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“Dinner loved by our guests but not by us” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pelican Grill

Pelican Grill
Ranked #34 of 2,658 Restaurants in Ottawa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$11 - US$37
Cuisines: Seafood, Canadian, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: A casual seafood bistro with a fresh fish market attached. We are only interested in serving the freshest fish and seafood we can get!
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Dinner loved by our guests but not by us”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2012

After reading all the great reviews here on TA my wife and I booked dinner with another couple to treat them for his birthday.

First off be aware this place is tiny and we were packed in. Not a huge deal, but just so you know. My seat was literally back to back with another chair. We were seated and dropped off water and amazing bread and then told about the menu. We placed our drink order and then waited...over 20 minutes for our drinks and to have our order taken. We ordered our food and then waited for our apps which came out pretty fast but without cutlery and my wife had to request cocktail sauce twice before it was received. Most of the staff were very friendly but seemed very absent minded and we did not really know who was taking care of us as we had at least 3 servers visiting the table (the first of which seem quite scattered and disinterested). I also noted that the plates and glasses were gritty feeling and not so shiny. Not dirty...just not nice to touch.

Ah well...IMO it's the food that matters...I will not speak to our guest's food except to say that they felt it was some of the best seafood they have had in Ottawa. I wish I felt the same

For apps my wife and I shared: clam chowder...it was OK. Not great to start but it grew on me. Not what I grew up on in NS but not at all bad. Mussels in creamy garlic sauce. This was the highlight of the meal. Really tasty (but my wife felt it was too strong of a flavor of bacon..I don't think there is such a thing). Crab Cakes. This was a miss. Not the best I've had by far. An odd combination of too dry on the exterior and just mushy inside. Not pleasant.

For mains, my wife had oysters which were very tiny even for the price (two were nearly nonexistent, not meaty just water on a shell).

I had the Halibut and Chips...I love Fish and Chips and I love Halibut...unfortunately this experience was without flavor and oily (but I will say the fries were actually some of the best I've ever had)

I come from the east coast and perhaps I expect too much or maybe my palate is just tuned to that taste. Again it was not a horrible meal at all, it just could have been so much more. For east coast seafood I'd choose Merivale Fish Market...another fish market/restaurant combo with a flavor that is more familiar to me and a real NS feel

Meal for four with 1/2L of wine tax/tip was $215

  • Visited January 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank PCWedding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim F, Owner at Pelican Grill, responded to this review, 24 January 2012
I agree completely with your comment that it comes down to personal taste.
Thank-you for dining with us, Jim
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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446 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    251
    143
    28
    13
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa
Level Contributor
89 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Delicious and Great Service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 January 2012

The place is in a fish store but that is quickly forgotten and the service is excellent. The food was amazing and everything was perfect throughout the visit. Had PEI muscles in thi sauce and shared with collegue it was excellent and a huge portion as well. It was lunch and I had boulibase soup which was really good - they did downscale on shrimps and scallops and this time it had a lot more white fish then the way I rember it but stil exceptionally good. Enjoyed my lunch and so did my collegue and was impressed about th elocation and ambiance.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank brezovcan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
105 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Good food in a relaxed atmosphere.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2012

We tried this restaurant with a Groupon. The staff were excellent; friendly, low key and gracious. My starter was coconut shrimp and 10 spice sauce; crispy and tender. My husband had lobster bisque but felt it was too salty and not very exciting. His entree was shrimp on saffron infused risotto; delicious. I had fish and chips; nicely made. We will be back!

  • Visited January 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank DrCanadaGoose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa Ontario Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“New Years Eve”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

This was our third trip to the Pelican for their New Year's Eve menu. My husbands family is from Nova Scotia and are very particular about their seafood, however once we tried this place they want to go back every year. There is a wide variety of times to book, and although small in size the service is BIG. You must like seafood as there is no other option. You have a three course meal for under $50 which is awesome for New Years! We will be back again.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank heattvc15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim F, Owner at Pelican Grill, responded to this review, 12 January 2012
Thanks for your very kind words. Everyone here was thrilled that you enjoyed your New Years meal. Thanks for your support! Jim
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

I booked a table for 6 people on Dec 30th evening. Food is amazing. Everyone loves what they ordered. I ordered Salmon. It's the best taste I've ever tried and it's only $22. I've tried more expensive salmon in other restaurant, but this is way better. It's fresh. My daughter loved the poutine with lobster. We also ordered clam chowder, fish and chip, etc. For sure will go to this restaurant if I visit Ottawa again.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Darrel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim F, Owner at Pelican Grill, responded to this review, 12 January 2012
We are really happy to hear that you enjoyed your meal.
Chef Rob's Crab cakes are a real hit. We now carry them in the store to take home along with our Lobster bisque and Clam chowder.
The scallops that you enjoyed are the best that we can purchase. They are "dry scallops' which means they have never been soaked in water unlike most of the Scallops available. Cheers, Jim
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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