|The Ottawa brunch that packs a punch!|
I know that it’s true that I’ve waited a bunch
I must admit to being remiss in not posting this at a much earlier date. I could make all kinds of excuses but none of them would be valid and you don’t really want to hear them anyway. However, since this blog is principally about dining out in and around Ottawa, it would really be somewhat of a travesty not to describe one of the best experiences that we have had this year.
Where we went: In January (yes January – I told you I was remiss 😉 we needed a facility to accommodate a get-together to celebrate our daughter and son-in-law’s recent marriage – last July in France. Although there was a large contingent from Canada present at the Wedding itself, many close friends were unable to attend and since Christa & Mikaël were going to be here for the Christmas holidays we wanted to have a reception for them. We spent a lot of time and energy trying to find both a suitable location that would not break the bank and also someone who would make us a wedding cake. Without boring you with all the specifics, let me just tell you that what seemed like it should be a fairly straightforward task turned out to be virtually impossible. Either the locale was unsuitable or the price was too high. As for the wedding cake, the first week of January is not a good time to be looking for one and often prices were sky high!
I cannot recall how we decided to check out the Chateau Laurier but we were certainly glad that we did. We were given two options: 1) We could rent a private room and have a buffet brunch catered or 2) We could use the private room located right beside Wilfrid’s Restaurant and have our guests help themselves to the buffet. We checked out both options and decided on the latter. During our tour of the facility, we were introduced to Jimmy, one of the chefs, who absolutely brimmed over with enthusiasm. He assured us that if we selected the Chateau, we would not be disappointed. The room we were offered (at no extra cost above that of the buffet) seemed perfect for our needs so we made a deposit. We asked about the possibility of a wedding cake but were told that they no longer offered that service although they would check with the Head Chef. The very next day we were contacted and told that they would make an exception and do a cake for us!
What we got: Trying to describe the buffet in terms that will do it justice is like trying to carry water in a colander. We’ve all been to buffets and if you have been following this blog for a while, you will know that I am not generally a fan. It takes a lot of skilled kitchen staff to mass produce food for potentially hundreds of people and have the majority of it turn out appetizing. The Chateau obviously has that staff because everything was fresh, attractively presented, not where it needed to be and, last but not least, tasty. Our new friend Jimmy was there manning the omelette station and was just as peppy as at our first meeting. As is my wont, I first cruised the dessert table. One of the first yardsticks I apply to buffet is to determine whether desserts are made with real dairy cream as opposed to synthetic gunk. I also need to decide how much space I need to leave in my stomach, since I am not a big eater, which is another reason that I do not generally frequent buffets. I do, however have a sweet tooth and this day my worst fears were realised. There were at least half a dozen sweet treats softly calling to me. What was I to do? And we had our own cake too…..
Worthy of note: The food was not of primary importance to most of the people attending, however, I did not hear a single complaint from any of our guests. On the contrary, many remarked that the food was only surpassed by the attentiveness but unobtrusiveness of the staff. The cake was the final touch that added the icing, so to speak. In France, our daughter had not been able to get the exact cake that she had wished for simply because the caterer felt that he knew best and ignored her specific instructions! The one supplied by the Chateau was precisely what she wanted!
- Positives: The food, the service, the surroundings.
- Negatives: none of consequence!
- Recommendation: Try it for yourself!
|Price||$$$$||Worth every cent|
|Overall Rating||*****||My second 5 Star|
|Frivolous Foodie Facts|
There is a version of the Chateau Laurier called “Hotel du Canada” at the Canadian Pavilion at Epcot, in Orlando, Florida.