Fauna, Ottawa.

October 2015

This noisy suburban bistro is definitely an up-and-comer in the Canadian capital. The food is original and tasty and there is a cleverly-chosen if somewhat-off-centre wine list. We visited with friends who know some of the staff.

It’s an attractively modern high-ceilinged room with a cloud of lighting fixtures over the bar. The very friendly server girl is more than knowledgeable and chats about her favourites both for wine and food. It’s interesting that the usual sommelier here has scored a stage at Noma in Copenhagen, one of the world’s top few eateries. Will he return?

Chosen starters were a deep-fried skewer of shellfish and bacon, and a tuna tartare. The skewer was absolutely delicious, filled with rich flavour and a late-developing heat. I tried to duplicate it the next night with partial success. The tartare had several intriguing mixed flavours but tuna taste was hidden behind tiny diced tomatoes. I don’t remember all the mains (I was there several days ago and the menus have changed), but there was a wonderful stuffed quail, perfectly cooked, tender, and delicious.

The wine list was eccentrically weighted towards southern Rhone, and if I remember we chose a syrah-grenache-mourvedre combo which was fragrant and in the mouth at least at expectation for the reasonable price. I recall dinner being around $200 including my 20% tip for three people, not at all a bad value all things considered.

Food 8.6, service 9.0, ambience 5.9, value 7.7.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 30 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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