A must-stop for relaxation, field to plate food with allergen-friendly options
Restaurant review by Chantal Secours from Fresh is Real.
All opinions are her own.
Photos by Kristy Chapman.
Do you appreciate good food, fresh ingredients and eating in a relaxing and friendly environment? Take a scenic drive out to The Retreat Café at Strathmere in Ottawa, bring a special friend, and enjoy your stay! It’s only 15 minutes away from Barrhaven and Manotick—with plenty of free parking!
A Wonderful Place
The Café is the kind of restaurant that you’ll want to reserve a few hours for. Upon your arrival, the pace of life automatically slows down. It’s honestly my favourite spot to catch up with one or a few people. I would have no problems going solo. It’s a wonderful place to get your creative juices flowing and to recharge your soul.
Allergies or special diet
If you’re worried about your dietary preferences, Executive Chef Angelo Camposarcone works hard to offer a range of creative and nutritious meals. They can happily modify a dish if you have allergies or food sensitivities. In which case, it’s always recommended to call ahead to mention your allergies or special diet. It’s also good to let your server know before you order.
What I ate
On this visit, I enjoyed their Superfood Salad, and my friend tried the Organic Beef Burger.
Because of my food sensitivities, I often eat salads at restaurants. The Café at Strathmere always makes sure to add their own touch to every meal making them both delicious and beautiful!
Field to Plate
I need to highlight the fact that Strathmere grows a lot of the flowers, fruits and vegetables they incorporate into each dish. Being a field to plate establishment sets them apart, giving them a special connection with their own farm grown produce.
Chef Angelo is very passionate about knowing where the food they serve comes from. Being so familiar with each ingredient makes customizing recipes for special diets and allergies so much easier.
The kitchen at the Café always takes necessary precautions when preparing and serving a meal for someone with allergies. Just remember, no restaurant knows you personally, you must be clear with your own allergies or dietary preferences.
As soon as you walk in, The Café displays an assortment of treats. Some are vegan (free of egg and dairy) some are gluten-free, but they are not necessarily labelled with specific allergens. The staff is knowledgeable about each dessert, but if you have severe allergies to certain ingredients like nuts or peanuts, I would recommend skipping them to be on the safer side.
The restaurant is smaller, but they also have extra outdoor tables, that are perfect on a beautiful day, with spectacular views. From the patio area, guests will surely spot the fire pit with red chairs. It’s also a great area to unwind and to spend extra time with friends. You can even go for an adventure walk on the nearby trails.
Spa Services and a Yoga Studio
The restaurant which is also part of the Retreat offers spa services and a yoga studio. If you want to make it a full day, give them a call to reserve or visit their website to help you plan out your special day.
Events at Strathmere
Strathmere hosts many events throughout the seasons, my favourite so far is the Annual Harvest Supper. Weather permitting they set up their long tables outdoors in the gardens with holiday string lights to keep your perfect evening illuminated.
The food served in 2018 was magical, the presentation rustic, and the flavours of each dish was spot on. Gather a few friends and buy your tickets soon as they sell out fast. For larger groups, give them a call and mention your dietary preferences when booking. Last year, they were happy to accommodate my gluten-free, vegan request.
Planning an event or a wedding? Strathmere is an award-winning destination with 3 additional venues on site. Chef Angelo reassures me that every party, large or small, gets the same kind of special culinary attention. Please, inform the organizers of your specific dietary needs.
The Café at Strathmere is located at 1980 Phelan Road West, North Gower, Ontario K0A 2T0
For The Café’s full menu or for more information on upcoming events or booking a venue visit strathmere.com
The last recipe post on Fresh is Real was the Vegetable Chickpea Stew.
And, the most recent GFV bread recipe was the Bread Machine Loaf.
Share your favourite restaurant
Do you have a favourite dining spot that is friendly, allergy aware and that also caters to a variety of dietary needs?
Please share your finds with us below in the comments! If you read this and enjoyed it, please rate this post to help others find it!
Additional allergen-friendly restaurant reviews (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal area): allergy-bites.com/toronto-restaurant-reviews-allergy-friendly
Kristy Chapman, thank you for always taking me up on my creative photography requests!