This link is a bit old, but Anne Desbrisay of The Ottawa Citizen writes about her Best Bites of 2008: My year on a fork:

“Two thousand and eight was a banner year for good new restaurants in the Capital Region. The ones that gave me most pleasure (in order of tasting) were Napo, Fraser Café, Murray Street, Big Easy’s, Navarra, and b’Side Kitchen and Wine.”

Some members of our little FineDiners club (together and separately) visited most of those places in 2008 and we’d have to agree – Murray Street, Big Easy’s, Navarra, Fraser Cafe, and b’Side are all among our faves.  I’ve not personally tried Fraser or b’Side yet, but will be  popping over to Fraser for lunch tomorrow and can’t wait!  (None of us have heard of Napo, but I guess we’ll have to add it to the list!)

Desbrisay also writes:

“What distinguishes this harvest of new restaurants from past years’ crops is not just the number of them, but that most of these new places are chef-run. In past years, it seemed every new restaurant in this city was another big, loud, modern eatery that had more to do with the designer’s vision than the cook’s. But not this year; chef-run restaurants tend to start in the kitchen.”

Amen, it’s been a great year for foodies in Ottawa, here’s to a great 2009!