Monday, June 1, 2009

Restaurant Notes—Play Food & Wine in Ottawa

PlayThis weekend, we went appetizer hopping in the Byward Market in the heart of Ottawa. The market is filled with restaurant gems, where the latest and most buzz-worthy is Play. Owned by the same restaurant savant as Beckta, Stephen Beckta has paired his love of wine with his love of food to come up with a unique dining experience.

At Play, a riff on Thomas Keller's small plates at The French Laundry and Spanish tapas, you order small portions from a charcuterie, savoury, cheese or sweet part of the menu. Along with each item is a recommended wine pairing. Each dish is delicately and expertly prepared by a staff of chefs in an open kitchen.

PlayI ordered the trout / cornbread / cashew / green pea with Tocai Fruilano Terzetto, which was delicious with the toasted nuts and browned butter. But the star of the table was the potato leek soup / chervil / truffle oil with Vouvray Domaine Aubuisières, which the waiter said would be a great sipping wine on a weekend afternoon (and I agree!).

Last year I made a leek and potato soup that was tasty, but this version at Play was better. It had a delicate garlic flavor and was extremely smooth. I am tempted to re-make my soup this week if only to achieve the velvety texture they did at Play.

Julienne Darblay (Creamed Leek and Potato Soup with Julienned Vegetables)For my leek and potato soup recipe, click here. For a fun dining experience, go out and Play.

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    Manggy said...

    I'll remember this if ever I'm in the area! I thought the picture was the restaurant's, and I found it amazing they served their soup on a leek, ha ha :)

    natalia said...

    Ciao ! i've never been to Canada It must be so beautiful and interesting ! On our cooking program on the satellite I saw some shows about canadian restaurants !

    katie said...


    So does thomas keller have involvement in 'Play'?

    Anonymous said...

    Sounds like a great restaurant. Nice pictures!

    EB of SpiceDish said...

    what an amazing pic of the soup!!!

    lis said...

    we've been thinking about trying play, so glad to hear the review.

    PheMom said...

    That sounds like the absolutely perfect foodie hangout! How fun!

    Jackie said...

    I love the composition of the photo for the soup. Very nice!

    NKP said...

    What a beautiful photo!
    I would like to get back to Ottawa some day, a great city.

    Anonymous said...

    This must be a good experience for you... with the Restaurants..
    The blog is really so interesting....
    I too have a experience with a restaurant which I searched from the

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