Riviera Restaurant Ottawa: Craft Cocktails and Canadian Fine Dining

Riviera Restaurant Ottawa is ranked as on of the Canadian capital’s best restaurants. Located on Sparks Street, Riviera restaurant is home to Ottawa’s best cocktail bar and fine dining experience.

The bar at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.
The bar at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.

Riviera Restaurant Ottawa

If politicians in the US capital must suffer by painfully chewing on overcooked steaks and endless cans of Diet Coke at the Trump Hotel in DC in an effort to rub shoulders with bold faced names, their Canadian counterparts in Ottawa are certainly winning.

Last year Riviera Restaurant was crowned one of the country’s top new restaurants by Air Canada’s enRoute magazine. It instantly threw the restaurant in the national where-to-eat-now spotlight. The dishes aren’t just cooked well here, a parade of pretty plates proves that a first time feast here is fantastic.

Located just a short stroll from Parliament Hill, Riviera is where Canada’s law makers prefer to book the power lunch. Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau has been seen here dining with her children, and her hubby (Canada’s dashing Prime Minister) hosted the Liberal’s post-budget private party at Riviera not so long ago.

Craft cocktails at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.
Craft cocktails at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.

Step Inside Riviera Restaurant Ottawa

The space at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa was formerly a bank, then a store for stamp collectors, and its sky-high ceilings and 1920s Art Deco interior instantly command attention. The restaurant is outfitted with a soaring 50-foot white plaster tray ceiling, marble on grey-and-white panelled walls, brass fixtures and massive windows which offer a splash of natural light.

The open stainless steel kitchen integrates effortlessly into a 70-foot long brass bar where some of the city’s top mixologists shake up lovely libations. The old bank manager’s office has also been transformed into the restaurants private dining room, while the old vault on the main floor houses unisex washrooms.

Mushrooms on Toast at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.
Mushrooms on Toast at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.

The Bar at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa

Riviera restaurant is one of the best bars in Ottawa. The chic cocktail bar offers stool seating where you can watch the city’s best mixologists shake up lovely libations.

The cocktail menu  at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa is organized by beverages “by the shaker and by the mixing glass.” You’ll also find a seasonal list of drinks inspired by the current season and a list specifically curated by Stephen Flood. Negroni fans will swoon for nine Italian aperitif inspired cocktails, which have their own designated menu. Highlights from the restaurants cocktail menu include:

  • Corpse Reviver No. 62: death’s door gin, cocchi americano, triple sec, quaglia absinthe, quaglia pino mugo, lemon, simple syrup
  • Hanky Panky: sipsmith london dry gin, dolin rouge, poli amaro, regan’s orange bitters no. 6
  • Positively 54th Street: dillon’s geneva gin, campari, willem’s wermoed, dolin blanc, ancho reyes, rierva carlo alberto aromatic bitters
  • Heavyweight Champion: hayman’s royal dock navy strength gin, coffee and chipotle infused campari, cocchi dopo vermouth amaro
  • Breakfast at Riviera: bacon-washed rittenhouse rye, sombra mezcal, espresso syrup, scrappy’s firewater bitters
Iceberg Wedge with nordic shrimp at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.
Iceberg Wedge with nordic shrimp.

Riviera Restaurant Ottawa Menu

Chefs Matthew Carmichael and Jordan Holley first opened the restaurant in 2016. The kitchen offers an Italian inspired menu which focusses on showcasing produce from local growers such as Wakefield’s Juniper Farm, Carp’s Acorn Creek and North Gower’s Rideau Pines. 

Riviera Restaurant Ottawa: Raw

  • Acadian Sturgeon Caviar
  • Seafood Tower
  • Oysters with Mignonette: horseradish and lemon
  • Tuna Crudo: puffed quinoa, chili, tomato, argan oil
  • Beef Tartare: truffle, potato chips
  • Scallop Crudo: creme fraiche, poppy seeds, caviar, endive
Scallop Crudo at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.
Scallop Crudo at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.

Riviera Restaurant Starters

  • Burrata: pistachio pesto, white anchovy, focaccia
  • Seafood Chowder: scallops, pink shrimp, mussels, bacon
  • Mushrooms on Toast: egg and truffle
  • Chicken Liver Pate: mostarda, toast
  • Celeriac Schnitzel: bitter greens, gribiche
  • Iceberg Wedge: bagna cauda, nordic shrimp, bacon, grated egg
  • Delicata Squash Rings with Ranch
Ricotta Gnudi with black truffles.
Ricotta Gnudi with black truffles.

Riviera Restaurant: Pasta

  • Lobster Spaghetti
  • Rabbit Pappardelle
  • Ricotta Gnudi with Oyster Mushrooms
  • Spot Prawn Linguini ala Chitarra
  • Red Deer Ragu with Toasted Flour Pappardelle
Rabbit Pappardelle with pancetta at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.
Rabbit Pappardelle with pancetta.

Riviera Restaurant: Entrees

  • Striploin Steak Frites with Bordelaise 
  • Black Cod: sun choke puree, maitake
  • Braised Lamb Shank: sorghum, celeriac puree, gremolata
  • Beef Tenderloin: roasted salsify, cippolini, mushrooms, spinach
  • Bacon Wrapped Pheasant: chestnut, polenta, crouton
Duck Ham with scalloped squash at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.
Duck Ham with scalloped squash.

Riviera Restaurant: Desserts

  • Creme Caramel
  • Pavlova: blood orange curd, vanilla, whipped cream
  • Caramelized Pineapple: brown butter ice cream, coconut praline
  • Chocolate Nemesis: whipped sour cream
  • Cheese: baluchon, grey owl, sauvagine, noble, rebellion
A duo of desserts at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.
A duo of desserts at Riviera Restaurant Ottawa.

Riviera Restaurant Ottawa Hours

Monday to Friday: 11:30am-2:30pm and 5-10pm

Saturday: 5-11pm

Sunday: 5-10pm

Riviera Restaurant Ottawa Reservations

62 Sparks Street, 613-233-6262

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