Eat Out: Black Dog Bistro

by jc

The Black Dog Bistro used to be a very small, cozy restaurant in the Ottawa suburb of Manotick.  Its food was more than just a step up from traditional pub fare.  On numerous occasions I had delicious meals there – perfectly grilled fish, awesome and creative sandwiches and salads, etc.

Black Dog

The restaurant recently underwent some major renovations, at least doubling its capacity and adding more patio space.  The renovations are beautifully done and really add to the atmosphere of the space.

Lovely renovations

Lovely renovations

I have often bragged to my “city” friends of the quality of food here, touting it as the best, [relatively] unknown bistro outside of Ottawa.  With news of the renovations I became even more excited to get back to this place.

Much to my disappointment, I’m afraid this place has gone downhill.  I have been there twice in 2013: once for dinner and once for lunch.  Both times were below the quality I had come to expect at this restaurant.

Chicken tandoori salad [greens + red pepper + cucumber + chickpeas + red onion + tomato]

Chicken tandoori salad [greens + red pepper + cucumber + chickpeas + red onion + tomato]

One thing has remained consistently delicious there though and that’s the French fries.  Luckily my lunch date was more than satisfied with the yummy fries.

Hard to go wrong with a grilled-cheese and french fries

Hard to go wrong with a grilled-cheese and french fries

Sorry to be such a downer on this establishment, but I’m so saddened by the changes here that I don’t even feel very motivated to discuss my two recent experiences.

I have numerous friends who have had similar experiences at the BD as of late.  The most pathetic (on the restaurant’s part) complaint that I’ve heard is about the quality of the chicken (or should I say rubber?).  If you tout yourself as any sort of classy restaurant, then it’s totally inexcusable to serve patrons a chicken breast that is barely above Subway-quality.

I give my experiences at the Black Dog Bistro a disappointing 5/10.  Currently it’s barely a step up from the chain-restaurant Kelsey’s.  Perhaps the expansion of the restaurant to feed more mouths is to blame for the decline in the quality of food.  I hope that with time they can work back toward where they were a few years ago.  In my books they have two strikes, but because of my sentimental love of this place I’m still willing to give it another chance.

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