Things in the far west of Ottawa are suddenly a lot more delicious, with the opening of famed chef Michael Blackie’s latest venture – a party palace that goes by the name of NEXT. The lavishly refurbished space now incorporates a restaurant plus take-home food service, meeting spaces, banquet facilities and catering.
NEXT represents a lovely synthesis of all that Blackie has done before. From top international resorts to Perspectives Restaurant at Brookstreet to the NAC, he’s had his hand in many successful ventures. Now, with business partner Tim Snelling, he’s determined to bring a sense of the chic, urban dining scene to Stittsville, an affluent suburb of Ottawa.
“I’m really proud of what we are trying to achieve at NEXT,” said Blackie at an opening night party on May 1st. He’s now got an 11,000 square foot playground at his disposal, which he’s affectionately dubbed “Blackie’s World”.
“We’re working hard to find ways to draw people in to use the space in different ways. We’ve already got two dozen weddings booked for this year and look forward to welcoming corporate groups as well with some very enticing package deals.”
The restaurant seats 50 and an adjoining three season room (which would make a gorgeous private space for a party) adds another 26 seats. The rest of the building is dedicated to flexible event space spread over two floors and which can accommodate groups large and small.
And what of the food? As expected, every bite I tasted was delicious – unpretentious yet inventive, composed of just a few ingredients that worked well together. They hinted at great things to come from Chef Blackie’s new kitchen.
For now, NEXT is open for brunch on Sundays, lunch on Thursdays and Fridays, for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. NEXT is at 6400 Hazeldean Road, Stittsville. www.nextfood.ca 613.836.8002.