Supply And Demand
1335 Wellington St. W., 613-680-2949, supplyanddemandfoods.ca
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday 5 to 9:30 p.m., closed Monday
Prices: Small plates from $14 to $19; mains from $26 to $36
Access: One step to entrance, washrooms in basement
The apparent pleasure of being a restaurant critic is sizing up all the brand new eateries on the town, relentlessly and ravenously, like a shark that perpetually must swim. The much less apparent corollary is that I can’t return as usually as I wish to these locations that actually received me over.
That realization was one issue that prompted me to return final month to Supply and Demand, the place I had not eaten since February 2013, a couple of month after it opened.
I used to be not the one visitor who was shortly captivated with that Wellington Street West restaurant, which is owned by its chef Steve Wall and his spouse Jennifer. Supply and Demand ranked fourth on the enRoute journal 2013 checklist of finest new Canadian eating places.
Six or so years later, I believed it was time to see if Supply and Demand nonetheless sizzled as an exemplary neighbourhood restaurant. Plus, my curiosity coincided with the latest return to Ottawa of a Global Affairs Canada buddy of mine who, previous to her posting overseas, declared that Supply and Demand was her favorite restaurant on the town.
And so we went, with our wives, on a Sunday evening when oysters and glowing wine had been discounted and the place crammed up shortly. Long story brief: Supply and Demand served us a splendid meal.
Wall, who’s in his mid-30s and distinguished himself at Whalesbone Oyster House, Town and Luxe Bistro earlier than opening Supply and Demand, continues to supply a concise menu of a number of raw-bar gadgets, some veg-forward starters, some pastas and just a few mains. Ingredients are native and sustainable, and the menu adjustments usually, says the restaurant’s web site.
That stated, some gadgets at Supply and Demand have been constants since 2013.
The Walls nonetheless ship complimentary Parker House rolls, crisp shelled however gentle, to every desk, with some form of irresistibly savoury butter.
Thick slabs of evenly truffled and lemoned uncooked albacore tuna ($19), garnished with puffed wild rice younger cilantro, had been as pleasant as they’d been six years in the past. Clearly this dish is a timeless crowd-pleaser and a raw-bar merchandise by which others in Ottawa might be measured, even when time has seen its value rise by $5.
Another Steve Wall signature dish from again within the day, a young kale salad with perky caper French dressing, bacon and a cloud of finely grated manchego cheese ($14), was additionally stuffed with flavour and texture and finely calibrated.
We additionally tried the menu’s two different small plates, which took humble elements and cooked them with savvy and panache that made our eyes widen.
Chargrilled broccoli ($14) teemed with roasted goodness and was made much more savoury with cashew cheese, crushed sesame and soffritto. Just as spectacular had been heirloom tomatoes ($14) mixed with crushed cucumbers, bread crumbs, basil seeds and a vibrant whipped feta dressing.
During a follow-up go to, I had the one small plate at Supply and Demand that didn’t wow me — the extra mildly flavoured panelle ($14), a deluxe model of Sicilian chickpea fritters. They had been heat, finely textured and fairly, topped with burrata, marinated peppers, white anchovy and rings of candy Castelvetrano olives. I simply assume the satisfactions had been deeper with different small plates.
At my first go to, we tried half-portions of all three of the evening’s contemporary pastas and had been hard-pressed to pick out a winner amongst them.
Packing a advantageous tacky punch had been the agnolotti ($14) filled with molten whipped ricotta and parmigiano, garnished with peas and lobster mushrooms. Squid ink rigatoni ($13) had been an ideal al dente and undoubtedly squid-y, in distinction with their toothsome tuna and prosciutto meatballs, whereas chillies and breadcrumbs respectively imparted kick and crunch to the dish.
Braised beef was tucked inside twisty caramelle ($14) that shared a bowl with a skinny crimson wine sauce, dollops of blue cheese and entire gooseberries. Once extra, the kitchen confirmed off its knack for getting each ingredient in a dish to not solely sing but in addition play properly with one another.
Given how glowing Supply and Demand’s small plates and pastas might be, I wouldn’t be shocked if regulars ate them completely as an alternative of choosing essential programs. I’d be tempted to eat that manner myself, for selection’s sake.
That stated, a essential that featured a superior fillet of Atlantic cod ($31), impeccably cooked and served with olive oil-poached fingerling potatoes, broad beans, horseradish and Hollandaise sauce, was an indulgent deal with.
On my second go to, morsels of marinated and grilled lamb leg ($36) with summer season squash, chickpeas, watercress and cherries happy us greater than something that evening, with the candy pop of the fruit including particular liveliness.
Among three desserts, the standout was the Eton mess, a basic concoction that had us swooning with its peak, creaminess, meringue, contemporary berries and rhubarb.
Food apart, the expertise at Supply and Demand remains a draw. While it could actually get slightly loud and boomy as extra prospects arrive, the enticing eatery nails its informal and convivial vibe. We’ve loved sitting on a comfortable banquette alongside one wall, close to the kitchen’s pass-through, and by the window overlooking the road. We would most likely get pleasure from sitting at Supply and Demand’s lengthy bar too, particularly if service there was as pleasant and on-point as we’ve loved at its tables.
I’ve seen just a few different Ottawa eating places, together with some fairly well-regarded ones, tinker with their idea, swapping tasting menus for a concentrate on small plates or making related important changes. I’ve additionally seen at the least one in every of them founder.
Supply and Demand, however, appears to have minted its success early and caught with what’s labored. Its menu could ship extra evenly tweaked biggest hits than earth-shattering surprises, however on the finish of the enterprise day, given the constant, high-level execution right here, which means above all that this restaurant is eminently dependable.