There are certain things I get excited about – very much. Well, my friends and family will probably tell you I get excited about many, many things and while that may be true, it doesn’t mean that quantity does not equal quality. In fact, I have very discerning tastes when it comes to many things – fashion, restaurants, films and of course, spectacles like the ones held at the National Art Centre.


Although we all have our different tastes and preferences when it comes to music or the arts, there is one special experience at the NAC that may appeal to all. Their newest-ish venture into making music, particularly the orchestra is a more modern, more accessible take on appreciating the fine art of Mozart or Beethoven or other classical musicians of our time. The Casual Fridays or in social media speak, #NACOFRIDAYS is a sweet marriage of  Music, Food, Wine and Friends.



If you are into a memorable evening of great good, great wine and sublime performances, along with an interactive and totally energetic and mesmerizing conductor, come to the NAC’s Culinary Overture at Casual Fridays. It has become a highly anticipated event in the capital as it really is the coming together of all the great things in life.


Though I can’t give you a thoughtful wine pairing this time, I can entice you with this month’s culinary selection. Let’s take a moment to drool over this Casual Friday menu prepared by NAC’s Le Café, shall we?

  • Kimchi and cucumber rice roll – with sweet yuzu soy caramel (V, GF, DF)
  • Beef kofta pita – in all spice and caraway yoghurt
  • Crispy shrimp po’boy – with shredded iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, dill remoulade
  • Avocado and feta taquitos – all corn tortilla and lime sour cream (V, GF)
  • Flaked hot smoked BBQ salmon – on Kettleman’s mini bagels and black pepper cream cheese
  • Spring vegetable ratatouille tartlet – with Provencal herb rouille (V)
  • Achiote grilled pork skewers – roasted corn hollandaise (GF)
  • Japanese eggplant rice flour tempura – lettuce cup, daikon, apple slaw, tograrashi mayo (V, GF, DF)
    V – Vegetarian   GF – Gluten Free    DF – Dairy Free


In case you haven’t had the pleasure of attending #NACOFRIDAYS just yet (what are you waiting for? RUN don’t walk!), here’s a quick rundown on how this always SOLD-OUT event plays out through the night:


5:30 PM • Pre-concert Reception

A glass of wine or non-alcoholic beverage comes with your ticket to the Culinary Overture. Tapas or small bites are prepared by the NAC culinary team. A Live jazz accompaniment welcomes guests to the grand foyer.

7:00 PM • Concert with the NAC Orchestra

A 90-minute performance, it will be an early start, early finish, no intermission show. A perfect on-stage introduction to exceptional music and guest artists at the NAC. This March’s #NACOFRIDAYS will feature Beethoven’s Pastorale.

8:30 PM • Post-concert reception

A reception with complimentary coffee and tea (cash bar available) and a live DJ, where you can mingle with fellow music lovers and the NAC Orchestra.


Don’t miss out. Get your Culinary Overture and performance tickets – stat! Tickets are available in person at the NAC Box Office or by telephone at 613 947-7000 x620.



If all that does not excite you (though I highly doubt that!)  did we mention that on #NACOFRIDAYS, you can actually bring wine, beer or any beverage of your choice inside the National Arts Centre Southam Hall and you can indulge during the performance. I don’t think it comes as a big surprise that we, at Twenty York Street, are actually quiet thrilled about that special feature of Casual Fridays!




With Matthias Pintscher as Conductor, Inon Barnatan on the piano and Cold Specks as the evening’s host, this month’s #NACOFRIDAYS is poised to welcome spring in a grand way. So go ahead, dress casually, let your hair down and join us in toasting Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony!

Editor’s Note: Thank you to the National Arts Centre (NAC), to Mr. Dwayne Brown of Dwayne Brown Studio and Love Ottawa, and thank you to Foodie Prints for providing the beautiful images for #NACOFRIDAYS.

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