Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Savana Cafe

Irie: to be at total peace with your current state of being. The way you feel when you have no worries. ~www.savanacafe.com

This past weekend I shared a great dinner with friends and family at Savana Cafe and thought I'd share my overall thoughts with you.

This is the type of restaurant I've been looking for in Ottawa in a lot of ways. Since moving here from Toronto, I was missing those hidden gems that I found there, that often took years to discover. Since I've been here I've had some pretty great restaurant experiences, but often they were lacking that cozy, neighbourhood charm that a smaller restaurant can provide.

Savana is colourful and comfortable and the service is warm and friendly. This is definitely a great spot for a casual dinner or an unintimidating first date. Fun and relaxed, they even splash a little cranberry into your icewater as a friendly hello.

The food is described on their website as fusion, and the Chef represents influences from the Carribbean and Southeast Asia on his plates. After glimpsing the drink menu I was excited to try their island-inspired cocktails, but once I saw that they had Sangria, my decision was made. Savana Savvy Sangria, made with Alize Rose liqueur, white sparkling wine, guava juice and fresh mint was the perfect choice.

Two of my dinner guests had the vegetable green curry, and they agreed it was the best curry they've had in a while. I chose the jerk chicken and it was extremely tasty, roasted slowly in butter and thyme and accompanied by rice and peas, steamed greens and the most delicious deep fried plantains.

So if you're considering a casual dinner out or are in the mood for a little island flavour, I would definitely recomment Savana Cafe. You know when you go on a trip and you stay at a charming bed and breakfast instead of a hotel? Savana Cafe is a lot like that -- just like home, where everything is definitely irie.

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