Four Ottawa-area restaurants crack the Canada's 100 Best Restaurants 2020 list
Four Ottawa-area restaurants are included in the prestigious Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2020 list released Thursday.
The local laureates include Riviera on Sparks Street (which ranked 26th), Atelier on Rochester Street (which came in 31st), Les Fougères in Chelsea (ranked 61st) and Alice on Adeline Street (ranked 94th).
The list’s synopsis of Riviera describes it as “arguably the most stylish of Ottawa’s restaurants … offering magnificent updates on classic steakhouse fare” under chef Jordan Holley. Steps away from Parliament Hill, Riviera is a haunt for Ottawa’s political class.
Atelier is the cutting-edge 22-seat restaurant that chef-owner Marc Lepine, the two-time winner of the Canadian Culinary Championships, opened in 2008 to serve elaborate and innovative tasting menus. Opened in 1993, Les Fougères is the sophisticated yet rustic restaurant whose chef, Yannick LaSalle, won the Canadian Culinary Championships last year. Alice, which chef-owner Briana Kim opened in June 2019, offers a vegetable-focused tasting menu and spotlights house-made fermented ingredients.
Since COVID-19 forced the shutdown of restaurant dining rooms, the four lauded restaurants have pivoted their businesses in different ways.
Riviera and Les Fougères offer food for pickup, and the Chelsea restaurant has a store selling prepared foods that is open.
Atelier on Saturdays and Sundays offers a shortened tasting menu with non-alcoholic drink pairings, but as a “drive-thru” restaurant, with customers picking up courses in front of the restaurant, eating in their cars in the nearby parking lot, and then circling the block to pick up the next course. Alice sells different fermented products and plans to reopen in some fashion in the future.
In the 2019 edition of the list, the Ottawa restaurants cited were Atelier (24th), Riviera (51st), Stofa (98th) and Fauna (100th). In 2018, the list chose Lepine as Canada’s most innovative chef.
Topping the 2020 list, which was compiled from the polls submitted by 103 judges across the country, was the Toronto restaurant Alo, which also came in first in 2019, 2018 and 2017.
A companion list of Canada’s top 50 bars was also released this week, but no Ottawa-area bars were named on it.