It was a stormy, cold night (that narrows it down to one of about 40 nights in the past couple of months) as I made the trek out to Farb’s in Ottawa. Farb’s is a smallish, gimmick free place that focuses on the elegant presentation of standard bistro fare such as walleye (you think they’d call it pickerel, especially in the nation’s capital), chops, steaks and even Moo Goo Gai Pan for a little ethnic diversity. It’s a meat heavy menu with one vegetarian starter (a ubiquitous beet salad) and one main (risotto with trendy sunchoke and tomato jam).
If this was a short rib, I’d like to see a long rib. It would probably look like that hunk of meat that tips Fred’s car over at the beginning of the Flintstones. The meat was tasty and tender and abundant. It sat upon a blissful mess of beans and root veggies and a jovial jus. I’m not sure who Rodney Blake is (I’m assuming it’s not the Aussie rugby player also called Rodzilla) , but his wilted greens are pretty darn good. I would of picked up the bone and savagely tore meat of the bone but….
1. My guest would likely think I was even crazier than I am (after all I do take pictures of everything I eat and interrogate waitstaff like a defense lawyer).
2. There was so much meat I probably couldn’t lift it or get anywhere close to the bone even if Adam Richman was helping me out.
3. It only looks funny and appropriate on cartoons (how do they clean the bone in one fell swoop?).
With a price just below double digits (restaurant soup prices in the past five years have escalated well above standard inflation rates), Farb’s does a decent one. This one was a carrot soup topped with a bit of salty. melty cheese and flavoured oil to offset the sweetness. The rawness of the carrot was evident and it was seasoned well. Overall it was a good cure for the wintertime blues.
This is my second visit to Farb’s and both have been solid. It’s a quaint, family run bistro with a focus on well-prepared food. Starters range from $9-18 with most mains around $30. The wine selection is average and the dessert selection is somewhat minimal. It’s not a place that will blow your mind with creativity or the use of unmentionable animal products, but you can get a classic dish done well. It comes accompanied with an intangible but important touch of family pride which is often missing from other establishments. In other words, when your with the Farber’s, you’ll have a yabba dabba doo time, a dabba doo time, you’ll have a gay old time.