Thursday, August 9, 2012

Whalesbone Oyster Bar (Review)

Recently, Lola and I finally had the opportunity to go to Whalesbone Oyster Bar. We had been wanting to eat at this restaurant for quite awhile, as it is highly recommended in several food blogs and culinary publications. Unfortunately, we were disappointed with the high prices, limited seafood selection and mediocre food.

The atmosphere was cozy and welcoming, and the wait staff was friendly, however, the entrees fell short.

We started off the evening with a fabulous glass of Riesling and Chardonnay, which we paired with a succulent appetizer of Albacore tuna garnished with cucumber, sesame fraiche, king eringi chips, croutons and soy (for $17). The tuna (and generous helping of free bread) was probably the best part of the meal.

For our main course, we had the choice between lobster, steak and three different types of fish (mackerel, walleye and trout). We were let down by the limited seafood choices, but in the end, Lola went for the walleye, served with couscous, basil, cauliflower puree, arugula and citrus, while I chose the mackerel with prosciutto, spanish tortilla, red pepper, kale and tapenade. 

The presentation of the dishes was excellent, but the flavour was lacking. The walleye was probably the better of two fishes, as the mackerel was far too fishy and the side dishes did nothing to compliment the meat. For $28 and $30 a dish, we were expecting something much more flavorful and delicious, and were quite disappointed by the lack of mouth-watering appeal. 

Walleye ($30)
Mackerel ($28)
The dessert, on the other hand, was able to win back some of our favour. We shared the strawberry and basil creme panna cotta and maple ice cream sundae served with hazelnut crumble, whip cream, maple drizzle and almonds. The panna cotta was fresh and tasteful, while the sundae satisfied our ever-present sweet tooth.

Panna cotta
Maple ice cream sundae
Overall, the meal was average, and in our opinion, not worth the raving reviews. In the future, if we were ever to go back, we would simply order wine, appetizers and dessert!

Verdict: Overpriced, average entrees, limited selection

Cost: Entrees vary from $28 to $45

Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30am - 2pm, 5pm - 11pm; Sat-Sun: 5pm - 11pm

Whalesbone Oyster Bar, 430 Bank Street, Ottawa ON

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