Going out for a nice dinner is a rare occasion these days. E and I go out for lunch fairly regularly (maybe once every couple of weeks). But, without a babysitter or family in Ottawa, I can count the number of times we've gone out for a nice dinner in the past nine months on one hand.
Knowing that R's parents were coming for a visit, I texted Ron about going out for dinner. I listed a couple places I would like to try, but hoped he would choose one in particular: Odile.
Odile is Chez Edgar's little sister, but only in the sense that it is Marysol's second restaurant (note: Odile opened about a year ago). I may be biased, but I think little sisters are pretty awesome.
After getting screwed by my GPS and ending up in Aylmer, we made our way to Odile's lovely patio area. I love the way Marysol's food uses fresh ingredients, is cooked with a lot of care, but is not at all pretentious.
R and I shared a caesar salad. The dressing had a great kick of garlic and anchovies. I loved the croutons. It tasted like bread that had been soaked in garlicy goodness and then baked. I also thought the pig cheek was an interesting touch. It had good flavour, though was a bit on the fatty side for my liking.
For the main I ordered red wine braised shortribs. They come with a puree of yukon and celery root and kale. All of this is topped off with chevre noir, a gremolata and shallots. Oh goodness was this so delicious. Comfort food at its best. The shortribs were melt in your mouth and flavourful If this is how fresh kale can taste, then I need to work on improving my kale-preparation skills. I will also be looking to make a recipe where I can punch up the flavours with a gremolata soon. The serving was hearty, but I want some more!
Others at my table ordered the duck breast and were quite complementary of it. Clearly, there is no shying away from a healthy serving of meat. My table mates also quite enjoyed the touch of sweetness brought by the fruit (fig? date?).
Even though it was starting to get cold (well, I wasn't cold after drinking two glasses of wine), we couldn't skip out on Marysol's delicious desserts. Our friends shared an almond cake (can't remember what else was in it).
R and I shared a slice of pear and sugar pie, We were completely full before the pie came, but managed to find room for it and thank goodness we did. I don't always like pie crusts because they can be too dry for my liking. But I loved the crust on this pie. Of course, the star was still the filling. The fudgy/sugary thing on top didn't do much for me. I felt the pie was sweet enough without it. But, I don't like fudge in general.
Aside from the exceptional food, the service was pretty stellar too. Like the servers at Chez Edgar, our server was down to earth, professional and friendly. I hope to be able to return to Odile soon!