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“Worth the hype, without being pretentious”
Review of Pelican Grill

Pelican Grill
Ranked #36 of 2,785 Restaurants in Ottawa
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$39
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, After-hours, Breakfast, Reservations
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
Level 6 Contributor
199 reviews
139 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
“Worth the hype, without being pretentious”
Reviewed 5 February 2012

As with many others, we tried Pelican Grill following the top TripAdvisor ranking. Overall we would say it's certainly not fine-dining, but it delivers excellent food, service and value leaving everyone satisfied. All things being equal, I enjoyed it more than Beckta or Atelier since I didn't feel we were paying a hefty "reputation" premium price.

After some nice complimentary bread, we had the lobster poutine and the upgraded fish and chips, both of which we loved. We also did the maple creme brulee and chocolate cake for dessert, with the first being fantastic and the second just pretty good. They were made on site and only 5.95 each. Amazingly, the lobster poutine and the creme brulee combined were only $15, the best value combination I've seen for a delicious light meal and dessert. If we had more room the soups sounded amazing as well. Service was very friendly and helpful.

The only detraction is the atmosphere. One has to go to a dingy strip mall, through a busy, smelly fish store to get to the restaurant. The actual restaurant ambiance is pretty nice, although the zany staff/fish pictures on the walls could be retired for a more upscale look. The smell is still present, but one gets used to it quickly.

Tip: Make a reservation several days in advance. Even with two days notice we could only get 8pm on a Friday or 5pm on Saturday. It will likely get busier too, as the server told us they just sold 1100 Groupon coupons.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank J P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Was okay but expected more after reading reviews”
Reviewed 4 February 2012

Service was great and staff accommodating, however, not the greatest seafood. The seafood at the Vineyards in the Market was head and shoulders above this.

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Patricia O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great seafood”
Reviewed 2 February 2012

Food is always good, hot & creative, & the service is friendly & attentive.

Helpful?
1 Thank LovePEI
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, 7 February 2012
We love PEI too. Thanks for your kind ! Jim
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Exactly what I expected, excellent meal”
Reviewed 1 February 2012

If you're looking for a 5 star, keep looking. I saw the ratings for this place on Yelp and Tripadvisor and it sparked my interest. This is a fish market / restaurant, but fancier than your average diner. It is always a good sign when you walk up to restaurant and the dining room is full, on a Wednesday evening. The service was very good, rapid and polite. The clam chowder was excellent, rich and tasty. Main course was the Wild Halibut Fish & Chips. The fish basically would cut itself with the fork and the batter is not caked on too thick. In other words, I found the fish excellent. It was all washed down with Beau's Organic Lugtread Beer, all-in-all, excellent meal. Will go again

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Vidad_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Decent place, but nowhere near best in Ottawa”
Reviewed 31 January 2012

I rely on Trip Advisor to give me a good idea of what to do and where to eat when I travel. It's a fantastic resource, but you also have to do further research to get a balanced view...especially on places to eat. I live in Ottawa, only a five minute drive from Pelican Grill. It is located in a mini-mall on a very commercial stretch of Bank Street, in the back half of a fish shop. So if location and ambience are important to you, this wouldn't be your top choice. Having said that, if you don't mind pretty tight seating and you love seafood, this place consistently provides friendly service and good food for a moderate price.
It is a good restaurant, no question, but there is no chance it would make any other list as the top spot in Ottawa. The Whalesbone Oyster House is fantastic for sustainable seafood and hits it out of the park in all other ways. There are many many great places to eat in Ottawa. Pelican Grill is a good restaurant, no question, but not one of the greats.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Bergie01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jim F, Manager at Pelican Grill, responded to this review, 1 February 2012
Hi Bergie, thanks for joining us and for taking the time to comment. We are sorry to hear that you don’t share the opinion of many other Trip Advisor reviewers but we feel everyone’s opinion is important and we respect yours. 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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