Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
New Brunswick (Canada)
3.73/5 rDev -0.5%
I used to live in Ottawa and had always made Pub Italia a regular hang-out, but I'll review it based on my most recent visit, which was a Tuesday evening.
We arrived at 7:00 pm with the intention of enjoying several beers and some food. We had been by the day before and asked an employee when they were open until, and were told 1:00 am. So, we had several beers... they have a large selection here, easily the best in Ottawa, with many Belgians that can't be found at the LCBO. Our waitress was young and not beer-experienced, which wouldn't be a big deal, but she ACTED like she knew beer. When my friend ordered a Westmalle Tripel, she said they were out but that if he wanted a similar beer, she recommended the Rochefort 10. Wtf?
We split several food items, which were all really good. The only really negative part of the experience was at last call, which happened around 12:00 am. We ordered our last beer, and then at 12:10 were given our bill. She was back at 12:15 asking for our credit card to pay. By 12:25, the employees were waiting at the bar, talking, and kept looking over at us, obviously annoyed. They even started turning off lights by 12:35 or so. If you're a restaurant with posted hours until 1:00 am, it's really not professional to be glaring at customers who have been there 5+ hours and spending over 150$ on beer and food when you aren't technically closed yet.
I'd still go back if I lived here, as their beer selection really can't be beat in Ottawa, and I love the food and environment. But the service took quite a hit this visit, which isn't encouraging.
03-04-2010 00:17:11 | More by berley31
3.8/5 rDev +1.3%
Pub Italia is a bit of an odd mix of styles.. living in Ottawa's little Italy, but appearing more as a Belgian abbey than anything else. Regardless it's quite popular and definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. There's three main areas: the bar with some booths and tables closeby, a central eating area and in the summer a good sized patio is open.
The beer selection is quite varied but much of it is available at the LCBO. The markup is reasonable though. Selection leans towards Belgian's but there's a good mix of everything. Some local beers are available including Mill St and Beaus but that might be all. The saving grace is Fullers ESB on tap which always seems to be amazingly fresh.
The servers are typically young women with no real idea about the beer, but they are friendly and provide good service. The bar tenders are knowledgeable, enthusiastic about beer and will come to the table if you have a question or order something they find interesting.
During good weather in the summer the outdoor patio can get busy but I have never had to wait for a table. And I guess if you had to, you could stop by next door and check out the beer paraphenalia store while you wait.
08-04-2009 00:40:12 | More by Ralphus
3.98/5 rDev +6.1%
Located in the heart of Little Italy's restaurant row, Pub Italia announces itself from a block away with multiple beer signs out front, which shine bright in the night. The interior is made to look like an abbey, and there are bottles on display everywhere, as well as other beer memorabilia. Our server (a former Londoner, yeah!) was friendly and knew about the beers she was serving us. She also took the time to chat, which was nice. The beer selection was a large mix of Ontario micros on tap and in bottles, with a seemingly endless Belgian selection, including some harder to find bottles like Deus. On the down side, the pizza came missing the pizza sauce and our appetizer plate had things on it that were not listed on the menu, including two things that we didn't even like, so that seemed like a waste. I'll go back and give the food a try one more time when I'm in the area, but I'll definitely return for the beer.
07-29-2009 12:31:45 | More by mrmanning
3.18/5 rDev -15.2%
Found myself in Ottawa for a few days so on tried this place out based on reviews here.
Firstly the selection of beer is quite good. They have tons of taps and a large selection of belgian bottles. That's about it for this place though.
Service was lacking. We had a group of 4 and it took forever to get waited on. The server came very infrequently.
The food was not very inspired. Had a pizza which was very plain tasting. The others in my group were not overly thrilled with the food either.
The atmosphere is quite remarkable. A belgian themed italian restaurant. Unique place.
As far as the beer goes as i said its a good selection considering the province. Ontario is pretty sad. I wouldn't compare this place with beer bars ive been to in michigan but for Ontario it is pretty good. Had a st. ambroise oatmeal stout a great lakes devils pale ale (decent) and a seasonal offering from beaus wich i have to say is quite good.
All in all i would go here again for the beer but not for the food wich was overpriced and plain
07-05-2009 17:14:35 | More by exbrit
3.5/5 rDev -6.7%
Pub Italia has the largest selection of beer in Ottawa. Period. That isn't to say they have the best, which, in my humble opinion, they most certainly do not.
It's kind of a strange place. Smack dab in the middle of Ottawa's little Italy, it's called pub Italia but it has an Italian/Belgian theme, two countries I seldom think about at the same time. There are mussels and pasta/pizza on the menu, it has a church/abbey theme and it has a pretty extensive beer menu (available on their website). There's a restaurant, a bar and a beer merchandise shop next door.
The food menu is not great, especially when you consider the other eateries in little Italy. Overpriced pasta and pizza, not imaginative and not particularly tasty.
Can't complain too much about the service, it's eye candy. The restaurant staff don't know much about beer, but at least they seem to have an idea of what they have, I never had to repeat my order for them. They're staffed almost entirely by very good looking college/university girls and they all seemed cheery enough.
As for the beer menu, the only reason to really go out of your way for this place, it's a strange sort of selection. I found myself flipping through it about 10 times positive that there was something interesting but never actually finding it. Their beers of the month were good, some of the LCBO seasonals and some harder to find stuff for Ottawa (like Deus) but were really expensive. Otherwise, you're looking at a whole lot of similar tasting lagers, including a large selection of central and Eastern European swill. Who made this menu and how did they make their choices? So many choices from Belgium and yet Barbar made the list? Biggest beef is the lack of local selection. No Scotch-Irish, no Mill Street, no remotely interesting Canadian brews aside from Wellington and Beau's. WTF man? Why open a beer bar and refuse to support local breweries or even wider Canadian brews? Same goes for American beer, only real craft choices were Liberty Ale and Sam Adams I think. Saving grace - ESB on tap, bloody lovely. And, props for serving beers in their proper glasses when available.
Overall, a decent selection for the city, but really frustrating for the reasons mentioned above, not to mention some pretty high prices. I'll probably be back.
03-21-2008 19:32:06 | More by CanuckRover
4.18/5 rDev +11.5%
On my first look at the bar I nearly had goosebumps. The sheer amount of quality and rare draught beer available is astonishing. The offer a huge selection of Belgian beers which are quite hard to find, though the price makes it harder to enjoy. The look of this place since it has been renovated is extravagant. The old abbey was nice, but the new area I enjoy even more. There are no tables in this bar, only old pews from churches which make the benches in the booths which cover this bar. Beautiful place.
I had a good experience with the service, it was fast and helpful. I have tried several plates and the food here is really quite good, but is outshone by its incredible beer selection.
A great place I ought to go more often.
02-21-2008 16:47:31 | More by Quej
4.43/5 rDev +18.1%
An excellent place to find some of the rarest beers in the world. If you can't find it in any LCBO or other restaurant/pub, you can guaranteed find it here.
The atmosphere is excellent, good ambience, without seeming dark. The patio (seasonal) is a refreshing area to sit and bask in the summer sun with friends, and simply watch the pedestrians and traffic go by.
The quality is unquestionable. The only issue I have ever had was ordering a Sinha Stout (Lion Stout in other parts of the world) that I didn't think was all that fresh, since it had some sedimentation in the glass. But was replaced as soon as I even mentioned the issue about sedimentation.
The service, at times, leaves something to be desired. It really depends on who is working that day. A couple of the servers have gone on to bigger and better things, and I honestly miss them. But, not to say that the service is horrible, just try and go on a day that isn't too busy, because you might get ignored.
The food is honestly NOT the reason you will go to Pub Italia or The Abbey, its the beer, and the beer alone. I sometimes order the chicken or a nice porterhouse, but rarely will I order anything other than that. But each and every time, the food is very good.
02-17-2007 05:00:27 | More by Bestuurder
3.7/5 rDev -1.3%
The place is seperated into three sections. The first is a store where you can buy memorobilia (shirts, glasses, coasters, etc.). The second is the pub and restaurant, the third is an abbey, a Belgian style bar. There is also at outdoor seating area, but it was January in canada, so that wasn't happening. The atmosphere is wonderful inside, lots of religous relics, stained glass windows, funky seating, pew style benches and tables, lots of old wood and abbey paraphanalia.
The service I had inside was damn near incompetent. I aksed my waiter for some help, I wanted a beer that was good, heavy, from canada, and not available in the US. He first brought me a Molson product, then a well intentioned new Canadian brewery that turned out to be macro lager swill, and then finally brought me a La Fin Du Monde with great satisfaction on his face. I didn't have the heart to tell him the one decent beer he brought me had been available in the US for over a decade. Would not have beenso bad, but I specifically showed him a list of the top Canadian beers as ranked by BA, and told him specifically no Unibroue. Oh well.
36 taps, 200 in bottles, outisde of Unibroue and St. Ambroise, no top Canadien beers. Lots of Belgians and Germans and even some decent US brews. Check out their web site for a full selection. If you're in Ottawa looking for good beers, this is THE place to go. I was specifically looking for good Canadian beer, and was dissapointed.
The food was good for pub food, my mussels were actually pretty tasty. The pastas looked decent, but I wasn't a fan of the bland pizza offerings. I felt the prices were good on the whole, but hey, it's Canadian money.
01-10-2007 20:16:58 | More by dherling
4.03/5 rDev +7.5%
I've been going to Pub Italia faithfully for a number of years because of their unique atmosphere, their selection of beers (both common and uncommon), and their decent food quality.
First --> their atmosphere: It's unique, very unique. Everytime I walk into the building, I get the feeling that I've travelled back in time to the Middle Ages. If you explore the building further, you'll come across a Belgian style pub called the "Abbey". The Abbey has a slightly different selection of beers and mostly focuses on ones originating from Belgium.
Second --> their food quality... Well -- this establishment could definitely improve the quality of some menu items; However, there are a number of choices that in my opinion are very good; including the pizza's and the baked pasta's. If you enjoy dessert, you won't be disappointed, I have yet to find one on the menu that isn't great.
Third --> their service: This can be hit and miss depending on when you go. I've had servers that are clueless about beer, and I've had the opposite as well. In general, if you go in expecting exceptional service, you might leave somewhat disappointed.
Fourth, and most important --> the beer! This pub offers everything from Corona to Orval! They have roughly 170 bottles and around 35 taps. You won't find more taps anywhere in Ottawa (as far as I know). And the only other location that can compete with their bottle selection is "The Vineyard". Periodically, they also bring in something a little different (the "Beer of the Month" and "Draft of the Month"); these can be hit or miss depending on what they have. Price wise, their bottles can range anywhere from about $4-10; their beers on tap are all quite reasonably priced.
Overall, if you do want to experience something a little different when visiting Ottawa; this would be the place to go.
10-01-2006 04:19:45 | More by bcollar
3.43/5 rDev -8.5%
Nice selection of bottle beers and taps for Ottawa (over 150 bottles and probably closed to 30 taps). The Abbey section is the place to go since they have some rare beers not on the regular menu (Cantillon, Rogue). Prices are what I expected for imported bottles. Food is a notch above average for Italian fares. Décor is great and patio is great during the summer months. The only downside is the clueless staff. For out of towner, you should note that this is a bit off downtown attraction and you should plan for cab fare before heading there.
05-02-2005 19:34:25 | More by Phyl21ca
Pub Italia in Ottawa, ON, Canada
86 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.