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“Good but not great”
Review of Gezellig

Gezellig
Ranked #8 of 2,738 Restaurants in Ottawa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $14 - $22
Cuisines: Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Manotick
Level Contributor
35 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Good but not great”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

We planned a Valentine's Day dinner a couple of days early at Gezellig, and the first clue that something was different than the other Beckta properties was that we could get a reservation with only 5 days notice - granted on a Tuesday night, however.

The restaurant is agreeably finished in a dark steel blue with blond pine tables and counters and steel blue leather covered-banquettes and attractive pendant lighting. It is bigger than expected, with an upstairs expanding the seating area.

The menu is a manageable size, with a half-dozen or so of appetizers and mains, plus two-three "for two" mains as well. Prices are reasonable.

We opted for the wasabi ceasar salad and the warm beet salad. Both were good, however, the ceasar had only a hint of wasabi, and the beet salad was at room temperature. The beets were nicely roasted, and came with a generous serving of a deliciously mild sheep's cheese. Crispy julienned chiogga beets garnished the top.

Our mains were the short rib steak and the lamb shank. Again, both were good, with reservations. The steak came with an attractive crust, fries and a vegetable side that was mostly mushrooms with some Brussels sprouts; the expresso aioli was unexpected and tasty. The lamb shank appeared to have been pressure cooked with little to no seasoning and then finished with a glaze which was flavourful, but did not penetrate the meat at all; not the deeply flavoured meat you would expect to get with braising, although it was extremely tender. The spaetzle was delicious, tossed with greens and with marmalade the predominant flavour - quite sweet. Five or six lightly roasted grape tomatoes appeared in place of the advertised pepper coulis. We followed the wine pairing recommendations on the menu and were not disappointed.

The dessert was perhaps the highlight. We split the sticky date pudding which came in a luscious pool of caramel with ice cream on top - it was divine.

Service was fine.

All in all, a decent and languorous (>2 hrs) meal in an attractive setting.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank girlfromthetick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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643 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excited but a major let down”
Reviewed February 9, 2013

My husband and I are huge fans of Beckta and we visit every couple of weeks. We were so excited when we found out that Gezellig was opening in Westboro since this is our neighborhood. We finally got a reservation to try it this past weekend, but unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment. I ordered the pickerel but it was tasteless and very tough, I couldn't even cut it. I had the mussels to start, the sauce tasted like Campbell's tomato soup. My husband had the seafood pasta, and again, he complained that it was tasteless. Such a disappointment after eating a Beckta last weekend. I do hope that the food improves since we love the location. We will try it again in a couple of weeks with hopes that the food has improved.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Vanessa D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stevebeckta, Owner at Gezellig, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Vanessa: Thank you for all of the support of Beckta over the years and for trying out our newest venture. I'm really sorry that your first experience was not as good as you would have hoped. Your feedback is vital in order for us to improve and I have already spoken with the chef about your comments. I really hope that we can have you back on another occasion and make sure that you love every element of your dinner. My email address is sbeckta@beckta.com and I would love to have the opportunity to fix this and make it right. I look forward to seeing you at Beckta and hopefully at Gezellig as well for a meal that you will be able to rave about.

All the best,

Steve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level Contributor
117 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Nice choices, excellent service”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

Four of us ate dinner at Gezellig recently and enjoyed the evening very much. I had the steak which was perfectly cooked to my liking, although it, and the fries with which it was served, were quite salty. The vegetable cassoulet seemed like the most delicious entree at our table. The sweet carrot soup to start was also delicious. They offer house-made sour dough bread which was really nice, and that day it was served with a chick pea and butternut squash spread - very tasty. The service was excellent, there seemed to be lots of wait staff, all gracious and helpful and efficient. Steve Beckta happened to be dining with a group nearby and he came to introduce himself and inquire if we were enjoying ourselves; that was very gracious of him as well.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sarah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stevebeckta, Owner at Gezellig, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear Sarah: Thank you very much for dining with us at Gezellig recently and for all of the very kind words. I'm thrilled that you loved your dishes, the atmosphere and your service. I'm sorry that you found the fries too salty and will definitely mention it to the chef. I certainly hope to be able to welcome you back personally before too long.

With many thanks,

Steve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

I have enjoyed Play and Beckta in the past and was hoping for a similar experience at Gezellig. My friend and I decided we would give it a try as we are foodies and love restaurants, especialyl we want to try something when we know it's new! We are not picky eaters, we enjoy food of all kinds. One of my favorite dishes is beef tartare, but when I ordered it here, I did not like it at all. The texture is different (not in a good way), it was bland, and served with thick chewy (house made sourdough) bread. After 2 bites we sent it back to the kitchen and did not want another one back.

Our mains came, I had the rib steak (based on the reviews I read here before I went - it seemed like the safest choice) and my friend had the pickerel. My steak was more rare than I liked, a little tough and underseasoned but I didn't complain as I was pretty hungry. My friend's pickerel was completely tasteless, the butter sauce it came with actually just tasted like melted butter. Needless to say she didn't eat her meal at all. Instead we shared my parmesan fries which were the star of the night, sadly.

It's really about the small things, the straw in her caesar was too short for the glass and there was far too much ice. The caesar was watered down, it wasn't even opaque, halfway down the glass the straw disappeared into the glass. Couldn't even tip it to drink since there was so much ice in it. Someone who wasn't our waitress dropped off our mains without saying a word or what we ordered or explaining the plate, and didn't ask us if we needed anything before we started our meal. He literally dropped off a plate and walked away. It seems picky maybe, but I have been to hundreds of restaurants, and this isn't a Boston Pizza, right?

On the positive side, service was good overall as expected. They did comp the tartare and the pickerel since we didn't even eat it. The decor is nice and modern inside and has a good atmosphere.

All in all, I'm really disappointed as I know I like Play and Beckta. Not sure if I'll go back, definately not anytime soon.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank CecefromCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stevebeckta, Owner at Gezellig, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
Dear Celina: Thank you for dining with us at Gezellig, and for all of your support of Play and Beckta as well over the years. It really sounds like we had an off night with you and I apologize that you did not enjoy your dinner as much as your experiences at Play or Beckta. Thank you also for letting us know what the issues were in a comment card as well so we could connect with you and hopefully rectify the deficiencies from your first experience with us at Gezellig. I agree with you that it's the little details that make an experience, and as you have enjoyed our other spots, I hope you will forgive our early errors and try us again knowing how committed we are to offering guests a great experience and getting things right in the end. I will also reach out to you by email to try to make amends for the disappointing aspects of your dinner. I promise that we will get this right for you on your next visit.

With many thanks,

Steve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good atmosphere, friendly service”
Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

We both really enjoy Play and Beckta so we thought we would try this new addition to the Beckta group. We made the trek to Westboro on Thursday night and the atmosphere was great. Lots of people laughing and talking, very much our type of restaurant. Only had two taster glasses of wine which we both excellent. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and knew the menu and wines. Had the sweetbreads as a starter and they were a treat. However, the ribs were a little disappointing, although they were cooked well, they lacked flavor and sauce. The corn bread partly made up for the lackluster ribs. The deserts were tasty, but could had been a little better. All told it was a good meal, and our bellies were full. I think we may stick to Play.

Helpful?
1 Thank marc_natalie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stevebeckta, Owner at Gezellig, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Hi Marc and Natalie: thanks for breaking from your normal routine of visitng Play in order to try out Gezellig. I'm glad that there was much to like on your first visit including the service, wine, and sweetbreads (my favourite appetizer). Thanks for the mention of the lack of sauce on your ribs (that's where most of the flavour comes from, I would agree). I would love to make it up to you on another occasion. I can always be reached at sbeckta@beckta.com and hope that I can make a reservation for you personally next time.

All the best,

Steve
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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