Lucie Vignola is a self-described work in progress who loves running, hot yoga, food & wine, shopping, philanthropy, renos and her children. Though not in that order. Born and raised right here in Ottawa, she works in communications.
One of the most anticipated Ottawa restaurant openings in recent memory was the Mill St. Brewpub. This is a great spot for a casual group get-together. If you’re into historic buildings, it’s also worth a visit to the 1942 limestone building that houses the restaurant. I dropped in with friends on a Wednesday night recently and found a packed place with a great pub atmosphere.
The key sales point at Mill St. is the beer with a 14-tap lineup that even includes brews made specifically for Ottawa. We picked four beers to try, offered in a beer flight:
- Coffee Porter, a dark beer with coffee aroma that’s a bit bitter;
- Vanilla Porter, a medium beer with a sweet taste;
- Belgian Frambozen, a fresh raspberry taste and aroma that was very refreshing; and
- Belgian Wit, a light beer with a bit of bite but that finishes off quite smooth.
I can picture returning in the summer to enjoy a cold glass of Belgian Frambozen … maybe after a Bluesfest show, since Mill Street is just a stone’s throw away from the War Museum. The Lemon Tea Ale might also prove an ideal summer treat! (And beer lovers take note: An on-site store allows guests to pick up some of their favourite brews, many of which aren’t available in other stores.)
For dinner, we picked a mix of appetizers to share. We started with a large, delicious two-coloured beet salad with baby spinach, cranberries, goat cheese and toasted walnuts, topped with a vinaigrette made with Belgian Frambozen. We also had some lightly battered calamari with a choice of two dipping sauces: beer mustard aioli and chipotle marinara sauce.
We followed this up with an order of flatbread: cobblestone stout and balsamic braised portobello mushrooms, pulled duck confit, shredded gruyere and fresh blueberries. Lightly battered sweet potato fries with beer mustard aioli finished off our meal. Alas, we simply had no room for dessert, but there was a decent selection.
Always looking for a new brunch option, my friend and I returned to Mill St. last weekend and found a small but good selection. I found it pretty noisy for a casual weekend brunch and the food was average. The saving grace was the excellent service.
Whether you’re simply looking to whet your whistle or catch up over a few appys, the Mill St. Brewpub is a good place to go.A couple of things to know if you’re heading there: they do not take reservations Friday and Saturday nights and you can’t pay with Interac.
Thanks, Lucie! And just wait until patio season opens; Mill St.’s large patio is located right next to the Ottawa River, making it an ideal place to enjoy a pint as you take in some of Ottawa’s most-picturesque scenery.