WITH AN AMBIENCE THAT EXUDES STYLE AND POWER IN EQUAL MEASURE, Riviera has, over its nearly six-year run, made regulars of politicos who work a stone’s throw away on Parliament Hill and business types, as well as Ottawans and tourists alike, seeking special-occasion dinners. The premises — built in 1869 and, over time, a jewellery shop, a financial institution and a store catering to philatelists — provide a dramatic big-city setting for revelry. From a gleaming open kitchen, chef Jordan Holley and his brigade dispense hearty celebration-worthy dishes. Think dry-aged steaks; braised lamb shank with sorghum, celery root and gremolata; and freshly extruded pastas, such as lobster pappardelle and squid ink spaghetti with snow crab and tomato. Classical fare includes simplicities like mushrooms on toast and steak tartare, prepared just as they should be. In charge of one of Ottawa’s most alluring bars, Stephen Flood creates cocktails of striking sophistication, including inspired variations on Negronis.
Photography by: Chris Roussakis