When 3 friends of mine happened to inform me they were going to be visiting me it called for a celebration. As such we decided to visit the superstar Chef Marc Lepine’s Atelier, which has earned Gold at the Canadian Culinary Championship, Gold for the Gold Plates Award, and is regarded as one of the top restaurants in Canada.
A Review Of Atelier in Ottawa
The award-winning Atelier, located at 540 Rochester St. is unpretentious in it’s exterior to the extent that the simple building the restaurant is located in offers no clear sign with its name.
At Atelier Lepine offers molecular gastronomy that is offered in a 12-course menu that frequently changes. In addition to the meal, you can also get a wine pairing to go along with the meal. I went for the half pairing, which meant I had 9 wine samples (the half pairing offers smaller samples than the full pairing) to go along with the 12 courses in the meal.
Reservations in the tiny 22 seat restaurant are notoriously difficult to get, so it is important to make reservations way in advance and to allow around 4 hours for your meal, which will cost $112 a person for the 12 courses.
On my visit, we started with siracha bread, followed by venison tartar, a celeriac and hock soup, sturgeon merguez and kimchi, crispy zucchini, mini ice cream sandwiches, a tomato dish, a langoustine dish, duck served in a terrarium, sesame boar, veal loin, an editable balloon, quince and persimmon dessert and finally a chocolate and matcha cake dessert.
Every dish was beautifully plated, but it was the playfulness of some the dishes such as the editable balloon that left me speechless with the genius concept that had me debating my previous notions of what food looks like.
4 hours after dining, enjoying amazing customer service, outstanding glasses of wine, and innovative flavor combinations all of us were so delighted with the entire experience. I’d gladly return to this restaurant in a heartbeat as the cozy environment and spectacular food, and I highly recommend that if you are visiting Ottawa you take the time to visit Atelier.
Next on my list is to try Ottawa’s soon to be new hotspot restaurant Thru also from Chef Marc Lepine which is set to hopefully open this year on the top floor of Atelier which will be a 6 seat restaurant with a more modern interior.