Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Urban Pear Food & Wine - Sunday Brunch

The mister invited another couple to join us for Sunday brunch this weekend and yesterday I was tasked with finding a destination. The Sunday brunch at the Murray Street Kitchen has been on my wish list for quite some time and I thought I was on easy street with this 'to-do'. But their phone answered with a recorded message suggesting that year-end beautifications were underway, and they were soon to re-open. But not for Sunday brunch. Sigh. I had set the bar high, only to be disappointed before I started.

Now where? I wanted some help with suggestions. This time I turned to Urbanspoon and Ottawa Foodies. It was Ottawa Foodies' Weekend Brunch section that came up aces. My short-list was Fraser Café and The Urban Pear. We had been to both for dinner with great success. We let our guests decide and that meant we were headed to the Glebe.

The Urban Pear has been around since 2002 and can be found at 151 Second Avenue, almost at Bank Street. It is a 40-seat restaurant walled in glass. A soft lemon lime green brightens the inside. Today, the sun was pouring in, making the setting cozy and bright. They use the modern Sunshades to control our comfort.

Award-winning chef and co-owner, Ben Baird is king in the kitchen. His culinary training took place at Stratford Chef's School. He recently was a contender for the Gold Medal Plates competition held in Ottawa in November. In both 2007 and 2009 he won bronze. We would be in good hands!

The menu for Sunday brunch was crafted just the day before. We all ordered off the Entrée menu. The Appetizer menu, also with 6 choices, was equally as tempting.

Along with our drinks ($2 coffee and juice were our choices), we were served slices of white bread along with soft butter, infused with rosemary and lemon.

Guest #1 had farfalle pasta with 'sweet mama' squash, pear and chipotle cream sauce. It was topped with slices of cubeb pepper and cinnamon dusted pork tenderloin, cranberries and wilted kale, fresh cranberries and a sharp cheddar (switched from the suggested blue cheese). $19

I decided to have the omelet loaded with double smoked bacon, brussel sprout leaves, diced pickled beets and St. Mary's soft goat cheese. It was topped with a summer basil pesto and served with a fresh green salad. $15

The mister picked the poached organic local eggs with sautéed sage and grainy mustard spaetzle with braised ham hock. It was served on roasted squash, kale and organic mushrooms, bathed in an apple, lemon and thyme infused braising reduction. $18

Guest # 2 chose the beef short rib and caramelized onion sandwich topped with turnip and caper remoulade and yam frites, served with a fresh green salad. The menu also said squash catsup. Maybe mixed in somewhere? $16

Only one of us broke down when seeing the dessert menu. The vanilla bean and white chocolate crème brûlée was served with a small dish of macerated blood orange segments hiding under a ginger snap. $9

We were each very pleased with our choices. The many flavours complimentary and complex. The ingredients so fresh. (The custard in the dessert was dreamy and creamy!) The service was attentive, pleasant and prompt.

One nice thing about Sunday brunch in the Glebe is that city parking is free and there is no need to worry about lingering over The Urban Pear's lovely food experience.

The Urban Pear Food & Wine
151 Second Avenue, Unit C
Ottawa, Ontario

Mon: Closed
Tue: 5:30 pm - 9 pm
Wed toFri: 11:30 am - 2 pm, 5:30 pm - 9 pm
Sat: 5:30 pm - 9 pm
Sun: 11 am - 2 pm, 5:30 pm - 9 pm

The Urban Pear on Urbanspoon

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