Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ottawa Eats: Colour, Taste and Texture at La Belle Verte

Aside from feeling energetic, happy, and awesome, there's something about raw food that really just makes me smile. I've often talked about the Chinese cooking elements of taste, texture, colour, smell, and flavour. The ideal dish has all five, along with being nutritionally maximizing. Raw food is often able to hit all of those things to perfection, but I have to say, our trip to la Belle Verte across the bridge in Gatineau took that concept to a whole new level.
We've been wanting to try this place since we moved here, mostly because it's kind of the only raw vegan restaurant in the area right now. On the downside, because it's in Gatineau and we're car-free, it's a little hard to get to. However, since we had to rent a car this weekend to go help out some friends anyway, a trip to la Belle Verte became a top priority.

The food there is just so beautiful. I already love my veggies to begin with, but their platage actually made me giggle and do my little yummy food dance with delight whenever something was brought to the table. The portions were really generous, but given that it's mostly all veggies you don't get stuffed, just happily full. Everything was so flavourful and just so bright! There's no way you can't be put into a good mood eating this kind of food. If my life could be a never ending bowl of Belle Verte salad, I would be quite content. We kept thinking that if everyone could have veggies this way, the world would be such a healthier place.

Knowing Andrew and I, we couldn't just go there once. We ended up going with a friend on Friday night before another one of our theatre performances and again on Sunday for lunch. Here were our eats on Friday:
Our starter: La Belle Verte Platter
(heaps of veggies with their flax crackers, and a sample of their pesto and "nacho" sauce)
See, you've got your colour, your different textures, tastes, etc. Beautiful!

Andrew's Plate: The Greek Pizza
(Tomato olive tapenade, raw Zorba cheese, pesto, veggies, olives, 
kale bits, caramelized onions on a flax bread crust)

My Plate: The "Well-Dressed" Pizza

(Tomato olive tapenade, pesto, veggies, 
"bacon" and kale bits, caramelized onions on a flax bread crust)

While it was undeniably delicious, it was the kind of raw that was just a tad 
too heavy of me because of the amount of nut cheeses and sauces 
+ flax bread... Even though I knew that, I did eat the whole 
thing, so I'm probably also responsible for that...

Kristen's Plate: The Raw Sushi
(A beautiful rainbow wheel of veggies wrapped in nori with a ginger tamari dressing)

Andrew's Dessert: Raw Chocolate Pie w/ Raspberry Sauce
(FYI: Anything with raspberry sauce is delicious)

As you can probably see, the one thing I would mention is that all the menu items are essentially similar versions of the same combination of ingredients. The platters, salads, and pizzas are essentially a reshuffling of the same sauces, flax breads/crackers, and veggies in different ratios. That being said, they are so good that I really didn't care.

And then for our Sunday brunch date excursion, we had:

My Plate: "Le Grand Cru" Platter
(Platter of heaped veggies, flax crackers, the best sauerkraut EVER,
and a sample of tapenade and cashew cheese)

It was easily my favourite because it was mostly veggies, had sauerkraut,
and the right amount of everything else.

Andrew's Plate: The Raw Quiche
(Their 3 raw spreads over an almond bread with veggies)

 Andrew's Dessert: The Raw Cheesecake
(I had a bite, and it had an excellent texture)

If you're in town, go have a healthy meal! You can find them at 166 Rue Eddy in Gatineau. Given the abundance of the food, La Belle Verte is actually very very affordable. They're not open every day but do check their hours before hand because they do have a tendency to change up a bit.


  1. Your photos are amazing. Do you take them all? - Samyukta

  2. I sure do :) Usually food is so beautiful though it's not very difficult to make it look good!