Ottawa - George Monsour, owner of the restaurant Back Lane Café, is no stranger to the Ottawa's food scene. He is best known for owning the five Ritz restaurants in the 1990s. I had the chance to meet George in person. He is friendly and charismatic, he can easily initiate a conversation over a glass of wine. He was nice enough to give a tour of his kitchen and a foretaste of his latest breads.
The menu consists dominantly of European-inspired dishes, some that goes back to his Lebanese roots. It also serves pizzas that are cooked inside a wood-fired oven reaching temperatures up to 900F. The food is best described as simple and straightforward.
We started the meal with a warm creamy butternut squash soup. It is lightly drizzled with jalapeno oil and toasted pumpkin seeds for some crunch. Along with the soup, we had the side of crisp roasted cauliflower mixed with brussel sprouts, sweet apples, bacon, a mustard vinaigrette and creamy ricotta salata. Simply delicious!
As for the main, we opted for the beef kafta. It is made with a traditional Lebanese spice blend, onions and minced parsley. It's juicy and tender. It is accompanied with light and refreshing tabouleh, pickled radishes, curry cauliflower and a saffron lebnah. The kafta also comes with three light and crisp Lebanese flatbread.
Finally, we ended our meal with a crisp hollow coconut-lime pavlova. It comes with a passion fruit curd and freshly cut fruits - a refreshing tropical dessert to finish the meal.
The menu at Back Lane Café is what it needs to contribute to the Ottawa's food scene, simple and delicious food with great flavours.
|Beef Kafta with Saffron Lebnah, Tabouleh, Pickled Vegetables, and Flatbread|
|Butternut Squash Soup with Jalapeno Oil|
Roasted Cauliflower, Brussels Sprout Salad with Apple, Bacon and Mustard Vinaigrette
|Coconut-Lime Pavlova with Passion Fruit Curd & Fresh Berries|
1087 Wellington West