Skip to content

Review: Brothers Beer Bistro

366 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa – 613-695-6300 – Website

Brothers Bistro 1

Date of Visit: March 13, 2013

 Brother’s Beer Bistro attracted me initially after I saw a grilled octopus entrée on their online-menu. When I visited the place recently, however, I was disappointed to discover that the offering had been discontinued a few weeks earlier and I almost went elsewhere. I didn’t, as it happened, and, though the meal I ended up having wasn’t exactly spectacular, by any means, I still enjoyed a pretty nice evening…

Ambience and Service

Brothers Bistro 2

I arrived at Brother’s at around 6pm on a Wednesday evening and, though it was only half-full when I arrived, it became quite busy as the evening progressed. It is not a large place at all, but it manages to seat 75 or so without being overcrowded and is open and airy with a décor that is a cross between chicly modern and pub-style comfortable.

I was greeted and seated immediately upon arrival and the young lady who served me was very friendly and helpful in discussing the various menu selections. I was most impressed when, after telling her that I wished to take my time and enjoy a leisurely few drinks before eating, she said ‘if you aren’t in a rush, then I am not’. She was as good as a word and helped to make my general experience relaxed and enjoyable.

The Menu

Brothers touts itself as a ‘Beer Bistro’ and, indeed, they have a pretty good selection of drafts and bottled products from all over the place (with a couple of specialties coming in at $25 for a 750ml bottle, I noted). The food menu is fairly short, listing 6 appetizers, 5 mains, and there are some charcuterie and cheese combinations available as well as deserts. There are suggestions for beer pairings rather than wine pairings given and, I was surprised to learn, each menu, including, apparently the sweets, item uses beer somewhere in the preparation. I didn’t get to peruse them but, in addition to the dinner menu I was given, there are also lunch and late-night menus as well.

Brothers Bistro 3

Before ordering, I was given a small platter of bread along with two butter preparations, one made with a stout and one with a light beer. The bread was fresh and very nicely done (though whether made on the premises or not I neglected to inquire), but I have to confess that, after having just finished two very rich stouts, my palate was a bit too ‘jaded’ to fully appreciate the subtleties of the butter.

The Dishes

Brothers Bistro 4

Tuna Tartare  – This appetizer selection was described as fresh Albacore Tuna with cucumber, peanuts, paprika aioli, lime and house made potato chips. It was quite nicely presented, I thought, but a little lacking in the execution. The cucumber really dominated the tuna to the point that I could barely taste the fish and the choice of cut for the ingredients was too chunky and not really right. Smaller cubes would probably have been better, or even a thin julienne maybe, but as is, the effect was jarring and unsubtle. The peanuts added a nice textural quality, and were a nice idea, but the lime didn’t work well and the aioli was rather insipid. The chips were actually very good, if not wildly exciting, and I actually had to restrain myself from eating them all so as not to spoil my main course. Overall, I rated this at a 3 out of 5.

Brothers Bistro 5

Steak Frites with Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Malt Aioli and Dead Guy Butter – In ordering my main course I as torn between this particular offering and a duck entrée that the waitress recommended. As I had eaten duck the night before I went with the steak instead and, I have to say, I was a little disappointed. I ordered the steak medium rare and, though nicely charred at the edges, it was a little overcooked. In addition to being pre-sliced for me (which I dislike when it comes to steak), it was quite dry, very chewy, and, I have to conclude, just not a very good cut. The sprouts, although nicely caramelized and a lovely fresh green color, were not cooked all the way through, and the fries (a difficult item to mess up) were overdone and bland. Again, as with the previous dish, the aioli was weak and uninteresting and I could only rate the dish, as a whole, at a mediocre 3 out of 5.

(Oh, by the way, the Dead Guy Butter was butter blended with ‘Double Dead Guy Ale. I tried the ale and it was pretty good. The butter was nondescript).


Even though the two dishes I ordered were less than well-executed, I enjoyed excellent service, some really good beers and a pleasant atmosphere. I would be happy to give the menu another chance sometime and I rate the overall experience at a decent 4 out of 5.

Brother's Beer Bistro on Urbanspoon

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I would never have thought of putting ale in butter. I agree with you: better to drink it!

    March 24, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Notable Nosh: Water Buffalo Sausage | Sybaritica
  2. Notable Nosh: Grilled Octopus | Sybaritica

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Meet & Eats

The food that I've had the pleasure of meeting and eating.

Uncle Grumpy's Playroom

Current events, humor, science, religion, satire

Food Travel Lover

走过的地方 尝过的美食 留下的回忆

The Odd Pantry

Essays on food

Reputable Sources

Organizing ferments since 2013

that Other Cooking Blog

. food . photo . sous vide .


My Virtual Cookbook to Share My Love and Joy of Food and Cooking One Recipe at a Time

lola rugula

my journey of cooking, gardening, preserving and more

Yummy Lummy

I cook, photograph and eat food with the occasional restaurant review!

Eye Of the Beholder

A pair of eternally curious eyes and a camera...Life is beautiful.

gluten free zen

Taking The Stress Out Of Gluten-Free Grain-Free & Dairy-Free Living

Clayton's Kitchen

Big flavors and fun cooking from a cubbyhole kitchen

Bunny Eats Design

Happy things, tasty food and good design


Dentist chef, just a dentistry student who practice the dentist's cooking recipes in a dentist's kitchen

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?


Real Food & Real Opinions

Bento Days

Making bentos for kids

Garden to Wok

Fresh and tasty!

Bam's Kitchen

Healthy World Cuisine

Trang Quynh

everyone is special in their own way :)

Farm to Table Asian Secrets

Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season


If people say that life is too short to drink bad wine, it means also that life is too short to eat crappy food!

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

The Unorthodox Epicure

Confessions of an Aspiring Food Snob

The 好吃 Challenge

1 girl, 273 days, 100 recipes


a recipe sharing and bento blog


Just another site

The Food Nazi

Never try to eat more than you can lift

Expat Chef in Barcelona

From my kitchen to yours

Keeping Up With the Holsbys

a journey into my head and my pantry

Nurul's Culinary Adventures

I Love Food, the Universe and Everything!!


home-cooking recipes, restaurant reviews, International cuisine ,

Naked Vegan Cooking

Body-positive Vegan Goodness

Bites of Food History

Sharing my Experimental Archaeology of Food

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine


A Journey About Food, Recipes And Destinations


Fresh, exciting and adventurous food journey

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

%d bloggers like this: