Seafood Linguine at Play, Food & Wine in Ottawa
I have previously described a number of wonderful dishes served to me at Play, Food, & Wine down in Ottawa’s Market, with their Grilled Tempeh, and their Grilled Haloumi coming especially to mind. The little bistro style establishment is one of my favorite restaurants in a district with a heavy concentration of fine dining locations and, as a rule, the service and the quality of the food is excellent. Once in a while, however, standards fail, as in the case of the truly awful dish of Linguine with Seafood I ordered on this particular occasion.
The dish appeared on the menu at Play, Food & Wine as ‘Ragu di Mare Linguine’ and it looked very promising when it was set before me. This restaurant is also a Wine Bar, and their menu always makes pairing suggestions for each dish on offer. I can’t recall what was suggested for this preparation, now whether I followed the suggestion or not, but nothing could really have been enough to raise the enjoyment of this uncommonly poor creation.
The ‘di Mare’ aspect of the dish consisted of Mussels, Shrimp, Cod and Samphire all served in a Tomato based Sauce over Linguine. The samphire, which I was looking forward to trying for the first time, was little more than miniscule green bits that were tasteless. The Cod, also in tiny fragments was also tasteless, as were the Shrimp, which I suspect were of the pre-cooked cocktail variety.
The only substantial part of the dish with any flavour were the Mussels but, tragically, the taste suggested the shellfish were a bit past the peak of freshness. The ‘Ragu’ might have redeemed the whole thing somewhat but, quite honestly, this was like a cross between a boring squash puree, and that insipid tomato sauce you get in canned spaghetti. Disappointing to say the very least.
I would like to say that this was maybe an unfortunate rendering of a good dish on a bad day, but I think this offering was actually bad from conception. I love Play, Food, and Wine, but this poor offering could only be given a Rating of 1 out of 5.