Thursday, 20 November 2008

A Memorable Lunch on Remembrance Day

I apologize to have neglected my food blog for a while, but unfortunately nothing new has occurred both in terms of cooking and in trying restaurants. Fortunately for my taste buds, I've been on a two-week vacation that will end soon. One benefit of being back with my parents is that I get to enjoy mom's cooking again, as well as home-cooked meals where it's not practical for me to have because I'm single and/or I'm now in a small city. Another benefit is that I get to have a stab at some finer dining establishments.

A friend of mine was nice enough to join me to go see the National Remembrance Day Ceremony at Ottawa's National War Memorial on November 11, and after that our stomachs were grumbling for food and we wanted to be in some warm place. With that we decided to go to Domus Café for lunch. I've previously been to Domus at least once for brunch with family a few years ago, and that was a nice experience. I was not disappointed by my revisit and was looking forward to my meal as I sipped on some cold apple cider and nibbled on freshly baked bread dipped in a mix of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

For starters I ordered the soup of the day, which was a mushroom purée. I was enticed by the sight of the soup and the enoki heads garnishing it when I was hit by the most pleasant aroma; the garnish was ringed with white truffle oil. The soup was smooth on the palate yet I could feel itty-bitty pieces of mushrooms dancing on my tongue. Considering I'm a hobbit when it comes to mushrooms, it's no surprise that I quickly fell in love with this soup.

For my main course, I ordered the smoked whitefish. The sour cream (of course, with chives) naturally went well with the potato rosti, but it also surprisingly complemented the whitefish quite well. I was surprised by the presence of raw beets in the accompanying salad; until then I've only had cooked or pickled beets. Though it paired well with the shredded carrots, I must say I'd prefer cooked beets as the raw version doesn't seem to taste as sweet, not to mention that raw beets have a rougher texture. The pearl onion chutney was a pleasant surprise to the taste buds, its sourness sharper than the sour cream, but the sweetness of the onions balanced out that sourness.

Domus proudly uses as much local ingredients as possible to produce a refined version of Canadian cuisine. It also changes its menu every season to take advantage of the various ingredients and to have the flavours match the local climate. I was thankful that I could stop by this place for a meal on my vacation in Ottawa, and I hope the next time I return to this place it will remain just as good.

Oh yeah, and if you or whoever you dine with there like to live in your kitchens at home, Domus also has a kitchenware store next door with the same name. My friend was able to buy a few things there while we waited for our table, which comes to one last thing about this place; reservations are highly recommended as it's a small restaurant.

Name: Domus Café
Address: 87 Murray St., Ottawa, ON
Cuisine: Canadian Regional
Price Range: Lunch $25-$40; Dinner $50-$75
Accessible: Yes

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