Arguably the most stylish of Ottawa’s restaurants, Riviera is housed in a heritage bank building, just steps from Parliament Hill on the pedestrian stretch of Sparks Street. With its soaring ceiling and profusion of marble, the space would echo something fierce were it not perennially packed. At the far end of a 70-foot brass bar, Chef Jordan Holley runs the open kitchen. Barman Stephen Flood, splendid in his Redouté Rose apron, manages the cocktail program at the other end. Food and drink both take inspiration from the art deco retro vibe, offering magnificent updates on classic steakhouse fare: shrimp salad cocktails, dry-aged steaks, lobster pappardelle, mushrooms on toast and all manner of magnificent ceviches and tartares. And then there’s dessert, with many treats to ponder, though you’d be a fool to miss the meringue pie—sea buckthorn curd at last visit.
Photo: STEPHEN FLOOD