Posted in Restaurants, Rib Steak

Review: Empire Grill, Ottawa

47 Clarence St., Ottawa, Ontario – (613) 241-1343Webpage

Date of Visit: August 15, 2011

Ambience and Service

I arrived at about 7:30pm on a Monday night. It was very humid and there was thunder in the air. I was given a nice seat outside on the deck right by the sidewalk and was able to enjoy a slight breeze. It began to rain after a bit and umbrellas were put up which actually added a sort of coziness to the experience. The outside and inside were both filled to about half-capacity when I arrived, which seemed quite full for that time of the week. The service overall was very friendly and helpful and I didn’t have to wait for any longer than seemed reasonable for the crowd. The waitress who looked after me for the whole evening was quite knowledgeable about the food and drinks and even ventured some suggestions on the wine.


The Steak

20oz Cowboy Cut Bone-in Rib Steak cooked medium rare and charred ($44) with a side of Jumbo button mushrooms with sage and white truffle oil ($6)

After some pleasurable experiences here, this meal was a major disappointment.  At nearly $50 for the steak I expected a decent cut but his one was tough and chewy and had a pretty good line of gristle through it. It was also not well cooked. It was medium rare as requested but there was very little charring except on the edge fat, which was the only really good part of the whole thing. The meat tasted like slice of roasted prime rib, which is okay if that is what you ordered but I wanted a grilled steak and did not get it. The cook appears to have covered the steak at some point so it even had a slight steamed taste, which was really unacceptable.  The mushrooms were unfortunately on the same level. They were just regular market mushrooms that were more steamed than sautéed. The sage was barely detectable and the truffle oil was a cheap variety and did nothing to elevate what was ultimately a totally amateurish dish. I can only give this meal a rib-steak rating of 1 out of 5 stars



Were it not for the good service and the enjoyable time I had sitting drinking wine while I awaited my meal, I would have awarded only one star to reflect the very poor steak. I have had good experiences at this restaurant in the past but my experience on this occasion was so unimpressive that I am not in any rush to return.


The Empire Grill on Urbanspoon


I am a lawyer by profession and my practice is Criminal... I mean, I specialize in Criminal law. My work involves travelling on Court circuits to remote Arctic communities. In between my travels I write a Food blog at

One thought on “Review: Empire Grill, Ottawa

Comments, thoughts or suggestions most welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s