Play Food & Wine Ottawa

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During our recent Canada Day weekend visit to Ottawa, the restaurant on the top of our list to hit first was Play Food & Wine. Considered one of our Nation’s Capital’s top restaurants, we were very excited to pay them a visit.

To start with, love their brand! Very simple but cool font treatment for the logo and the restaurant decor is classy but relaxed. Play is the creation of Stephen Beckta and Chef Michael Moffatt of the renowned Beckta dining & wine in Ottawa. And while the service is top notch, the food is the real star of the show.

I have always been a big fan of tapas. Play focuses on constantly changing small plates and a large selection of wines by-the-glass. Its always fun to be able to try several different dishes and share them amongst the table. Dining is always better when its a social event.


Placing our order turned out to be a tough task because so many dishes sounded so delicious! With input from our server, we finally settled on the Grilled Sausage with Corn Bread, Olive Ketchup and Swiss Chard, the Braised Chicken with Mushrooms, Green Peas, Scapes and Chick Peas, the Grilled Hanger Steak with Mushrooms, Frites and Aioli, and last but not least, the mind-blowing marinated Pork Belly in Tamarind Maple glaze with Watercress and Pearl Onions.

To say that all these dishes were unbelievably delicious is an understatement. The quality of the ingredients and the attention to detail in preparation and plating is second to none. All three of us were pretty quiet other than the constant mmmmmms and wows. Dining at Play reaffirms why I am so obsessed with good food. A great meal can brighten your mood and make the world seem like a better place.

And the wine list is excellent too (no big surprise with Stephen Beckta selecting the roster). Very interesting selections and most are reasonably priced. I also have to mention the cheese tray we ordered for dessert. I now have my new favorite cheese! Described by our server as Skor bar meets cheese, Beemster from Holland is a 6 year old, firm cow’s milk cheese. With a sweet and salty caramel like flavour, it was the perfect dessert cheese. I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. In my book, nothing beats the combination of sweet and savoury flavours.


I can’t say enough great things about how wonderful the dining experience is at Play Food & Wine. A must stop foodie destination on your next visit to Ottawa. Highly recommended! We also had some fun entertainment outside the window at our table. A big and beautiful chocolate Lab kept leaping in and out of a fountain to beat the heat. Just have to share this picture. For now, back to the cage.