Fauna first opened it’s doors on Ottawa’s Bank Street in 2014. At the time it was the city’s most hotly anticipated restaurant. Local Ottawa food fans patiently waited two years to take their first bite no thanks to landlord troubles. It seems as though playing the game “patience is a virtue” offers its own reward as chef and owner Jon Svazas’s concept was an instant hit, claiming the 65th spot on Canada’s Top 100 Restaurants list.
The former shoe shop was transformed into an open concept space (seating 60), outfitted with mixed materials, from exposed brick walls, to wooden detailing, statement lighting, and a zinc topped bar.
Svazas has spent over 15 years working in kitchens in Canada’s capital, including Taylor’s Genuine Food and Wine, Domus Cafe, Farbs, Vittoria Trattoria and the Arc Hotel. His Fauna menu reads Nouveau Canadian, with artfully plated dishes showcasing local Ottawa region producers paired with a flare for flavours from France, Italy, Korea, Malaysia and Japan.
Fauna’s mixology program is one of the city’s finest. The tomato-free Kimchi Caesar offers a marvel of spicy meets savoury, sip after sip. From the kitchen highlights include Elk Carpaccio with fermented nectarine and sour gherkins, a heap of greens with sweet caramelized goat’s cheese and crispy chicken skin, Quail with cranberry ginger jam, and half a roasted squash dressed up with curried coconut milk, maple syrup, herb salad, cashews and toasted shallots.
Father Knows Best | havana club 7 year, calvados brandy, lemon, ginger & apple syrup, ginger beer
Kimchi Caesar | absolut vodka, kimchi, sriracha, olive brine, black pepper, lime, worcestershire
Ceres Sour | tanqueray, st germaine, cucumber, agave, egg white, nicklebrook ceres, saline
Elk Carpaccio | sour gherkins, nori mayo, parmesan, fermented nectarine, mushroom, salt, potato crackers
Greens | caramelized goat’s cheese, crispy chicken skin, cherry tomatoes, truffle + lemon vinaigrette
Quail | potato aligot, sunchokes, kale, cippolini, mushrooms, cranberry ginger jam, jus
Roasted Squash | curried coconut milk, maple syrup, herb salad, cashew, toasted shallots