THE LAST TWO YEARS hit this Northern Italian fine-dining restaurant with a triple whammy. There were the usual lockdowns and restrictions, and a once-coveted location became this restaurant’s greatest liability with the exodus of workers from Ottawa’s core. Then, when those downtown streets next filled up, in January, it was not with customers but with the trucks of the “freedom convoy,” parked and blasting their air horns just metres from North & Navy’s front door. Despite all these headaches, the seven-year-old restaurant — located in a charming converted townhouse — persevered. And thanks in large part to the quality of the cooking from chef, co-owner and ace podcaster Adam Vettorel, it is once again a hot draw. Antipasti range from tender polpette to beet “carpaccio” and a selection of superb house-cured salumi. The pasta is homemade: beef ravioli with berry agrodolce, and bigoli and salsa are exquisite. Main courses deliver a big finish in luxurious form — the roast lamb with cassis jus; duck breast and sprouted lentils; classic bistecca alla fiorentina. The dolce also embrace the classics, from tiramisu to panna cotta, the latter infused with tarragon.
Photography by: Christopher Schlesak