A’Lure offers mouth-watering food, awesome atmosphere – Shaw Local

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A’Lure is an apt name for the restaurant at 213 W. Madison St. in Ottawa, with its slick, urban-style setup that includes a full fish tank transformed into a visually striking bar. It creates quite an atmosphere as lounge music plays in the background.

All this without mentioning the food, which was excellent. A dinner for two is just over $50, which includes two meals, an appetizer, and an extra salad. The restaurant has cultivated an interesting ambience and serves an appealing range of dishes, including high-end dishes.

The onion ring appetizer was hand breaded and flavorful, with a touch of salt for those who prefer it more seasoned. It was served with ranch on the side.

For starters, I ordered the A’Lure burger, a third pound burger topped with bacon, cheddar cheese and a fried egg. The bacon was crispy and the egg was the perfect amount of liquid: enough for the added flavor but not enough to get all over my sweater.

I spent a lot of time making sure it didn’t get on my sweater. Sometimes I can be a sloppy eater.

I also stole a bite of the rib eye sandwich ordered by my friend, which was covered in mozzarella cheese, bell pepper and caramelized onions. It should be noted that the steak sample I tried revealed a quality cut of beef that could be eaten on its own without the sandwich. Each meal came with hot fries which had the right amount of crunch.

The restaurant’s recent Lenten Friday specials included a dinner of walleye, grilled or breaded and fried, as well as Icelandic cod or Portobello mushroom ravioli with lobster Alfredo sauce. Other dishes on the rotating menu include a jalapeño bacon grilled cheese popper with homemade roasted tomato soup; Lobster; a 30-ounce tomahawk rib eye; filet mignon; creamy chicken with Champagne; langoustines with prawns on creamy parmesan polenta; and grilled pork loin with bacon marmalade.

A’Lure has an impressive drinks menu that I haven’t had a chance to try. It offers several different craft beers, including local favorites from Tangled Roots, and the restaurant serves almost as many types of mixed drinks as it offers food choices.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee of Shaw Media. The identity of the diner is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits another restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not post a story.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO

WHAT: A’Lure Aquarium Bar

OR: 213 Madison Street West, Ottawa

CALL: 815-324-5184

INFORMATION: www.facebook.com/AlureAquariumBar

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