My last construction find was Levante on Rideau Street, may it RIP. I told you I thought the food was pretty good and the atmosphere fun, but it opened just as Rideau Street closed for roadwork. It endured the mess months longer than was expected and, well, Levante is now no more. (Check out its replacement, Hooch Bourbon House.)
Well, it’s roadwork time again, folks, and this column’s Worthy Construction Find is Aahar, a small, family-run north Indian restaurant on torn up Churchill Avenue. Aahar has never been particularly visible (tucked off Carling Avenue behind an abandoned parking lot) but now it’s further eclipsed by heavy machinery and orange barricades.
Those who know it, know it well — and tend to be loyal. Besides, Aahar is the only Indian restaurant in this part of Westboro since Ishina packed up its second location on Carling Avenue. So if you’re craving a baigan bharta (and who isn’t?) or a lamb Madras, here you go.
You’ll have to maneuver around the fencing a bit, or come by foot, but Aahar tends to be worth the effort.
The food here is honest, well spiced and not too fussily presented. The room is surprisingly elegant, and the service typically kind. The spicing in the lamb curry is upfront and enjoyable, chewy meat in a rich gravy. From the veg dishes, the aloo gobi and eggplant curry stand out. Breads are terrific.
Aahar, 727 Churchill Ave N. 613-688-4444. www.aahar.ca
Open Sunday to Friday for lunch, daily for dinner.