Black Tartan Kitchen is officially open at 132 Bridge Street in Carleton Place. While the restaurant had a soft opening in November 2016, owner Ian Carswell welcomed the town to the restaurant on Friday, March 24 to celebrate its opening.
“I want to say thank you to my wife, Tessa, my parents and parents-in-law, and of course my wonderful staff,” said Carswell. “This could not have happened without your tremendous support. I could not ask for a better family.”
Carswell’s wife Tessa and their two children Faye, 3, and Alistair, 1, were at the opening. Also in attendance were Carleton Place Mayor Louis Antonakos, Deputy Mayor Jerry Flynn and Councillor Sean Redmond. BIA Chair Mark Lovell and Chamber of Commerce Administrator Ashleigh Brydges were also present, along with many others.
“Black Tartan Kitchen truly adds to our culinary scene in downtown Carleton Place,” said Antonakos. “I had the best French onion soup and smoked meat sandwich I’ve ever had here,” he told the crowd.
Black Tartan Kitchen offers a casual fine-dining dining experience in an intimate setting. The menu boasts seasonal dishes using ingredients from the Ottawa Valley area.
“The dishes have classic French roots with a modern touch. We call it Canadian contemporary,” Carswell said.
The restaurant is elegant with a black, white and grey colour scheme. There is ample seating in two dining rooms and a bar. Heritage photos of Carleton Place look fresh on the white walls. Carswell’s wife Tessa is the architect behind the design.
“I really like the idea of a small town and of adding something different to Carleton Place,” said Carswell, who is from Petawawa. He was a chef at the National Gallery of Canada, has worked abroad on a vineyard in France for five months and worked at restaurant in Helsinki, Finland.
“This has been a rollercoaster of emotions but the whole experience has been really exciting,” Carswell said, talking about the creation of Black Tartan Kitchen. “Everyone is their own biggest critic but if it’s something you really want, you’ll stay dedicated, you’ll work hard for it — and you’ll still find time to enjoy your personal life.”
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Brunch is served Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Black Tartan Kitchen is closed on Mondays.