Riviera – Good First Impression of Ottawa’s Food Scene

Due to COVID restrictions on international travel, I decided to explore Canada more. One of the places I have never visited is the nation’s capital – Ottawa. I was curious about the food scene there and chose Riviera as my first dinner in the capital based on research I had done.

The place is inside an old bank which gives it a nice modern and historic, grand feel.

We started with the duck ham and mushroom toast. The ham was good and had a nice smoke on it.

…but the star of the starters was this mushroom toast with shaved black truffle and an egg.

Sometimes places will use truffle and the aromas will not come through. This dish was perfectly executed. From the soft brioche to the flavors of the mushrooms, to the perfectly cooked runny egg, this dish was just plain good and gave us a very good first impression of Ottawa’s food scene.

For my main, I had the lobster spaghetti. Other than the fact that I subscribe to tradition against putting cheese with seafood, the dish was delicious.

The pasta was well cooked and the lobster was very good. I just wished there was a bit more of it. To accompany the pasta, I had a chardonnay from Niagra to keep things local and I was surprised by it. I was not expecting much, but it was probably one of the best chardonnays I have tasted. I had a very unique taste and the server was explaining to me that it was due to the unique process of the wine maker. It was a 2018 – Tawse “Quarry Road Vin Nature”.

For dessert, an ice cream bar and s’mores pie.

Both were ok. Overall, the service, food and atmosphere were very good. I would return to try other items. This meal made me optimistic for future meals in the capital and was a great first impression of the city. I had no idea what to expect in Ottawa. Yes, it is the nation’s capital, but I would argue it does not have a high profile like Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver so I knew very little about the food scene. So far so good.

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