UPDATE: Since summer 2019, MENA closed its doors.
Welcome to MēNa restaurant, where last week food blogger Nina from Nina near and far and I tried this incredible restaurant for a VIP tasting event, and this is my impression on the whole experience, I gave it a 4.9 out of 5⭐️.
Location: nestled in beautiful Little Italy, at 276 Preston St. Little Italy is always filled with activities, with visitors as much as locals. You can find lots of quaint shops and restaurants like MëNa.
Parked, I make my way to the restaurant, a beautiful street corner, lots of windows, with a classy interior. This is going to be a lovely evening. Let us begin this evening of culinary exploration with a blind menu paired with their top wines, included a red, a white, Icewine, and more.
Welcoming us when we arrived, the server greeted us with a warm smile, right away the evening began on a high note, she tended to our needs specifically food allergies, our questions regarding this event created for us by the chef. The selection of food is on one side while the wine selection on the left. The blind menu listed the ingredients for our evening, we chose the wine pairing for our evening, It gives the sommelier control on our evening and for us a surprise every dish or the wine bottle of your choice for the entire culinary experience… that’s easy, right. The detail to the service we received was impeccable, we both got served every dish identically at the same time… the best part we got to share the surprise together.
Attention to detail is a quality all of the servers carried out during the whole evening. The sommelier paired wines (3oz each) perfectly with every plate, a book of knowledge he had for us, on top, our server knew as much on the wines served as he did! Teamwork at its best, each team member worked successfully together.
You can see our evening was an unforgettable culinary event, not just a meal. Now to the main event… the different plates, I couldn’t imagine enjoying so many flavours… but an FYI use the various salts that are served with each dish as the extra burst of characters will come out, changing the taste from unusual to incredible. We learned it, we enjoyed it. On to the interior decor, clean, modern, decorated in a simple, classy style. The bar has a seating area where you can see the chef with his team work away.
Some of the plates that were served to us, filled with flavours. Very colourful and well presented for each of the dishes that were served to us that evening. We peeked at the people next to our table, who got the exact service we were enjoying. Very impressed!
The only and I mean it’s a Mother Nature thing, the windows had no way to hide the brightness that came in from outside! Once the sun went down a bit and it got darker, a romantic feel arrived within the beautiful space, that’s when our perfect evening started. I must admit we had an early start to our evening, that was our choice, next time I’ll book accordingly.
At the end of a fabulous evening, Chef James came out to greet us before we left, we got a last take home melt in your mouth surprise. Unique is what I called it, a unique gift to little Italy, Welcome back to Ottawa.
Disclosure: Sporadically, I accept gifts, accept travel vouchers, also included: great eatery and hotel experiences and additional events that I consider being appropriate to share with my supporters while assisting them in making a great decision on happenings. Look for the word #sponsored on my blog and Instagram posts. My criticisms, suggestions and my experiences are authentic, reliable and composed to advantage you the consumer while trying to experience similar events that I’ve experienced.