Union is a “brotherhood of growers, cookers, eaters and drinkers”. The vibe is southern — in the menu and especially in the hospitality. If you know any of the three partners — Ivan Gedz, Chris Lord and Matthew Fantin — or any of the other staff here, you’ll understand immediately what they’re after, and won’t be surprised that they’ve delivered.
Come for lunch, for dinner, or late (this, with Oz and the Moon Room, will be the place in Ottawa to hang after hours with the local food and drink crowd — especially when the speakeasy room opens downstairs).
On offer at the pre-opening party were samples of delicousness including:
- boiled peanuts at the bar (warm!)
- fried squash blossoms with tex-mex ricotta
- fried green tomatoes
- grilled pimento cheese sandwich
- deep-fried pickle spears with buttermilk dip
- a Hemingway-style daiquiri
- cocktails made from local strawberry syrup
The atmosphere is great. Most seating will be at communal tables or at the bar, where you can chat with staff and fellow customers about how good everything tastes. Those lucky enough to sit at the back get a view of the kitchen. Check out the wine bottle lighting, art (both pipe and paint), gorgeous wood, and especially the draught handles.
You gotta love a restaurant that promotes others too. Not only does Union support the Ottawa Food Bank, but they also list, on their website and their business cards / coasters, their favourite local restaurants. They include some of my favourites too:
- The Wellington Gastropub (my review)
- Beckta Dining and Wine
- The Tacolot
- Whalesbone Oyster House
- Oz Kafe
Check out Union — before it gets too popular and it is tough to get in.
315 Somerset Street West, Ottawa. 613.231.1010.
Monday to Friday: 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.