As Ottawans eagerly anticipated the opening of the new Mill St. Brewpub, little did we know the extent of the transformation taking place!
Formerly home to The Mill restaurant, the historic stone building is now reborn as a grand space, full of light and life. Situated by the Chaudière Falls, just a few blocks from Parliament, it's the perfect setting for a dynamic, delicious gathering place.
With a capacity of 500 - seating for 300 indoors and 200 on three outdoor patios - the Brewpub is one of Ottawa's largest food and drink emporiums. Yet, somehow, the interior manages to feel cosy and warm, no doubt in large part to the friendly, enthusiastic staff.
The menu is equally welcoming. Not a replica of the Toronto Mill St. Brew Pub, this one has been crafted specifically for Ottawa's tastes by head chef Shawn Jackson. "I wanted to create a menu that included regional Quebec cuisine and paid tribute to slow-cooked, homestyle food," he explains.
The results of his imaginings are delectable. Homemade patés and terrines are outstanding, as are the tourtière, bison burgers, wild boar ragout and fish & chips. His wildly popular flatbreads are flavourful and satisfying, especially the "Piggy Delight," topped with BBQ pulled pork, in-house smoked pork belly and chorizo sausage. Many of the dishes feature Mill Street beer among their ingredients, including the succulent chicken tikka masala and the cedar-planked salmon.
"I'm really happy with the response to our menu," says Shawn, "but it's not going to be static. We are introducing Wednesday curry nights and feature menus. Dishes will be coming and going all the time to keep things interesting. I expect our spring and summer menus will incorporate some lighter fare, more vegetarian?options and a lot of local ingredients." Clearly, they're raising the bar on pub food.
For those eager to learn more about the brewing world, Mill Street has daily tours plus an on-site store, and will be offering at least six Brew Master's Dinners each year. "We've quickly discovered that people in Ottawa have a real passion for good food and drink," he adds, "and we're working hard to satisfy that passion."
The Mill St. Brewpub is at 555 Wellington St.