Brothers Beer Bistro: Sneak Peek

Don’t get too excited, Brothers Beer Bistro isn’t quite open yet but the boys have an exhilarating week ahead, keeping fingers crossed for the inaugural public opening on Friday, May 25th.

The Nuts were fortunate enough to get a sneak peek into Ottawa’s newest restaurant (and beer emporium) and last night attended the first of three soft openings. “Soft openings” are designed to give restauranteurs, wait staff and kitchen staff a trial run, a chance to iron out any kinks, before the opening date. As I was encouraged by owners Pat Asselin and Nick Ringuette to provide feedback and criticism, please read on as this post will act as a giant (and glowing) comment card about my first experience in Brothers Beer Bistro.

As mentioned, Asselin and Ringuette were buzzing about the floor, cheerily overseeing the operation as the floodgates opened and they welcomed their friends and family for the first trial run. Immediately, I felt welcomed (recall from their previous interview on nutshell, Asselin’s desire to cultivate a feeling of a warm hug upon entry to their restaurant? Nailed it).  The restaurant has a warm glow that seeps all the way through the long and narrow space, leading you to a beautiful, (and well stocked) bar. The staff, from the welcoming hostess to the efficient bartender, were – in all facets- hospitable and cheerful. It would be safe to say that Asselin’s former experience working with restauranteur Stephen Beckta has deeply affected his own restaurant’s philosophy. As we settled in at the bar, a hum of excitement vibrated in the air for this highly anticipated “soft” opening. Everyone was excited to be there.

From the vast selections of beer, we ended up with two selections: one recommened by the bartender who suggested we try the Dieu du Ciel Rosee, the other (Blanche de Chambly) was aptly listed as a beer pairing with one of our two appetizers. This is a true selling point of Brothers. Beer pairings will encourage the average beer drinker to branch out and try something new and most gastronomes will gasp at the precision of these pairings.

The appetizers were the high point of our entire meal that consisted of two apps and two mains. To start: Perogies and Beef Tartare. Forget about the everyday perogy served at run-of-the-mill pubs, Brothers’ perogies are exquisite and rich. After tasting this first dish, it quickly became evident that Executive Chef, Darren Flowers, has an unorthodox vision to take traditional pub fare to the next level. Served with a creamy Sauvagine sauce and confit pork, the perogies were the mouthwatering pinnacle of my first visit. Sliding in as a close second was the beef tartare. In true Brothers Beer fashion, the tartare is infused with Wellington beer which the boys soon hope to change to a more expressive flavour of beer, like the Unibroue Maudite.

{Pictured from Top, left to right: Perogies, Maudite Beer, Steak and Frites, Beef Tartare, Kichesippi Fried Chicken}

We anticipated our second course with high hopes and willing taste buds, but it turned out that our appetizers continued to linger in our thoughts, despite the KFC being richly delicious (and innovative!). The steak frites was a tasty finale, but still did not manage to outshine the round of appetizers.

Despite this being the first night of a trial run service, it seemed to myself and Catherine that everything operated like clock work. The servers were calm and collected and if a jolt of the jitters were being experienced behind closed doors, it certainly didn’t reach our   calm cove at the bar.

As we walked away from this delightful new addition to the Ottawa restaurant scene, I couldn’t help but smack my lips and rub my belly with satisfaction. But more than that, I felt a sense of complete gratitude and pleasure.  Whether it was the beer, the food, the atmosphere, or a combination of the three, Ottawa can anticipate a restaurant that will draw thick crowds for a multitude of reasons.

Brothers Beer Bistro

366 Dalhousie


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