We went there when it first opened in May 2007. We had a nice experience then and we were interested to see how it had evolved since then. Terry (the owner) is as friendly as ever - but I am sorry to say that his food has suffered.
The bread they brought us was a little stale - and they were all cut in weird shapes. (some were sliced on the bias, some were just square-ish, all were rather squished-looking.)
All three of us started with salads - I had a Nutty Green, JC had the tomato salad, and our friend Cheez had a Caesar. They were all okay - I am sure most of us can reproduce the same quality from a bag out of Loblaws.
I took the Steak Frites as my main, JC took the seared tuna, and Cheez wanted tenderloin. Both Cheez and I requested medium rare for our steak, but they both came out medium to medium well. My plate was at best ordinary... the steak was a little on the chewy side, and the flavour was a little on the bland side, and the "Belgium Mayo" tasted straight out from a jar.
Cheez was in shock when he received his tenderloin... it was the size of a hockey puck!!! I generally think in North America, the portions in restaurants come way too big, but in this instance, the portion was so small it was ridiculous for a $24 plate. A minute later, Cheez had a funny expression in his face - apparently, they did not remove the strings of the pea pods in his plate - so when Cheez popped a pea pod in his mouth, there was a slight bitterness - not to mention the unexpected "chewiness" factor.
JC's seared tuna was also not to our standard. First of all, we couldn't really see the tuna because it was lost in a jungle of green salad. It looked like someone just opened a bag and dumped salad all over the plate. Then, the tuna was not cooked properly. Maybe because it was so thin... instead of being seared, it was rather just cooked through more or less. Oh, and the tuna was swimming in a sea of yellow mustard. Yup. The normal, regular, yellow mustard found in hotdogs. On the menu it was supposed to be some wasabi sauce, but maybe they ran out in the kitchen...
There was no thought in the presentation of our dinner - and the taste of our meal matched the appearance.
Service was just okay. The waitress was friendly enough but not so knowledgeable about wine and food, and also seemed a bit absent-minded.
There are better choice of restaurants in the area. Even if we were staying in Ottawa, we would not be visiting Petit Bill again.