431 Sussex Dr., Ottawa – (613) 562-5544 – Website
Date of Visit: March 16, 2013
On the last full day of my recent week long trip to Ottawa, I felt like a relaxing day of doing not too much. I had been everywhere I wanted to go, seen what I wanted to see, and a pleasant afternoon reading in nice surroundings while being served a little food and drink seemed perfect. I settled on the Earl of Sussex Pub down on Sussex Drive and was well-rewarded in my choice…
Ambience and Service
The Pub is a very handsomely appointed place that seats around 100 or so. It features lots of stone and dark polished wood and has a lovely view of the National Art Gallery and Parliament. There is also a very pleasant patio at the side of the building that, although closed at present, must be very nice in the summertime.
The place remained surprisingly empty for most of my visit and I took a very nice seat by the front windows. The waitress who served me brought me coffee immediately and was very pleasant and chatty. When I notice that my table was a little unbalanced and wobbly, she helped me to fix it right away and was always on hand whenever my glass looked perilously close to becoming empty.
The Earl of Sussex, being a Pub rather than a restaurant, features much the sort of fare as you would expect in such a place, leaning to burgers, fish and chips, and the like. On Saturdays, they feature a brunch between 10am and 4pm, but on this particular occasion, none of the various offerings appealed to me and I sampled a number of drafts and bottled beers until 3pm when the usual lunch menu also becomes available.
Shepherds Pie – I don’t often order Shepherds Pie in restaurants as I much prefer my own home made version, but I decided to give this one a try and found it fairly decent. It was certainly a generous size and very filling but I have to say that I didn’t care for the gravy on top. Even if it had been a much better gravy than the commercial, powdered mix type served here, gravy on top of Shepherds Pie just seemed wrong.
As with most restaurant offerings, the pie was heavy on the potato and vegetables rather than meat, but it was still very nicely rich and tasty. The only thing I found a little jarring was the use of cumin. I love cumin in almost anything but it seemed a little out of place here. Despite this, I enjoyed it as a whole and give it a rating of 3 out of 5.
Someday, I would love to visit this place in the evening when there is a bit of a crowd but, for a Saturday afternoon, it is a very nice and comfortable place to while away a few hours (well… almost 6 hours, in my case). I don’t see myself rushing back there for the food, especially, but I still enjoyed my meal and received excellent service. Rating: 4 out of 5.