Wednesday, January 11, 2006

After "Clair de Lune" it is now the turn of "Cafe Henry Burger" to shuts its doors

I just read this article about to closure of one of the best restaurant in Ottawa. This happens just weeks after another famed local restaurant, Clair de Lune, was also shut down after many years in the business. Both restaurants attracted the rich, famous and powerful as well as young lovers on first dates or local foodies in search of culinary excitements. In both cases, business was not what it used to be and the owner of Cafe Henry Burger even blames the recent "greater scrutiny of public servants' expense accounts". The food of these two restaurants was excellent but for what I have seen it was also a little bit on the traditional side; lets say that they were more into the French Laundry's classicality then El Bulli's experimentations.

But lets be frank here, Ottawa is not and I don't even believe that it once was a great city to dine out. When we move here from Toronto, one of the first things Fufu realized was that there were almost more outdoor sports shops then restaurants in the city. Well it is not totally true but the amounts of outdoor sports shops here is quite spectacular when compared with that of restaurants. Ottawa seem to be a place to play outside but not a place to socialize and eat. We are still slowly discovering the city but so far our list of interesting places (budget-wise or gastronomically-wise) is quite short. It seems there is neither offer nor demand for cheap AND good restaurants in the area... and now we just lost two of the good restaurants in this city.