Monday, October 04, 2010

murray street- an o-town gem

When Murray Street opened a few years ago (I actually can't remember when it was), we visited within the first month of it being open and I loved it. For some reason or another, however, I never made it back. Jordan went back for brunch at one point, but regardless of how much I thought about it (and recommended to others), I somehow didn't make it back before we moved away.
We were back in Ottawa this weekend and decided to have a nice dinner out, so Murray Street seemed like the perfect choice. So around 5, we called to make a reservation and a little while later we headed on over. Unfortunately, when we got there, they couldn't find our reservation. It was pretty weird, but there were two spots at the bar (and we've had some pretty great meals sitting at bars before) so it wasn't a big deal for us. They were very apologetic and none of us could really figure out what happened...then at some point we figured out that the guy on the phone thought we were making a reservation for Tuesday- and repeated it, but we didn't really hear him. So it was probably mostly our fault for the mix up. Again- we had fantastic service and felt bad that they were apologizing for something that felt like it was probably our fault.

We decided to go "all out" and started with some appetizers- the bartender recommended the wings (confit and fried Mariposa duck wings, esppresso glaze, sour cream) and I saw the fresh tomatoes sitting out on the bar and had to try the tomato salad. The wings were delicious- the espresso glaze was fantastic and the meat was perfectly tender. The tomato salad was everything I wanted it to be- sweet, sour, just enough basil, and even Jordan liked the goat cheese (pretty much a first).

For our main courses, we both thought the pork special (mustard encrusted pork loin, maple baked beans, braised cabbage with double smoked bacon) and the beef (red wine braised, grass-fed Ontario short rib, hand cut sour cream spaetzle, le coprin mushrooms) looked really good, so we ordered both and decided to share them. I started with the pork and then finished with the beef. Even though the beef was fantastic and both the mushrooms and kale were perfection, the pork dish was my favourite. I generally don't love baked beans, but the beans were to die for- add the smokiness of the bacon, the crunch of the cabbage and the slight acid in the mustard (plus perfectly tender pork) into the mix and that dish was almost worthy of a Seinfeld risotto moment- I was definitely satisfied.  Jordan's favourite was the beef- he loved the "beefy" taste of it and thought that when you got all of the elements into one fork-ful, it was a perfect bite. The desserts sounded fantastic, but we didn't quite leave room.
We left with our bellies full and with smiles on our faces. It was a fantastic meal. Now we just have to figure out when to go back to Ottawa and round up 6-8 others so that we can give the roasted pig head a try...


Devo said...

We love Murray Street. I know I'm in for the pig head.

Lulu said...

It's now on my "to-eat" list

k said...

Murray Street is on Murray St. and that stretch of the street has some definite "to-eat"s