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“Haphazard service, cramped space, average food” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Pelican Grill

Pelican Grill
1500 Bank St, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
613 526 5229
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Ranked #45 of 2,223 Restaurants in Ottawa
Price range: $13 - $42
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: A casual seafood bistro with a fresh fish market attached. We are only interested in serving the freshest fish and seafood we can get!
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
“Haphazard service, cramped space, average food”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

I'm surprised by the reputation this restaurant has. I suspect this derives from the fact that, located directly adjacent to the fresh fish store that supplies its main dishes, it inevitably gives the impression of having top quality ingredients. But it doesn't do a great deal with those ingredients. Dishes are acceptable but unimaginatively and not very elegantly presented. Both atmosphere and service leave a lot to be desired. Admittedly, its location in an arid strip mall, with a badly designed parking lot, doesn't help. But an additional problem is that its tables are so close together that it's virtually impossible to have a conversation that people at the next table aren't part of. In short, it's upmarket prices in a cafeteria environment. The service is approximate at best. If you want good fish dining in Ottawa, go to Whalesbone, where you'll pay much the same for a more relaxed and enjoyable dining experience.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim F, Owner at Pelican Grill, responded to this review, June 14, 2013
Thank-you for taking the time to comment even if you didn't appreciate our efforts or location.
We have many guests that would not agree with your view of our restaurant but we respect your right to your own opinion. We are glad that you have found another restaurant that better serves your needs. Thanks for trying us and happy eating, Jim
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Excellent food, good combination of casual and upscale”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

Our visit started out a bit strange (nothing to do with the restaurant). I arrived with my two sons (ages 2 and 4) and was supposed to meet my mom there for an early lunch. She cancelled as we arrived at the restaurant. I debated leaving but the kids were excited by the fish market (you walk through the market to the restaurant) and were thrilled tey would be eating some of the fish they had just seen. How could I say no to that? The restaurant was mostly empty and my children are well-behaved so we were seated and looked over the menu.
Within 15 minutes, the restaurant was full and I know why! The service was perfect, no one was grumpy at all that I was there alone with two kids. The food was great and the restaurant is the perfect mix of a casual neighbourhood hang-out with upscale food and presentation. I ordered the lobster poutine for myself and the salmon sandwich with fries for the kids to share. They delighted in the hot rolls brought to the table right away and then ate almost all of the sandwich and french fries too. My four year old exclaimed "the sauce on this sandwich tickles my tongue in a really good way!" and my two year old ate his weight in salmon and fries. My poutine was good, the pieces of lobster nicely mixed in with the cheese curds and the gravy was pleasantly seasoned and the perfect consistency.
The couple next to us had ordered quite a few dishes off the menu and I gazed longingly at each one as it brought out. Next time, I'll leave the kids at home and make it a leisurely meal.
We'll definitely be back and I made sure to call my mom right away to let her know what she missed.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
60 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Good value. Good food.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This place is stuck in a little strip mall just south 10 minutes drive from downtown. It sells fresh fish and also has a restaurant, which clearly is very popular with the many residents in this neighbourhood. Reservations are a VERY good idea! The prices are medium-high, but the kitchen prepares the dishes well. Nothing too fussy, but they are adding in a few more sophisticated ingredients lately. It is a bustling atmosphere, a reliable place to eat, but not a place for an intimate dinner out with your wife or girlfriend - although she surely wouldn't mind going there with you if she is hungry and isn't in the mood for a long, drawn-out meal out! The staff is friendly, but they are always busy and occassionally show just a hint of crustiness, but only with each other - never the customers. Go and try it, you'll like them!

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, ON
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great food -- long wait.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

First of all, the restaurant is in a strip mall and when you enter you first walk through the fish market prior to the actual restaurant area. When my party and I arrived we were seated promptly (we had a reservation and you will need one) and our order was taken. The bottle of wine arrived soon after with a basket of nice, warm rolls and butter. Then we waited. Three members of my party of five ordered soup and even this took a long time to arrive. The main course took so long that we had to ask for more rolls as we were getting quite hungry. The wait staff were fine and my impression is that the kitchen just can't keep up with the demand. Regardless, the food was delicious. The lobster poutine was to die for! My bouillabaisse was well made with a generous helping of fish, shrimp and lobster. My wife's lobster dinner was also greatly enjoyed. Two other party members had fish and chips and they reported only good things. Prices are not cheap here, but seafood rarely is (except right on the coast, if you know where to go). The wine was too expensive ($39 for a Pelee Island Gewurztraminer). If you don't mind a leisurely dinner, I would recommend the Peilcan, and it's probably the best seafood you'll get in the Ottawa area.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“One of the newest but best brunches in Ottawa...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

My wife, 8 month old son, and I just brought one of our friends to the restaurant for Sunday brunch. We had stopped by the booth at Bon Appetit-and while we've purchased fish from them in the past-it took the samplings at Bon Appetit to convince us to try a meal.

Boy-were we impressed. Right from the start-our server Matt provided exceptional service, and the other older waiter (I'm sorry I didn't get his name) was also extremely friendly. They were both quite knowledgeable about the menu and very accommodating.

And the food-I can't even begin to describe how impressed we were! We've had brunch at a heck of a lot of restaurants in Ottawa-and it was, by far one of the best brunches we've ever had. Our only problem was that we wanted to keep eating even though we were full!

We will definitely be back for brunch, and will definitely come out for supper soon (babysitter permitting!).

...and actually we went back the next weekend the Sunday after my wife's birthday. Exact same experience.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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