Monday, May 18, 2015

Creme Brulee with Caramelized Banana - Bistro Ottawa

Tucked inside the Nordstrom Rideau Centre found Bazille, a restaurant in which the menu is centered around bistro food. I had lunch with V&W, a couple who is a fan of my blog. I never expect in ages to find fans in Ottawa. I met this lovely couple when Alton Brown made a quick appearence at the National Arts Centre for a flash signing. It was the day before his live show, the day he is supposed to give his show in Montreal that happened to be canceled for some mysterious reasons. 

As I rushed to meet Alton Brown that day, I haven't had breakfast so I decided to have lunch with my fans just to know them a bit more. They brought me to the second floor of the new high-fashion store Nordstrom to dine at Bazille. When we arrive, the Maitre D' asked us if we wanted a private table in which we had to wait for 5-10 minutes or sit at one of their communal tables in which we will be seated immediately. We chose to eat at the communal table.

The two-page menu offers a wide range of food options suitable for all diners - soups, salads, thin crust pizzas, sandwiches, sides and house specialties. Bazille specialties include risotto, steak frites, crab mac & cheese, roasted chicken, etc... Each item has an indicated calorie count. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. There is even a separate menu dedicated for kids. 

This restaurant is licensed to serve alcoholic drinks. Non-alcoholic drinks are also offered such as house made lemonade perfect for the summer or after a long day of shopping.

Raspberry Lemonade - Nordstrom Ottawa
Raspberry Lemonade
Who would expect delicious food in a restaurant located inside a clothing store? I can tell you the food is simply amazing and the execution is flawless. I had the crab bisque which is basically a seafood stock made out of shellfish. It was rich and delicious with bountiful of crab flavours and a garlicky toasted baguette that contrasts well with the bisque. The caesar salad has a nice balance of dressing to romaine lettuce. It comes with a large crisp parmesan cracker and a lemon wedge.

Crab Bisque and Caesar Salad - Bazille menu
Small Crab Bisque Bowl and Caesar Salad
The Bistro Club is composed of tender slices of chicken breast, garlic aioli, avocado and perfectly toasted rustic bread. It comes with a side of rosemary-scented fries and kalamata olive mayonnaise.

Bistro Chicken Club Sandwich - Bistro menu
Bistro Club - Sliced Chicken Breast, Crisp Bacon, Roma Tomato, Avocado, Garlic Aioli on Toasted Rustic Bread
The Croque Madame is a version of the Croque-Monsieur topped with a gooey over-easy egg. It's simply bread and ham with a béchamel sauce on top.

Croque-Madame - French food Ottawa
Croque Madame - Black Forest Ham, Dijon Mustard, Mornay Sauce, Gruyère Cheese on Sourdough Bread with Over Easy Egg
A succulent treat is the prime rib French dip - Juicy, meaty slices of prime ribs with slices of sharp cheddar sandwiched between two slices of baguette. It is eaten while dipping into a rich beefy jus. Simply delicious!

Prime Rib French Dip Sandwich - Bistro food
Prime Rib French Dip - Sharp White Cheddar, Parmesan Toasted Baguette, Beef Jus
Their desserts are also tempting to order. The crème brûlée is served with bananas that have been sprinkled with sugar and torched to give the caramelization. It comes with a warm chocolate sauce that is poured all over the crème brûlée. The sugar crust of the crème brûlée has the right amount of thickness to hear the lovely sound when tapping with a spoon, and breaking into the voluptuous vanilla custard.

Creme Brulee - Dessert Downtown Ottawa
Vanilla Crème Brûlée, Brûléed Banana and Warm Chocolate Sauce
The White Chocolate Bread Pudding is made of a brioche bread, perfect of bread pudding because of its eggy nature. It comes with white chocolate, crème anglaise and a berry coulis. I found this dessert overly sweet. I think it needed more tartness or other components to balance the sweetness of bread pudding.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding - Bazille dessert menu
White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Berry Coulis and Crème Anglaise
Overall, I'm surprised how delicious the food is at Bazille. We rarely associate delicious food with restaurants tucked inside a clothing store. When we left, there was a large queue waiting impatiently to get a seat inside the restaurant. I would not be surprised that having lunch or dinner inside Nordstrom will be a hot spot to dine in downtown Ottawa.

Bazille-Nordstrom Rideau Centre
50 Rideau St. 
Ottawa, ON
K1N 9J7
Bazille on Urbanspoon


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