16 August 2018 Posted By : Administrator

Ottawa’s Prohibition Public House Provides a Fabulous Dining Experience

Sharing experiences – that’s what this restaurant is about. It’s subtle, but becomes more pronounced as you walk in, have a seat and start taking in your surroundings. Every detail begs for dialogue.  You’ll find yourself asking your partner in crime: “Is that fan an airplane propeller?” “Have you seen the lighting upstairs?” or “Are those lights hand made?”

Nobody just sits down and remains quiet at this restaurant.

They ask questions, look around and comment on their environment. That was the whole idea behind creating a new and different restaurant with an old concept – human interaction. In an age where cell phones are seen at dinner tables more than conversation is, the owners attempted to reverse that reality by making people look up and talk to each other.

Even the menu suggests this by having more sharing options than mains. The first foods the curious consumers see are the charcuterie options. The meats and cheeses aren’t common, with names like Pecorino, Madawaska or Speck, so asking each other - or the server - what they suggest as pairing options becomes the natural source from which discussion begins to flow.

Once ordered, all is served on a piece of wood fashioned by a local carpenter, accompaniedby multiple mustards, chutneys and pickled vegetables, each made under the attentive eye of Red Seal Chef Jason Nordsletten.  These platters are available in multiple sizes, for two, four or a party of people and rival those of any other restaurant in the six-one-three. You’ll never get the same presentation twice because new pickled vegetables are added weekly depending on season and availability.

The other sharing options are equally popular, from the poutine tacos to the duck con-fit flatbread or calamari; each portioned and served in an original way that encourages a shared experience.

The mains each have a unique twist, from the zucchini noodles that come with a choice of cream sauce, or vegan-friendly lightly spiced oil. The steak is partnered with twice-baked potato spring rolls, which incorporate everything one would normally receive on a baked potato, but in a large spring roll. Even the burger has a twist; instead of a normal beef patty, it’s made from a mixture of wild boar and venison raised on local farms. In fact, the majority of the food is farm-to-table, and it’s the actual farmers that drop off their seasonal vegetables or meats to the restaurant. Trillium Farms, Mariposa Farms and Juniper Farms are three of the providers that are often seen dropping off goods to supply restaurant.

This relationship between the farmers and ChefNordsletten is what enables him to create such unique dishes and focus on the most delicious flavours available at that time of year. This is most evident on the desert menu for it changes as fruits ripen to perfection. Last week’s cheesecake was blueberry, but strawberries are in full flavour now, so this week is “strawberries and cream”, and next week’s will be determined by the same parameter. This approach is also used for the crème brulée and other savoury options that come and go with the seasons.

The cocktail list seeks inspiration from a different time – the prohibition. Mixologist Jamie McConnell, who created a tasteful mix of old-meets-new, concocted the list. Modern drinks like the ‘Speakeasy’ made with gin, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, ginger beer, lime, mint and cucumber, are available, but there are also the stalwart staples, like the J. Edgar Hoover (Old Fashioned) and the Jake Walk (Gin Basil Smash) to keep with the 1920’s theme.They are each balanced to add a refreshing element to the daily grind as you kick your feet up to relax after a hard day’s work.

When sitting and enjoying the meal with wine, cocktails, or beers from local breweries, one additional thing becomes obvious: no expense was spared when creating the seating in this casual setting. Most of the interior seats are covered in a thick, brown and textured distressed leather which, when coupled with the hanging Edison bulbs and slowly rotating fans, add a prohibition era charm to the rooms. It is elegant, yet masculine, comfortable and inviting.

Prohibition was a time when Canadians had to embrace a new reality and hide their propensity to enjoy casual banter with a few cocktails in a public forum; Prohibition Public House was born of those same Canadian beliefs – a place of comfort to enjoy food, drinks and the company of friends.

For reservations please visit www.prohibitionhouse.com or follow them on their journey @prohibitionhouse on Instagram and Facebook.

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