wow!". Such an interesting combination, and so tasty. Towards the end the gorgonzola was all I tasted, I think there was a bit too much of it. It's hard to nail the Benedict's, but they sure hit the head!

The great part of being in Westboro was being able to take a little stroll after breakfast. I finally went in the consignment store HUSH. It's really pretty in there and they have some amazing finds.

Have you been to Westboro? How do you like Westboro? Do you think it's missing something?