Dining by designPublished on October 10, 2012

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  • ARC Lounge

  • The Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa

  • Hy's Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar

  • Absinthe Cafť

When décor and food are in sync, ?the dining experience is much more enjoyable, and you'll likely be tempted to linger just a little longer, savouring both the food and the surrounding environment. Ottawa at Home has found four local restaurants whose decorating styles are ?in perfect harmony with their cuisine.

Contemporary: ARC Lounge

The décor at ARC speaks volumes for its dining experience, long before you've ever tasted a bite. Trendy, sleek and modern, it creates an upbeat atmosphere that reflects the food. "We work to keep the menu modern as well," says executive chef Jason Duffy. "We keep pace with new trends in plating, such as movement, height and colour, while also sourcing out unusual elements to incorporate in our local, fresh and seasonal fare. It's a multi-sensory experience and there's often an element of surprise; it's a lot of fun."

ARC The.Hotel is at 140 Slater St.

Traditional: Hy's Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar

"Sumptuous" is the first word that springs to mind when you step into Hy's. With an abundance of dark wood, accented with gilt-framed pictures, plush banquettes and comfortable armchairs, the aura is very old-school; a place where deals are made and special occasions are celebrated. "We're all about being classic, not pretentious. We're not trying to be trendsetters - we simply use the best ingredients to elevate every plate," says general manager Craig Stevenson. "The space is intimate and pleasing; the food is prepared and served with great care."

Hy's Steakhouse is at 170 Queen St.

Country: The Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa

As the only inn located inside Gatineau Park, the historic Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa is a food lover's haven and the perfect destination for a scenic autumn adventure. Chef Romain Riva is inspired by both the building's thick stone walls as well as the natural beauty that surrounds it. "I like to showcase local products, including honey from our own hives, bison and freshwater fish such as pickerel and trout." The Wakefield Mill offers upscale country fare that truly befits the property's rustic elegance.

The Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa is at ?60 Chemin Mill Rd., Wakefield, Quebec.

Transitional: Absinthe Café

With its Venetian plaster walls and dark hardwood floors, Absinthe represents a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary in both its décor and its menu. The bright green foil accent wall typifies the wow factor for which Absinthe's food is famous. "I like to use classic techniques to prepare contemporary Canadian soul food," explains chef/owner Patrick Garland. "While we change things up regularly, a dish like our very popular steak frites will always be on the menu. Just as our space is warm ?and comfortable; our food is timeless and will never go ?out of style."

Absinthe Café is at 1208 Wellington St. W.




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