There are so many restaurants in Ottawa that I’ve been wanting to try for a long time and North & Navy (226 Nepean St.) has always been near to top of that list. On Saturday night we made a last minute reservation for seats at the bar to finally try this modern Northern Italian restaurant. Spoiler alert, it was amazing! Also please note that I have no skill for taking food photos in a dark restaurant, so sorry about that!
I had seen on Instagram that North & Navy was making Bellinis with Peach Schnapps from Dillion’s, a distillery from Southern Ontario that I’m a big fan of. I’ve been wanting to try their Schnapps that is made with Niagara peaches for a while but unfortunately it isn’t really available in this area. For this (and many other) reasons I decided it would be a good idea to finally try North & Navy, so we started out with some Bellinis and they were great! Almost rivalling a Bellini I had in Bologna last time I was in Italy.
With our cocktails we also had the cichèti plate, which is Northern Italy’s version of tapas. Each item was really delicious and a great way to start the meal. The house made bread was delicious and I got seconds of it. I also love all the dishes, glassware and cutlery here. Everything feels very vintage but the decor is modern so it creates a nice stylish look to the whole place.
We decided just to stick to antipasti for our first time here so I had the baby spring vegetables with house smoked ricotta and my boyfriend had the Atlantic scallop crudo with cucumber and strawberries. Both dishes were really good and felt really fresh and seasonal for summer.
Then we had to finish off with dessert of course. I had heard that North & Navy has great tiramisu which is one of my favourite desserts that I haven’t had since I was in Venice in 2016. There used to be this little restaurant that made the most amazing tiramisu and I frequently dream about, but now I won’t have to because North & Navy’s is just as good! We also tried the summer berry tart which was also delicious but I preferred the tiramisu. The berries were soaked in prosecco and the tart base was really good.
We also had another round of cocktails with dinner. I got the Bianco Negroni that had grapefruit and my boyfriend tried their Magenta cocktail that Mirto Berry liqueur in it. Both were excellent and we’ll definitely be back for cocktails, and dessert.
Overall the dinning experience was great. The staff was super friendly and attentive even though we were sitting at the bar. That may have been that it was early though since later in the evening as it got busier that bartender was a little slower to get to us which is understandable. The ambiance was also really nice. It felt like a very modern Italian restaurant with modern food to match. All the food was delicious and I’d really like to try some of the pastas and mains so we will definitely be back for more! Before tip the meal came to about $140 which isn’t bad considering everything we got but it also isn’t a cheap evening out. North & Navy was the type of place I thought should be reserved for a special evening because it was a bit pricier but it’s really a place I want to go to all the time now. If you don’t get a second cocktail and two desserts and stick to antipasti or primi dishes then it’s a pretty reasonable night out.