Friday, 28 March 2014

Drop by « Backdrop »

Rachel reviews a new addition to the Ottawa food scene...

I must admit I have been a tad delinquant in my restaurant reviews… Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating!

But the hubbub this new Metcalfe and Gloucester restaurant, owned by the same people as Grounded (around the corner) is worth getting back to my duties. I have eaten at Backdrop twice now - once for lunch and once for dinner, and my impression was the same whether the sun or the moon was shining: this place is très cool.

The décor is hard to place. You feel kind of like you’re backstage in a theatre with rails, stairs and ladders everywhere you look. But there’s also this “mod” feel with high stools, steels countertops and the black wooden floor… The kitchen is visible from most points in the restaurant, which always instills in me a tad more confidence.

And all the staff are cool, too. Laid back, gentle and casual – you feel kind of in a neighbourhood pub à la Cheers.

Now that I’ve set the scene, let’s talk food. If you’re going for lunch, beware. Portions are very generous. A colleague and I decided to share the fish cakes, the jalapeno corn bread (yes, yes I said corn bread) and each get a soup. We had to roll each other down the steps back to work… The fish cakes would beat any fish and chips in a fin wrestle, and the corn bread was more like a corn loaf. But damn… delicious stuff.

The menu is very à propos in that they’ve adopted the whole “revolving door” concept. While there’s always an earth, air, water and fire selection, the dishes are always different. This is good for someone who likes variety, but bad for someone who has had their stew or their boar burger… you’ll want the same thing every time. They’re vegetarian friendly, and seem to be quite inventive: no boring pasta dish for you.

Rating: Worth walking to on your lunch hour


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