|Did you know Petit Bill is a Newfie?|
Petit Bill’s Bistro is not run of the mill,
the owners are friendly and the food’s above par
But it’s a bit of a downer when you get the bill
Every now and again, a decision made on the spur of the moment can lead to an unexpected discovery. Lately, we seem to find ourselves more and more often in Westboro. Perhaps it is because we have become more ‘outdoorsy’ over the years and the best outfitters, or at least a majority of them are located along Ottawa’s Wellington and Richmond Roads. It turns out that there are also some pretty good eating spots there as well. In any event, we were recently on a shopping expedition for a new piece of luggage for our son Ian whose current bag was on its last legs and was about to depart for Europe.
Those of you who know Ian may well be aware that his tolerance for shopping, even when, or perhaps because, it is for himself, is extremely limited. Since we were not completely finished and Ian was already chomping at the bit, we decided to take a break and grab a quick bite to eat.
Where we went: Since it was now about 3:30PM on a Saturday Afternoon, we had hit a spot that was clearly past lunchtime but before supper. Obviously, being that we had not planned this particular part of the outing, we had no specific venue in mind. At this time, we just happened to be passing a restaurant interestingly named Petit Bill’s Bistro. A quick, democratic decision was made to take a chance! having never heard of Petit Bill’s before, we had no pre-conceived notions or expectations.
What we ordered: Shopping is thirsty work, so my first order of business was to order a beer. Subsequently, in keeping with the time of day, we all ordered a starter rather than a full meal. We did not yet know that we had happened across a Newfie establishment, and it is only now, in retrospect, that I even realize that we all ordered seafood. Indeed, looking over their online menu, I note that seafood is a significant portion of their offerings along with unique Newfoundland trimmings and garnishes like partridgeberries?! Ian ordered Lobster poutine, I ordered Pan-seared Scallops and Dorothy opted for the seafood chowder.
What we got: Like other restaurants in the self-proclaimed Epicurean Row, Petit Bill’s offers delicious freshly-baked breads to snack on as you await your food. At supper-time, when I am anticipating a larger intake, I would moderate my consumption of this treat but today it was the perfect accompaniment to my Mill St. Brew! It is true that we were, all three, quite hungry, nevertheless, we were unanimous in the judgement that our choices were way above average!. Since we had been pleased with our starters and were feeling in a somewhat decadent mood, we asked about what desserts might be on offer. Lo and behold; each one of us managed to find something to try! Dorothy opted for the white chocolate bread pudding, where I chose crème brûlée. Ian decided on the no-bake cheesecake with meringue topping. None of us was disappointed with our choice. As we were finishing our meal, one of the owners came to our table and chatted a while giving us some of the history of Petit Bills which is apparently named after his father.
Worthy of note: If I have learned anything since I started writing this blog in March of this year, it is that quality of service is very much in the eye of the beholder and also is open to the vagaries of chance. Even the best servers in top establishments can have off days or perhaps you happen across a future top server who today is just starting out. Whatever the case, you will make your judgement on the entire establishment largely on the basis of your interaction with a single individual. That is why a restaurant whose owner or manager takes the interest, time and trouble to visit my table will always get bonus marks. I will add to this a codicil that this is easier to do when an establishment is not running at full bore as was the case today.
- Positives: Food was excellent, service was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive.
- Negatives: It was a bit pricey but well worth the extra!
- Recommendation: Don’t let the occasional bad review sway you. Overall, this restaurant ranks #48 in Urbanspoon’s somewhat suspect ranking scheme. From this one experience, I would certainly rank it in my Top 20!
|Frivolous Foodie Facts|
The world record for eating cheesecake is 11 pounds eaten in nine minutes – by Sonya Thomas, who weighs 105 pounds.