What do you want to discover in Ottawa?

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?

Friday, August 13, 2010

An excuse to break plates and say OPA!

No plans this weekend?

Why not try The OTTAWA GREEK FEST! It's on from August 12-22.

I have gone this year, but I have gone in the past. I must say it's nothing compared to the Danforth Toronto Greek Fest, but it's still something fun to do. I am sure the Greek community is much smaller in Ottawa than in Toronto.

One thing I looooove about this event is... THE FOOD TENT!! obviously! (if you can find a seat!!)

I love the spanakopita, the meat, the baklava and most of all those juicy honey balls!!

The entertainment is really wild too!
Have fun this weekend.
I probably may nt have a chance to go, but do tell me all about it!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

mmm... Indian mush!

Tonight I had some "Indian food in a diaper" as me and my sister like to call it. (Reference from movie Anchor Man).

The one thing I like about Indian food is how cozy it can be. There are all sorts of great combinations of "mush" (as me and my sister like to call it) to try.

It's a great way to have loads of vegetables, but I am not sure how "low fat" the dishes are with all that butter and coconutty goodness!

There is a new place on Bank street that recently opened Namaste, and I wanted to check it out.

We had a great time with the girls, laughing our heads off in this intimate, yet tacky place. We got great service and stuffed our faces! And the entire bill was $67 for 4 people. What a great deal!

Here are some pictures of what we ordered. I can't remember the names, I should have written them down.

Today was definitely a sharing day! We ordered a bunch of dishes and had a bit of everything. That's really the best way to try all the "mushes".

We were brought some of these lentil chips, they were very light, tasty and crispy.
The waiter also brought us complementary appetizers, "they are basically veggie burgers" one of the gals said at our table. Some kind of curry fried onion cabbage ball! There was a nice sweet sauce that came with it too.
We ordered rice, NAN bread (mmmm so fresh), curried vegetables, eggplant, butter chicken, and a spicy shrimp dish.

To finish our meal, we were served a lovely cup of fresh fruits in a bowl.. complementary!

I have to say, it's really nice going somewhere and being given free stuff. It just makes your experience that much more enjoyable. I wonder if this was his strategy... am I that obvious when taking pictures?

I should mention that you have to be in great company when you are blogging about your meal in a restaurant... not everyone will wait for you to take a picture before you dig in!

No one is going to want to eat out with me anymore, if I keep this up.

"Wait- don't touch it, let me take a picture... for my blog!"- Me

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Urban Outfittawa

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... I am proud to announce that Ottawa will be getting it's very own URBAN OUTFITTERS!
Let me tell you... it's about time!

Not only did they get here before H&M, but they are starting a new revolution, risking everything they have. They are the pioneers of RIDEAU STREET!!!
How daring of them. They will start the clean up of the much anticipated shopping strip which Ottawa is in dire need of.
I can't wait to see when H&M and maybe Forever 21 follow. I just can't wait to be able to buy something nice without traveling to Toronto, Montreal or NYC!

Here are some pics that I got of the store being built. Looks like they are hiring too :)
I just can't wait for the housewares stuff... maybe they will open an Anthropologie too, Urban's chique big sister??....
Let's not get ahead of ourselves :S

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sushi isn't just raw fish

Last weekend, we went for SUSHI for my sisters birthday! I heart SUSHI. It's so fresh, so light and soooo delicious!
Anyway, the restaurant is called Genji. It's located downtown, just off of Elgin Street.

Our experience.... was okay. The food was good and fresh. I thought it was quite pricy for what you got though. What also made are experience a bit skewed was that we waited almost 2 hours for our food. I don't know if this is normal, so I wouldn't completely base it on my comments. I don't think the waitress realized that we had been waiting for so long. We were a table of 6, and the resto was quite busy.

I just kept myself busy with my camera! Here is the picture of their menu, which was very pretti.

So, we started with a complementary appetizer, cucumber marinated in fish sauce and hoisin.
Finally, the sushi came! My usual favorite the dragon roll.
Next up, the platter that my husband and I shared... I know, we eat allot. There is some unagi (mmm...eel) rolls, dynamite roll, salmon sashimi, some mango tango thing (not that great)...
And of course, my routine Green Tea Ice cream! This was delicious! Best part of the dinner ;P

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

kitchen stores oh my!

If you are at all like me, you LOVE spending your time and money in kitchen stores! Browsing the latest and gratest gadget that only has one single use. Or the other gadget that slices, dices, minces and makes your bed... ALL IN ONE!
Whatever it is, I want it!

I want the expensive knives that cut your nails... everytime! I want that lemon zester I will never use, because I hate lemon zest! I want that cupcake tower incase I throw a fancy tea party and need to display cute cupcakes. I also want that decorative Kitchenaid Stand Mixer that deoesn't fit on my counter.

What if I told you that Bank street had loads of kitchen stores just for you and I!
I will start from the very south end of Bank street (almost at Riverside and Bank) until the Glebe and some in the market too!
  1. C.A. Paradis- Old Ottawa South
  2. Grace in the Kitchen- Old Ottawa South
  3. Glebe Emporium- Glebe
  4. J.D. Adams Kitchen and Home Accessories- Glebe
  5. Domus- Market
  6. Ma Cuisine- Market
  7. ZONE- Market

If I missed any, please help me complete my list!

Where do you go to buy your fancy kitchen stuff?