Sometimes I’m a lucky, lucky girl. As fall out from blogging for The Canadian Celebrity Chef Event in January and getting to meet some real talent in the Ottawa food scene some foodie friends and I were invited to Empire Grill to try out some of the amazing food from Chef Robin Bowen. I’m so sorry… you must be quite jealous right now. Did I mention he was cooking off menu? And that it was one of the best meals of my life? No? Well… I will.

Price – Empire Grill is one of the fancier restaurants in Ottawa and the price reflects that. They are also serving up some of the best cuts of quality ingredients. Expect to pay anywhere from $9-$18 for a starter and from $20 (for pasta) – $40 (steak) for entrees, with side dishes ranging from $6 – $14.

Ambiance – This is a classy place – dress nice. The elegant dining room sets the scene for an upscale evening. The best part is the space. Empire Grill is quite large and there is plenty of room  between tables. You never feel crowded, yet they are able to accommodate larger groups as long as you give enough notice. Even though the feeling is elegant, there is no pretension. Yes it is about amazing food in a classy setting – but you still feel comfortable.

Menu Options – It is a large menu with a little something for everyone. Veal, Lamb, Pasta, Seafood and the finest Certified Angus Beef available. In steaks alone they have 10 different cuts with 21 side dishes including Black and White Truffle Mac and Cheese and Braised Heirloom Carrots with Organic Honey and Dill. Lucky for me, the night I was at Empire Grill my meal wasn’t up to me – I was in the capable hands of Chef Bowen. Good thing too – it easily would have taken me over an hour to decide on my meal.

Food – This was by far one of the best meals I’ve ever had. I don’t want to get too into the exact food we had because it isn’t available on the normal menu, but let me say that if everything on the menu is even a quarter of as good as what we had – you and your mouth are in for the ride of a lifetime. The steak was so tender I could have cut it with a butter knife. As a testament to how exquisite the food is – I was dining with a table of three other food loving ladies who also love to talk. As soon as we dug into the first bite of each course, you could have heard a pin drop at our table. Except for the moans and sighs of satisfaction, no one said a word until every last bite was finished. And then, the first thing we said was how amazing what we just ate was.

Overall – A beautiful restaurant with phenomenal food and very talented Chef. I’ll be back soon to buy him a Crown Jack. 5 out of 5 stars.

A special thanks to Claire from FoodiePrints for the photos!

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