Friday, August 27, 2010
Leo’s, 60 Ottawa Ave NW - 8/10/10
Walk into Leo’s and you smell fish. Although there are alternative items on the menu, if you’re not a seafood fan, this is not your restaurant.
With an attractive bar to the left, the main dining area is very spacious. Last time we were here, we dined in the bar area and it’s a much more intimate setting. Although there are a few booths, the dining room on the whole is wide open. Decor is muted with light wood trim, an elevated black ceiling, and large windows. It’s classy but still has a dated feel to it. And the absence of diners is a little eerie and makes one feel somewhat conspicuous. To top it off, there’s piped-in light jazz music which immediately reminded us of the weather channel. Salt and pepper shakers were situated on the table, which is not a good sign.
Our server was attentive but distant, almost as if he disapproved of us; the attitude remained throughout, but he did bring us deliciously warm dinner rolls (unusual for lunch). We started with seviche: sea scallops, scottish king salmon, and halibut, served with marinated cucumbers, onions, avocado, red peppers, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. It was a lovely and tasty creation, with our only criticism being that it was slightly oily.
First main dish was the brazilian grilled shrimp: gulf shrimp (hard to believe) with spicy honey-herb marinade, served with harvest blend rice and fresh vegetables. All good except that nothing went into the presentation. It’s Sunday dinner at your Mom’s - each item just piled on your plate.
Our second dish was grilled alaskan halibut. The restaurant claims to receive its fish daily and we have no way of knowing whether that’s true or not. Along with the aforementioned rice and vegetables, the fish was served with roasted lemon vinaigrette and Mediterranean tapenade - really nice accompaniments but again, presented without any creativity.
The menu is updated by the week, and the online menu changes accordingly. As a nice final touch, your bill comes with two fish-shaped chocolates. Our tab was over $50.00 and we would recommend the bar atmosphere for a more enjoyable setting.