Thursday, July 11, 2019

Colonnade Pizza

The Colonnade Pizza has been a casual dining tradition in Ottawa for years. The website proclaims its "Signature Pizzas and more since 1967". Only once - an inventive mistake - I tried something other than its popular "combination" pizza (with anchovies) and Italian salad (with house dressing).  The experiment in novelty was quite disappointing and as a result I have since stuck to the tried-and-true recipe, augmented normally by a small bottle of Orangina. Until recently we likewise never ventured beyond the Colonnade's flagship restaurant at 280 Metcalfe Street (at Gilmour Street) next to the Mayfair apartment building where I lived when I began practicing law (articling) at 100 Sparks Street in 1974. Last night however I coaxed our friends in the west end of Ottawa to rally with us instead at the more proximate outlet on Hazeldean Road in the Farm Boy Plaza across from Grace in the Kitchen (gourmet grocery store and high-end kitchen appliance supplier). The restaurant venue is not particularly elegant but the meal was up to its customary high standards.  As well the service from the young, attractive girl was pleasant and efficient.  More importantly the reunion of old friends was exceedingly refreshing and highly entertaining (as I would have expected from the conglomerate of singular personalities). It was "Boys Night Out" with a twist!

Orangina is a lightly carbonated beverage made from carbonated water, 12% citrus juice (10% from concentrated orange, 2% from a combination of concentrated lemon, concentrated mandarin and concentrated grapefruit juices) as well as 2% orange pulp. Orangina is sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup (glucose fructose) and natural flavors are added. Orangina was invented at a trade fair in Algeria developed by Augustin Trigo Mirallès from Spain and first sold in Algeria by Léon Beton in 1935. Today it is a popular beverage in Europe, Japan, northern Africa and to a lesser extent in North America.

The proof of our conviviality was that it took a considerable length of time for the five of us to surmount our gabbing long enough to address the menu.  Our waitress materialized and disappeared on at least three occasions before finally being able to take our orders. Even after the salads and pizzas began to arrive we persisted to consume our gossip and pleasantries rather than the food on our plates. Our agenda covered all the customary bases; namely, home and cottage renovation, latest vehicle acquisitions, medical concerns and surgery, employment and retirement, current and past romances, capital vs possessions, historic foibles and drunken disasters - and naturally a respectable and provocative measure of cattiness and vehemence directed against erstwhile acquaintances (though charitably doused with a small tonic of concession and humanity). The predominant themes were nonetheless ribald commentary and roguish fencing, elements always guaranteed to animate an otherwise sedate congregation.  So enthused were we by our own delightful to-and-fro that it was with noticeable reluctance that we tore ourselves from table after three hours to regain the evening twilight and headed homeward.

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