After two very successful years and many firsts in Ottawa, co-owners Bryan Livingston and Chef James Bratsberg want to take things to a whole other, all-encompassing culinary and sensorial level.
OTTAWA, July 11, 2017 /CNW/ - The Ottawa food scene will soon see the return of gourmet favourite MēNa as the fine dining restaurant re-opens its doors to the public on July 15th 2017 after a 6 month makeover.
"It is not that we needed a makeover, we just wanted to bring our culinary experience to new heights," said owner Bryan Livingston. "Will it change the restaurant landscape in Ottawa? I don't know but it will truly be a unique and engaging culinary experience that this great city has never witnessed."
MēNa is already established in Ottawa as a gastronome favourite as well as the only restaurant in the Capital Region offering only blind tasting menus (meaning the Chef decides what each course will be) where guests only choose the amount of courses they would like to eat and what they will have to drink (there is also an option to have your wines paired and selected for you for each course).
For the last 6 months, the all-star ensemble at MēNa has been hard at work from the complete renovation and redesign of the award winning restaurant to the extensive research Chef Bratsberg and the culinary team has accomplished in Canada, Europe and the Americas. In addition to experiencing and receiving tutelage from the likes of Chef Thomas Keller at Per Se in NYC and Chef Elena Arzak at Arzak in San Sebastien, Chef Bratsberg also completed two stages. The first under Michelin starred and rebel Chef Fergus Henderson at St. John and the second under yet again Michelin starred and quite legendary Chef Anne-Sophie Pic at La Dame De Pic in London as well as receiving congratulatory notes from Jordi Roca at El Celler de Can Roca and the entire team at Top 50 heavyweight Disfrutar in Barcelona.
"My mission as a Chef is that every single guest that leaves MēNa will have had a culinary experience like none they have ever had before, that each flavour will have made an imprint on them and, for a very brief moment, have all their woes evaporated from their minds." said Chef Bratsberg. "With that, I also hope I can reshape what people think of and expect when they go to restaurants."
MēNa is a French inspired restaurant deeply rooted in tradition, but with eyes wide open, looking ahead to new flavours and concepts that guests will enjoy. By utilizing locally sourced ingredients, MēNa, in the heart of Little Italy offers many things other venues do not including experimental culinary adventures. With a menu that features a twist on old favorites, exceptional drinks, an extensively curated wine selection by Sommelier Rob Nellis and a truly unique tasting menu, MēNa is something that must be experienced and shared with friends. MēNa could not be more driven to offer the Capital Region a truly new and progressive dining experience.
About Co-Owner and Chef James Bratsberg
Critically acclaimed Chef and co-owner of MēNa in Ottawa, James Bratsberg, is proud to provide a gastronomic experience like no other in the region. Using an ingredient based menu, allowing for the freshest and most interesting ingredients to be used at any given time, Chef Bratsberg offers a completely different experience each and every night at MēNa.
Born and raised in Toronto, Chef Bratsberg got his taste of the restaurant life where many people start their journey, as a dishwasher. It wasn't long until Chef Bratsberg got hooked and started teaching himself the culinary arts by studying book after book from the greats. One of his favourite was the Larousse Gastronomique where many times after a 16 hour work shift, he would fall asleep studying it.
Chef Bratsberg had the opportunity to travel across many Canadian cities where he was able to put into practice the skills he was teaching himself as well as those taught to him by his mentors at many of Canada's finest restaurants. This ultimately landed him in Ottawa where he met co-owner Bryan Livingston.
Together, they conceptualized and created MēNa Restaurant. A modern French influenced fine dining restaurant in Little Italy, Ottawa on Preston Street. After 3 amazing years, MēNa is innovating yet again, creating an even more interesting experience where each guest will be amazed with every single aspect of their journey in the world of Chef Bratsberg.
During the 6 month revamp of MēNa, Chef Bratsberg had the opportunity and honour to travel all across Europe, England and the Americas to eat and study with some of the best and most renowned chefs in the world. Chef Bratsberg cannot wait to share his influences and new techniques with everyone at MēNa.
About Co-Owner Bryan Livingston
Bryan Livingston was born and raised in Ottawa. As a child he was always helping his mom with family dinners; as he grew up he realized this was actually a passion for food and hospitality. He took this passion to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America where he learned classic skills and techniques from some of the most respected chefs and sommeliers in the country. After earning his Bachelors degree in 2009 he took to Manhattan to work and stage in some of the best kitchens that New York had to offer including, Morimoto, Daniel Boulud's DBGB and Buddakan.
After a year of working and dining his way through NYC he and his wife, Marina, packed up and moved to Denver, CO to be a part of the opening crew at ChoLon Bistro. In its first year, ChoLon won multiple local awards as well as a James Beard nomination. Having a greater hunger for seeing more food and restaurants, Bryan spent most of 2012 travelling with Marina throughout the U.S. and Canada dining in 3 star Michelin establishments and tracking down the best food trucks. It was during this year that Bryan started to appreciate the vast range of hospitality and food; which would define what he would offer to his guests at MēNa. Moving back to Ottawa, Bryan teamed up with James Bratsberg to create a unique culinary experience at MēNa.
Bryan always had an insatiable appetite not just for food but for hospitality. He fed this appetite with experiences like the mouth-watering chicken sandwich from the Brasserie's food cart in Vancouver, the tableside butter curling for bread at Joel Robuchon's Atelier and the memorable surprises from Per Se. It's been moments like these that combine the feelings of falling in love and solving a puzzle. At MēNa he wants to share the best of what he has found in food and service. He wants people to feel comfortable in his dining room but also simultaneously amazed and perhaps even challenged by the food they're tasting and the wine & cocktails they're drinking.
VIP Grand Opening
MēNa would like to extend an invitation to contributors, editors and publishers to the VIP opening event so they may be the first to experience the new culinary adventures that will be taking place at MēNa.
The VIP Grand Re-Opening is from 6:30pm onward on Friday July 14th and will feature:
Passed Hors D'oeuvres
Interactive Food Station With Live Demos From Chef Bratsberg
Wine Education Station In The Dining Room With Sommelier Rob Nellis
Cocktailing Demo At The Bar With MēNa's Master Mixologist
Great Music and Ambiance
Please click below and fill out the form in order to get to experience an unforgettable night.
If you cannot attend the VIP Grand Opening and would like more information about MēNa, Chef Bratsberg, Sommelier Rob Nellis, Owner Bryan Livingston, would like to feature MēNa in your publication or broadcast, require further hi-res materials or would like to schedule a VIP culinary experience at a later date, please emails us at:
For further information: Social Theorem Consulting - [email protected] - 416-591-6673