Signatures Restaurant provides an ambiance, a feeling of exclusivity and a memorable menu that you won’t find anywhere else in the city. If you’re looking for delicious French cuisine in a château-like, softly lit setting, “Signatures” as it’s known locally, is the place for you.
This restaurant is located in a historical 1877 former lumber baron mansion just at the end of Laurier Avenue in Ottawa’s downtown core. Here, you will find fine cuisine in a romantic setting like nowhere else. Diners can enjoy delectable meals in a bar, main dining room and a few small private dining rooms.
Signatures Executive Chef Yannick Anton describes the Signatures dining experience as “exclusive,” adding the restaurant’s historical location really adds to the unique dining ambiance. “It’s small rooms, so it’s a very unique ambiance,” Chef Anton said in an interview with Ottawa Tourism. Signatures has been run by Chef Anton since 2006, who provides modern cuisine through classic French cooking techniques.
Leigh-Ann Redmond, Marketing Manager at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute, which is also housed in the old mansion, noted that going along with the restaurant’s ambiance is the unique food experience, as Chef Anton prepares delicious meals that are works of art. “The type of creations that Yannick does, you can’t find anywhere else,” Redmond said in an interview with Ottawa Tourism. “If you’ve ever enjoyed the dishes here, they’re beautiful works of art.” Though focused on modern French cuisine, both Chef Anton and Redmond note that Signatures works with local Montreal and Ottawa region producers as well as distributors to obtain fresh ingredients. Chef Anton says he also works on preparing new dishes so that Signatures patrons always have something interesting to try. “I change my menu every two to three months, depending on the season,” Chef Anton said. “We really work on the freshness of the product. That’s the main quality of the restaurant.” Chef Anton added that Signatures offers private rooms for group events, where small groups of 10 to 16 can enjoy a meal or wine pairings all on their own. But for an even more intimate dining experience, both Chef Anton and Redmond suggest the restaurant’s notable “Chapelle Room.”
Located on the restaurant’s second floor, the romantic, red velvet-covered Chapelle Room is removed from other diners and offers exclusive service for two. According to Chef Anton, many marriage proposals have taken place in the room over the years with the kitchen staff’s help. “It’s very private, and we’ve had some people ask [us] to put the ring under a silver dinner bell on a plate,” Chef Anton said. “Then we just lifted the lid and the ring was presented in a special way.” Redmond added Signatures and the mansion in which it resides is also a “unique and intimate” wedding venue. “It’s something that people can’t find anywhere else in the city of Ottawa in terms of [a] venue. It’s something that has really put us on the map,” she said.
Redmond noted the building’s beautiful outdoor terrace and wine cellar are currently under renovation but once completed, these spaces will also be ideal for small, private group events. She added that both spaces overlook the beautiful Strathcona Park. Redmond stressed that though Signatures shares the mansion space with Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute, Cordon Bleu students are not involved in the restaurant’s operation. “It’s led by our Executive Chef and his professional team of chefs,” she said. “Signatures is its own run entity.”
A dinner at Signatures is an experience any guest is sure to remember, but Redmond says a delectable Wednesday night meal at the restaurant is popular. She noted that on Wednesday nights, Signatures offers a four-course meal for two accompanied by a bottle of wine for $54.50 CDN per person. “We’re known for this,” she said. “It gives people a chance to try out the restaurant and have a sample of items on our menu.” Also, many people don’t know that Signatures is open for lunch, Redmond noted. She added that patrons can enjoy a three-course meal from Tuesday to Friday. “People can get in and out in an hour and a half, and it’s just five minutes from downtown,” she said.
Though Signatures provides one of Ottawa’s finest dining experiences, Redmond says the restaurant is “very accessible,” with prices being comparable to other Ottawa area restaurants. Redmond noted patrons can select entrées priced at $35.00 CDN and under. She added that though the restaurant is known for fine dining, patrons can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. “People tend to dress business casual, but gone are the days of a jacket and tie being required,” Redmond said.
And because Signatures Restaurant is located in the same building as Le Cordon Bleu, why not make a day of your visit there? Le Cordon Bleu Institute offers two to four-hour cooking classes on Saturdays, where you can learn everything from making sushi, to canapés, to chocolate techniques, gluten-free desserts and much more. Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute is the only Le Cordon Bleu campus in Canada, bringing together students from more than 70 nationalities. Learn the art of fine cuisine before sitting down to a delicious gourmet meal at Signatures prepared by Chef Anton!
Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute is a member of the Destination Canada’s Canadian Signature Experience collection. This collection aims to showcase once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences found in Canada.