Wow – what an overwhelming response to my latest ‘rambling’ of the Side Door soft opening. It looks like not a lot of information is on the web yet but hopefully this will help.
Some months ago, a compilation of owners from the Restaurant Eighteen/Social team and the Foundations team decided to join forces and revamp the existing Foundations spot (18b York Street). In doing so, they hired Executive Chef Matthew Carmichael (Restaurant Eighteen/Social) and Chef Jonathan Korecki (Restaurant Eighteen/mise en gear) to head the kitchen. Their first trials were during the week of New years Eve, with a staff they were unfamiliar with, and a menu created just for January 31st, 2010.
A celebrated close occurred on January 1st for a month long cleansing and reconstruction of the restaurant to be. During this time, a hard working staff from several restaurants in the market worked at rehiring, re-menuing, redecorating, and regrouping.
After an anticipated month, the name came to be the ‘Side Door’ – a Contemporary Asian bistro comprised of vegetables, seafood and meat (as laid out on the menu) in fingerfood sizes and sharing style. A list of Asian twisted Martinis and a range of Sakis (along with traditional wines and beers) are offered to match your palate.
Friday marked the friends and family night where staff were given the opportunity to get their feet wet with a selection from the menu, and reacquaint themselves with the layout of the restaurant. What an incredible night! The following evening the restaurant was officially open with a complete offering from the food and drink menu. After two days of closing (for family weekend of course) the Side Door is officially up and running.
So whats it like?
Well it has a similar overall look to Restaurant Eighteen and Social since all are housed within the beautiful heritage buildings of York and Sussex. But the Side Door has a much more Zen atmosphere about it. With the 2inch thick White Oak Table tops and comfortable black leather benches, along with the open concept kitchen and tall vases of dried flowers, a mixture of soft but vibrant music makes the restaurant feel ‘warm and comfortable’ to say the least.
No more short skirts and 4 inch pumps for the female servers. Its classic dark blue jeans and black t-shirts with long aprons – Asian style – to wear these days. Each dish is presented on an array of bowls and plates from China town, and chopsticks presented on the tables upon seating (along with the classic fork, spoon and knife – just in case).
Have you eaten there yet? What did you think? This isnt my official review on the sidedoor since they did just open, but I hope this provides you with enough information for now.
As promised, here are the pics…
check out more on Ron Eade’s blog http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/omnivore/default.aspx