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“Wonderful cafe gone bad”

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Cafe Du Centre National Des Arts
Ranked #1,666 of 2,870 Restaurants in Ottawa
Price range: US$31 - US$50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Byward Market Area
Cross street: Albert
Reviewed 29 July 2015 via mobile

The Café at the National Arts Centre has been a favourite for thirty years - until yesterday evening. I have been very understanding of the occasional meal that's off the mark...others have exceeded expectation...that's not the problem. We did not eat there yesterday. After looking at the menu and finding the prices outrageous...we left. The waitress was not surprised...evidently we were not the first. It had been a surprise to find the outdoor terrace half full on a deliciously hot summer evening. If you have not been, the terrace has a view of the Rideau Canal at one of its most picturesque points. It soon became obvious why it was empty . If they return to their senses...it will be a great place again. Here's hoping. Meanwhile...too bad.

1  Thank 5958sookerd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 64 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2015

I live in Ottawa. I brought my two guests from California to the Cafe of the National Arts Centre. The Cafe borders on the RIdeau Canal, and seems a pleasant place to have lunch. We showed up without a reservation, although there were plenty of tables available. A waiter requested that we stand by the hostess' podium and wait to be assigned a table. We waited. One of my guests had enough time to excuse himself and take an extended break in the rest rooms and return. Still no hostess. She finally showed up, and her pained demeanor and facial expression conveyed to us how much she hated her job, and how she felt she was doing us a favor by finding a table for us. She led us to a corner of the restaurant where she told us a waiter would be with us shortly, she fiddled around with some napkins behind a counter, and left. We're still not seated.

Finally we get a table, and after five minutes or so, a waiter comes and takes our order. One of my guests and I both order a smoked chicken omelette. The meal took at least half an hour if not more, to get to us, during which time we were basically ignored -- except for a brief visit by the waiter to tell us that the omelettes were taking time because they were very thick and fluffy. They'll be here in ten minutes.When they arrived, twenty minutes later, they had all the appearance of a slice of quiche with a salad. I don't know where the "thick and fluffy" disappeared. The baked surface was tough; the chicken inside was equally tough. All the wait staff looked as if they had better things to do than to serve customers. They shuffled around, trying to look busy and chatted with each other by the cash register.

I am not impressed and would not recommend this restaurant. The location is wonderful, but the service and the food are its failure. Sad to say, the National Arts Centre deserves better.

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Thank cjuneau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2015

Visited the Art Gallery and stopped for lunch. Squash soup was tasty. Basic food. Great views from seating area.

Thank TGB40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2015

It is hard to find a prettier patio in Ottawa but prepare to pay lots for little.
My melon soup was so flavorless that I hardly minded the tiny portion. At $17 it was quite literally a steal !
When my friend ordered a salad she got the "only a salad ??" treatment.

It is important to state that I have had lovely meals at Le Café and the staff at the bar in particular have been charming, helpful and well informed. I am hoping this was an off day and not a taste of summer for this spot, that would be a shame.

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1  Thank PJoanB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2015

Exorbitant prices...atrocious service..inedible food...enough said...sometimes giving someone a second chance is like giving them an extra bullet for their gun when they missed you with the first...will not be back!

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1  Thank scarlet177
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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