There is a new tenant at the address of 150 Elgin Street and it is Beckta Dining & Wine. The historic home, originally built in 1875 for it’s original owners – the Grant Family, is deemed an Ottawa heritage building. As per municiapal bylaw, it has maintained the majority of its exterior aesthetics from the 19th century. Inside of the building, is a whole new story, as multi-millions of dollars were invested into this space. For a couple of months, there was ongoing construction at the house. Myself, being a frequent Elgin street car parker and walker, slowly noticed the transformation through glimpses in the windows.
Stephen Beckta, successful owner of two other Ottawa area restaurants (Play Food and Wine and Gezellig), has ensured that the same proven elements are present in the relocation of his third establishment. I have eaten at Play Food and Wine and the hospitality, service and food were all spectacular. My expectations were set fairly high prior to enjoying a meal at Beckta.
My Experience at Beckta
I had made reservations about a month in advance for JD’s birthday. We had created a bucket list of restaurants we wanted to eat at, and Beckta was on it. The promptness to the email inquiries I had was great, and they were very accommodating in allowing me to bring in a couple of birthday decorative items to surprise JD with.
Expect to make an evening out of your visit to Beckta. This is not a restaurant to just hurry in and out of. We spent about 3 hours there. The food is made to order, and you need the time to thoroughly savour it all. To start, we were given a fresh basket of just-baked bread and homemade butter. Normally I wouldn’t comment on the bread, but it was delicious. It was served hot and the butter just melted. As our shared appetizer, we enjoyed the seared mackerel. I was a little bit out of my element, as I am not normally a seafood or fish type fan, but if I was going to eat it, I was going to try it at a reputable restaurant that would make it just right. To my surprise, I actually quite liked the mackerel. The presentation of the food was also well done.
JD and I both had different mains. I had the steak and frites, while he had the pork shoulder and seasonal sides. Both dishes were outstanding. The mains did take a little longer to come out, but I appreciated that knowing that the food was going to be made to perfection. We prepared ourselves ordering the mains and mentally knowing that patience was key to ensuring the best meal possible.
You can’t forget dessert! I have a big sweet tooth and there was no way that I was going to miss out on the dessert here. We ordered the chocolate brownies and accompanying gelato. The brownies were light and very tasty. The gelato actually came out in a trio with three different flavours and was from the local ice creamery Pure Gelato.
The decor inside the restaurant is very elegant and modern. We ate on the main floor, with a fireplace in the room and just a handful of other tables. The set up is comfortably done so that there are not too many people squished into one of the rooms and it still allowed for good conversation that could heard without having to shout. I marvel at the waterfall chandeliers that hang in the middle of all of the rooms and that can be seen from the outside.
It is really a crime if you don’t get the chance to eat at Beckta. This isn’t a place you would come to regularly, as the price points are on the higher end. As an alternative, they do have a lounge on the far side so that guests can enjoy a drink or two in the amazing atmosphere without spending too much money. Ottawa is very lucky to have Stephen Beckta as a part of the food community, as he and his restaurants have given everyone some great places to enjoy delicious food with good company.