Raise a glass to Corner 230’s cocktails and dinner menu โ€“ Shaw Local

Raise a glass to Corner 230's cocktails and dinner menu โ€“ Shaw Local

A single prerequisite guided our dinner destination for a recent Girls’ Night: the restaurant must serve cocktails.

Because the majority of us were wrapping up workdays in Ottawa that afternoon, we honed our attention on downtown dining options, and set our sights on Corner 230. Since the Madison Street restaurant opened in 2010, it has built a reputation as a casual social destination with stellar food and an excellent bar.

The food and drinks served at our table did justice to that reputation.

When our party of four gathered on a weekday evening, the outdoor dining area was already hopping. We took a table indoors, and perused the drinks menu, which features โ€œSex and the Cityโ€ themed cocktails (such as a Kettle One cosmopolitan called Carrie B, and a spicy bloody mary-tini called Samantha), as well as seasonal, Caribbean -inspired mixed drinks.

Our quartet loves when a bartender blends sweet and fruit-flavored concoctions, and Corner 230 โ€“ commonly dubbed C230 โ€“ ticks that box with a giant check mark. Among drinks served to our table were the Charlotte (citrus vodka and cranberry), the C230 Summer Cooler (Citron vodka, Malibu, peach schnapps and cranberry), the Orange Crush (orange whiskey, Triple Sec, orange juice and Sprite) and the Miranda (pineapple-infused vodka, amaretto, cranberry and Sprite), which was a favorite among two of our group.

Then there was the Pineapple Jalapeno Marg. I was a skeptic when my friend ordered it, but she defended the pineapple margarita infused with jalapeรฑo garnish. She offered me a sip and turned me into a believer. The sweet mixture has a spicy kick that hits right away, but doesn’t linger.

After the first round of drinks arrived, the server took our orders. One member of our group is a vegetarian and asked to order the homemade four-cheese macaroni and cheese from the children’s menu. The server upgraded the portion to an adult size to accommodate her. (A side note for vegetarians: the menu includes a soup and salad section with meatless options, as well as several meatless pasta dishes.)

C230 made other accommodations for our group, such as allowing one friend to order a large basket of garlic Parmesan fries as an appetizer, even though they typically are reserved as a side. (If you enjoy garlic flavor, these fries are a must-try โ€“ we emptied the basket.) The prevailing attitude of the restaurant staff was laid-back and friendly, making us feel welcome and at ease.

The drinks started the night on a high note, but the food elevated the evening. Appetizers of spinach, crab and artichoke dip, toasted ravioli and fries were shared among us, followed by four entrees: 230 Mini Burgers with seasoned beef, Spanish white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise; Chicken Trio mini sandwiches with chicken, spinach, tomato, red onion, goat cheese and garlic aioli; homemade four-cheese macaroni; and chicken piccata.

I’m no chef, but I give the chicken piccata a chef’s kiss anyway. The lemon-herbed chicken carried the tart flavor of the citrus and capers, as well as the rich flavor of a buttery sauce. The chicken is served with a side of angel hair pasta mingled with spinach and tomatoes, adding a garden-fresh burst to the plate.

We spent two hours socializing, in which time the dining room remained steadily busy. Outdoor seating may be more conducive to casual conversation, because, as the dining room nears capacity, the volume indoors increases.

Diners should note the restaurant eventually plans to relocate from its Madison Street location; however, a date and new site have not yet been announced. Watch the restaurant’s Facebook for updates.

โ€ข The Mystery Diner is an employee of Shaw Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a different restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.


WHAT: Corner 230 (C230)

WHERE: 230 W.Madison St., Ottawa

PHONE: 815-434-0000

INFORMATION: Facebook at www.fb.com/corner230




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