Note: This post was written prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to visit this restaurant in person at that time. They are still in operations currently via take-out and UberEats, so we decided to publish this post as planned at this time to help #supportlocal.
You may have noticed a cute cafe along Preston Street that opened up in the last 2 years. Its pink logo and cute font definitely sticks out compared to the rest of the restaurants/stores on the street with much darker decor. At first glance, you may think that this is a cake/sweet shop but this is actually an Italian restaurant in the heart of Little Italy. We decided to visit during Presdelicious, the 10-day food event on Preston Street where various restaurants in the neighbourhood present 3-course menus at set prices.
Parking was not necessarily easy on a weekend evening but we were able to find parking after checking a few side streets off Preston. I really love the ambience of this cute restaurant. We cannot wait to come back when it’s warmer to sit on their patio. The napkins/walls are all very colourful and whimsical. I love it!
They had a great drinks menu offering beer and ciders, wines, cocktails. I see that they serve Dominion City Sun Split which already says a lot about their great taste in beers.
The evening we went, they had their special 3-course menu as well as their usual menu. Basically the special menu is a selection of their favourite menu items. I chose the meatballs, Shrimply the Best pasta and tiramisu. Since Aaron is trying to be more plant-based, he chose their “Honey I Deep Fried the Brussels”, Vegan Dream and ice-cream sandwich
So it appears their dishes for this event is smaller than their usual portions. There are only 2 meatballs instead of 3, like on their usual menu. It also doesn’t come with garlic bread but that’s ok because I asked for some with my pasta. The meatballs were good. The sizes were not too intimidating and the sauce was good. Aaron’s deep fried brussel sprouts stole the spotlight though. It was the best dish of the night. When you first bite in there’s an explosion of umami flavours. It must be the honey chilli oil that gives it this distinct and addictive taste. Don’t forget to dip this in their lemon garlic red pepper aioli. It’s a match made in heaven.
For our mains, I quite enjoyed their Shrimply the Best as recommended by my foodie colleague. I love the unique creamy pesto sauce. The shrimp were huge and paired nicely with my pasta. Just because I am quite sensitive to sour flavours, I wish there was less lemon in this and it would have been perfect. Aaron enjoyed his vegan pasta although he did appreciate my linguine over his eggless penne. He also is not a fan of tomatoes and couldn’t finish all the sun-dried tomatoes in his dish. The garlic bread was hot out of the oven and very delicious. I used it to soak up the creamy pesto sauce and it was lovely. We only asked for one order but there was enough for the both of us.
Dessert was great. I really enjoyed my beautifully presented tiramisu. It was very light and soft. The cacao powder was a little intense though. If you breath in too quickly you may accidentally inhale this into the wrong pipe so just be careful. Aaron enjoyed his ice cream sandwich with a really creamy vanilla centre and two chocolate chip cookies on the outside.
The service was excellent. The servers were very attentive and our water glasses were constantly being refilled throughout the night.
We had a really nice evening at DreamLand Cafe. Apparently you can book their restaurant for events and parties. That is another possibility in the future! We would definitely return even without the Presdelicious menu and we look forward to sitting on their patio this summer. (Hopefully, if the physical distancing restrictions are lifted.)
262 Preston St. Ottawa ON, K1R 7R5