Taylor’s Genuine Food and Wine Bar opened Thursday, June 17 to much fan fare. It has taken me two months to finally get there to give it a try. The opportunity presented itself when 2 gal pals wanted a lunch out and left me to make the choice. I gladly bore the responsibility of trying to pick well.
As we darted out at the end of lunch to our long overdue parked cars, our parting comments on the experience were loaded with F-bombs. Actually repetitive F-bombs. You know the kind that foodie types like to lace through their vocabulary. Fresh! Flavourful! Fantastic! Fine! Filling! I really regret that it took me so long to make it to Old Ottawa South to see what owners, John and Sylvia Taylor were up to with their second restaurant. The same ‘F-bombs’ are probably similar ‘expletives’ that are coming from the patrons at their flagship restaurant, Domus Café, found in the Byward Market.
John Taylor is known for his passion for fresh, seasonal, local produce. And that passion came through loud and clear at Taylor’s Genuine Food and Wine Bar today. It appears he has also made a great choice in having John Svasz on board in the kitchen. It is always a bit of a coup when ever single dish brought to a dining table is a stand out.
I decided to go for the soup of the day ($7) which was a chilled yellow bean with CPCO (cold press canola oil), basil oil and cider reduction.
I then followed with the Genuine Tomato Salad ($12). Blue cheese, lardon, buttermilk dressing and Crazy Dave’s Greens.
Gal pal #1 went for the small, 4-item ($20) charcuterie & cheese board. She picked:
- Duck and Foie Gras Rillettes
- Elk Ranch Salami
- Counting Sheep, sheep’s milk cheese, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, Prince Edward County, Ontario
- Wild BC House-Smoked Albacore tuna
It was accompanied by chutney’s and rings of fresh zucchini.
Gal pal #2 had the Risotto ($18). Chanterelles, house-smoked bacon, peaches and cream corn, and parmesan. I tasted her risotto and it was eye-ball rolling. Just the right doneness and the flavours were deep. The richness of the broth came through. The texture was more moist than creamy. I really liked that about this dish preparation.
We started our meal with a plentiful bowl of fresh bread. Our drinks were white wine spritzers ($8).
The lunch portions were ample and no one had room for dessert. But one could figure that they wouldn’t disappoint.
The location of this new restaurant is in the old Second Cup at Sunnyside and Bank. So the footprint is small. Barely room to swing a cat. (I often wondered where that saying came from because as a cat lover, it does seem mean.) But it is the perfect size to create the intimacy you would expect of a wine bar serving food. I liked the bar stools! The same as the ones we have at home. The colours are soothing. The setting is less dressy than Domus Café. No linen table cloth. Just the solid wood table top. No linen napkins. But a classy imitation paper version. I am not sure about the antlers though. Kitschy Canadiana? Something the Taylors can pull off I suppose.
The service was pleasant, prompt, informative and attentive.
Lucky for Old Ottawa South to have such a high calibre restaurant in their midst. I am sure their appreciation for this jewel means that the Taylors will be treated well.
Taylor’s Genuine Food and Wine Bar
1091 Bank Street at Sunnyside in Old Ottawa South
Mon to Sat: 11:30 am – 2 pm; 5:30 to 10 pm
Sun: 5:30 to 10 pm