Welcome to the second edition of the Ottawa Lookout Insider.
It appears that April has turned into Italian month here at the Insider but I assure you that this is not by design. At least not consciously by design. But as co-owner of Farinella Nina put it, I’m one of those people who is “Italian by association” and given the circles in which I grew up here in Ottawa, that’s nothing less than the truth.
As I travel the city in search of what is good and perhaps unique, I’m discovering that this is simultaneously an exercise in memory excavation. The neighbourhoods in which I find myself bring back thoughts of early restaurant experiences, grade school loves and high school meet-ups at Daphne & Victors in the Byward for burgers and carrot cake.
In the year ahead I look forward to sharing more finds with you the readers in order that new memories may be forged over all the fabulous tables our city has to offer.
— Ralf Joneikies, food and drink editor
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I relished the idea of coming back to Ottawa but a part of me had a deep dread of returning to the capital to be confronted with the pizzas I'd long left behind. Leaden pies sodden with under-cooked veg and steamed meats buried under gobs of molten second rate cheese that always threatened to twice clog up the plumbing.
But as I explored the city I was met with many surprises and to learn that good Neapolitan style pizza had arrived in Ottawa, well it was a hallelujah moment. And then I experienced Farinella, found in Little Italy at 492 Rochester St. Long rectangular pizzas were common back in the day at certain Italian bakeries and at the homes of friends, and now Farinella was bringing them back.d
I warn you now that I will embarrass myself by talking in superlatives about my experiences here, but I also promise to leave the ‘cheese’ to the experts in the kitchen.
The name Farinella sprang from the mind of Nonna (grandmother) of sibling co-owners Nina and Cesare, “Cez,” D'Agostini. Appropriately it roughly translates as “Woman of the wheat.” But let's travel back a little first…
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