Rideau Street is going through some changes as I’m sure anyone who has visited the downtown core has noticed. One of the big changes is the addition of Levante (180 Rideau) – a more up scale restaurant then this block of Rideau has seen in some time.

Seared Rare 7 Spice Ahi Tuna  Sashimi and Wasabi Simple Syrup

I love the jazzy atmosphere of Levante. It’s comfortable but chic. The art is lovely, the wine is wonderful and the service is friendly. Definitely a place you don’t mind spending an evening in. The special nights of live music and bring your own wine options add to the laid back vibe that is so inviting.

Seared Sea Bass with Avocado, Candied Walnuts and Honey Chili Pan Sauce

The menu reads like a biography of Chef Kurt’s travels – at times that can make it a little confused. Personally I found there were some dishes better than others, but that’s to be expected with a new venture. I was really impressed with the Tofu and sprout sliders (so flavourful!) and if blue cheese is your thing they have a killer prosciutto, fig and blue cheese flat bread with smoked apple puree. But the reason I will return is for the freshly baked big chocolate chip cookie. Baked to order!

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookie with Balieys foam… drool worthy.

Crispy edges, warm, gooey centre. This cookie is destined to be the love of my life. The Baileys foam is just added goodness. Next time I’m book ending my meal with this cookie. And the main course may or may not be wine.

Like all new restaurants Levante is working on their menu and trying to find what works well in their new location. There are some hits and misses, but I’m hopeful that all will be worked out in time and this is the start of a new and classy Rideau Street. Something a nation’s capital can be a little prouder of than multiple tattoo parlors and smoke shops – not that there isn’t room for a little of everything in the Market!

3 out of 5 stars.