My last day staying in town… so I’m out early and doing site visits.
Jadeland for dim sum first – char sui bau, har gow and spring rolls. The spring rolls were egg roll size and stuffed with cabbage and approx. 2 tiny cubes of pork each. Much like… well… egg rolls. The dimsum were good, about what I’ve come to expect for Ottawa. But they had the great pink tea I like so much and have never figured out what it is. So I ate my dim sum and drank almost 2 entire pots of tea.
Then off to site visit all the Chinatown spots. The most interesting of all was Caribbean Flavours where the menu will be changing, but the chef told me he’d make me whatever I wanted. We had a quick chat about food, and since the drippiness of the day cause me to walk in with gucky boots, cleanliness. When I apologized for dragging in much he told me it was no big deal since “in this business you always have to be keeping things clean,” and then I was off.
Hang a left on Preston and hit little Italy.
Before I get a block down Preston the snow starts falling in big slow spirals. It is falling in big clumps that look and feel more like styrofoam than snow. I check out Nicastro’s. This one has no seat but still has the $3 sandwiches…
then, in the midst of all this styrofoam snow – I find the find of all finds.
Ducking into the nearest café for something warm to avoid the dense snow I walk into Pasticceria Gelateria Italiana. And boy am I happy I did. On opening the doors I am confronted with a large display of pastries, and other tasty treats. Lunch specials are still gently flavouring the air with scents of tomato and cheese. The entire left side and back wall is display cases filled with pastries, truffles, a small selection of pastas and pizzas, gelatos, and specialty coffee making equipment. The room itself is divided by a wall into 2 spaces, both setup with nice café tables & chairs. The space on the far right seems to be the “bar” area… but may simply be a hold over from the old smoking days. Since it’s just before Easter every flat surface is filled with beautiful chocolate fishes wrapped in fancy ribbon & cellophane. They are truly beautiful in dark chocolate and milk chocolate stretching their tails and looking like ornate oriental pond fishies.
Why get an Easter bunny, when you can get an Easter Fishie?
The walls are covered with framed articles about the chef de patisserie, his awards, accolades and achievements. Including being a 2 time award winning Food Olympian, and invited to cook for the James Beard foundation in NYC.
I settled in to wait out the snow with a wonderful Caffé Con Lecce and a chocolate cream horn. They have great lunch and breakfast specials.
After I finished my leisurely caffée, I wandered back out into the snowy day to walk the short way to Dow’s Lake and jumped on a bus. Warmed on the inside, I was damp and cold on the outside. Bus up Bronson to Somerset, where I grabbed the bus back to Bank street with a charming young woman who was telling me about her boyfriend’s fear of gay cat cooties… Seriously, he won’t pet her cat ’cause he thinks he’ll catch gayness. What a whacko! It made me laugh and laugh and laugh.
Home to work… Then met a couple of my writers, PO, Rockr and AT at the Lieutenant’s Pump for a pint or two and a discussion of Ottawa celebs.
We had an It’s A Small World Event – Rockr & AT went to Carlton’s journalism school together… and didn’t know they were both working with me…
Picked up a quick dinner of Chicken Shawarma from Shawarma King on Elgin on my way home. And crashed.