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“Satisfying winter supper”
Review of Back Lane Cafe - CLOSED

Back Lane Cafe
Cuisines: Pizza, Canadian
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Ottawa, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
144 reviews
86 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Satisfying winter supper”
Reviewed March 15, 2014 via mobile

First dinner at Back Lane and it met my expectations after reading some mixed reviews. Our experience on a Friday evening was very good.
What was good:
Service and greeting - friendly, casual and informative.
Table was ready for our reservation
We made sure we took a reservation after 8 pm so we would not feel rushed. Timing was all good. Spent 90 minutes, no dessert ordered because we were both full
Bread was very tasty - 2 varieties served
Wine selection by the glass available
Tuna tartar and the grilled shrimp on hummus both very tasty - good appetizer size portions
Short rib dish very good - tender and tasty
Signature fisherman bowl....really tasty broth with a nice hint of fennel and plentiful (large scallops, fish, clams, mussels and shrimp)...$32
All nicely presented
What you should know
Casual atmosphere, country/homey feel, wooden chairs, no table cloths vs a contemporary decor
Small restaurant space. Our table was closer to the window so probably one of the better locations than maybe some of the others, that might feel a bit more squeezed or closer to traffic
Limited menu
Atmosphere vs price point - on the higher side - if you want to try some one of their mains - $30 range
If you go with those expectations in mind, I don't think you will be disappointed.
We will be back.....!

Visited March 2014
Thank rockport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

112 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A good restaurant”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

This is a good restaurant, but we will not rush to return there. It was a very casual atmosphere for a restaurant that charges fine-dining prices. The space is quite cramped and the seating is not comfortable (restaurants with this type of ambiance and food used to be the less expensive ones). The soup was very good and the bread was excellent, but the main courses were average, but with above average prices. I only got half of a small Cornish hen, and there was little else than a bed of lentils on the plate. The lamb curry was good, but again, rather expensive for a bowl of stew. The desserts were good, but nothing out of the ordinary. The service was very pleasant and efficient.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank apaul55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Solid choice for a nice meal”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

We've been to the Backlane four times over the past year and each time we were very pleased. Food is excellent, service was good and really good vibe. Only con was the table we had last time was in one of the lanes and we were bumped by staff and patrons several times...

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank leafsoverhabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Excellent food especially the Fisherman's Stew”
Reviewed December 17, 2013

Two of us arrived for dinner with neither one of us having been here before. The restaurant is not large and we had a seat right by the window with a small personal heater to protect us from the wintery weather outside. Our server was very friendly and explained the day's menu to us. Although some dishes on the menu are the same every day, others change on a daily basis. This was the explanation in response to my wondering why I could not find a menu on their website.

As it turned out, both of us shared an appetizer, ordered the same main course, and again shared a dessert. The Grilled Shrimp served on Marinated Fava, Kohlrabi and Hoummous were huge and the whole dish was very enjoyable. The Fisherman's Stew was served in a bowl overflowing with large shrimp and equally large scallops, and lots of fish. I would order it again.
With dessert, tax and tip, our bill for two came to about $105.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank traveler536
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Small restaurant with good service and food”
Reviewed November 22, 2013

This is a fairly small establishment and as such it is recommended that reservations be made online in advance and by calling, if party is 5 and more.
Reservations are given for 2 hour slots, for instance, if you book for 5.30pm- the earliest time- your allotted time is 5.30-7.30pm.
Our party consisted of 6 persons and we each tried to have a different appetizer.
I had the lamb pate which was interesting and served with hummus.
The grilled shrimp appetizer was tasty.
We each felt the appetizers were large and some could have stood alone as entrees.
I would highly recommend the Fisherman's stew as the main course.
The Cornish hen was fine until I tried the Fisherman 's stew that my husband ordered and wished I'd had that instead. It was filled with mussels, shrimp, scallops and clams in a lovely broth.
After appetizer and main course, we all felt too full for dessert but figured we should try at least one thing.
I had pavlova deconstructed. The fruit compote was lovely but since it was a deconstructed pavlova, the meringue bit was overwhelmingly sweet.
My husband had the boston cream donut served with ice-cream, which he really liked.
Because the place is fairly small and tables are close, I would not recommend here if you are looking for a quiet dinner. The tables are close and when this restaurant is booked to capacity, as it was on that Sat night, is loud and noisy.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank summer789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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