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Caffe Riace
Caffe Riace
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Caffe Riace Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cafferiace.com
  • Email: giuseppe@cafferiace.com
  • Phone: (650) 328-0407
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Dave Page
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: For all your catering needs, contact our sister company JustCatering, and ask for Maurizio. He can be reached directly by calling 650.518.1043 or by emailing maurice@justcatering.net
  • Entertainment: We occasionally invite local musicians to play for our guests. Our instruments of choice are always non-amplified, and we tend to favor the classical guitar, the mandolin, and the accordion.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Park
  • Public Transit: We are a short walk from the California Avenue CalTrain station
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: A two level private parking structure is conveniently located adjacent Caffe Riace, and free to all our guests.
A word from Caffe Riace
Caffe Riace, a robust Palo Alto trattoria, offers conviviality, homemade specialties and family-style warmth. One of many fine restaurants in the California Avenue section of Palo Alto, Riace is family-run. Every dish is made with honest expertise. No tricky trendiness here, just the same good old fashioned recipies mom and dad follow at home. Caffe Riace is also a perfect venue for wedding receptions, business meetings, graduations and other special events. If you're looking for an intimate dining experience, we offer private dining rooms, at no extra cost, that accommodate up to 20 guests. Our patio can host up to 200 guests and is a wonderful venue for warm weather events of any kind! Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "Cafe riace is a really nice family owned place with an awesome vegetarian selection. I love the appetizer and entre selection, quite unique and tastes amazing. Service is awesome, the owner is around, fun loving and eager to chat. Good attention to detail on our order - for example, he got a new batch of olive oil since we mentioned that we were vegetarian."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "The food was excellent as was the service. Unfortunately, it was sprinkling so we were not able to eat outside but it was nice inside anyway."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Wonderful meal, with great service on a rainy night. We can't wait for a summer to come so that we can sit outside."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "I always try to visit Caffe Riace when I'm in town and it never disappoints."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "I remember food being much better. We gave it a B for still being on our list of favorites but food not so good this time. Disappointing. Still live the place though. Next time eating in kitchen for more fun experience."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I've never had a bad meal at Caffe Riace and I have been coming here for years. It was difficult to decide among the entrees as they all sounded amazing, but we both settled on the beef tenderloin. Great choice. We always sit outside on the patio and enjoy the fountain view. There are heat lamps out there, and in the past they have come by with lap blankets if it gets chilly. There was plenty of attentive staff on hand We will continue to come back as the food is consistently delicious, but still allows for interesting surprises from the chef."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I usually write positive reviews, but can't this time. My wife's pasta with sausage tasted quite bland; she did't eat half of it. Caesar salads seemed too dry. My salmon pasta was overcooked and unremarkable. Nothing like the same dish at Renzo on University. The woman who served us (with a violet tie) didn't know how to gradually break in without abruptly interrupting us- quite irritating. A few times they brought food but we had no utensils. If it were up to me, I wouldn't have tipped the 18% that was automatically included for our party of 8. This place is very close to the movie theater, and it has a nice ambiance outside in the summer, but we probably won't return. We've been there several times to keep giving it another chance."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Caffe Riace is one of Palo Alto's best restaurants. The food -- imaginative Italian fare with a Sicilian accent -- is delicious and interesting. (I had a mushroom pasta and veal marsala, both of which were excellent.) The wine list, at least the Italians (I paid no attention to the rest) is superb, albeit pricey. The outdoor dining area is very pleasant during the right times of the year, with funky and funny statuary My main complaint is the the interior dining room where we sat (and where I have been seated on previous occasions) is small and not particularly nice."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Never been there before but I will definitely return. Good restaurant in a quiet neighborhood. I'll be back"
    Dined on 1/22/2014
  • "if you haven't dined at Caffe Riaci, you've missed out on this slice of authentic Italian food in an Italian street scene setting"
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "Great menu - something for everyone. Pastas and fish are very good. Particularly enjoyable to sit outside in good weather (very tiny inside)."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "owner is Sicilian .... sauces are made with high quality ingredients (not like many other Italian restaurants who use inferior tomatoes and add sugar to balance the acidity of THEIR "cheap" tomatoes) Wait staff is engaging and very attentive !"
    Dined on 12/2/2013
  • "Truly wonderful Italian (Sicilian) cuisine with warm, friendly service. A unique atmosphere with patio dining, huge Roman statuary, fountain with modern sculpture of woman holding a washing machine et al., set the tone for a charming and romantic environment. The food is perhaps the best in the South Bay. Wine list is a bit awkward, so ask for guidance from the owner or your waiter. Enjoy!"
    Dined on 11/26/2013
  • "That's how Cafe Riace was described to us and it did not disappoint. The atmosphere, art, lighting are incomparable! The food was excellent. The night we were there the service was not as wonderful as everything else. But overall Cafe Riace should be on everyone's bucket list."
    Dined on 11/21/2013
  • "What a great place with amazing ambiance and fantastic food!!!!"
    Dined on 10/25/2013
  • "What happened to this place? What was once a hidden gem is now a mismanaged mess. I've been dining here for 6+ years and knew that they were having trouble but not to this extent. So sorry that I recommended Café Riace to friends, family, employees and clients...that will no longer be the case. The last straw was a $25 wine corkage fee at an otherwise empty restaurant...feel so sad for the staff. Start looking for other jobs...your owner has lost touch!!"
    Dined on 10/16/2013
  • "We were a little concerned about a cool evening, but the heaters were going and it was very comfortable. The food is always fresh and perfectly prepared. They were very accommodating for special requests."
    Dined on 10/13/2013
  • "dined here saturday at 8pm. made a reservation, but wasn't necessary. since it was chilly we chose to eat indoors. not impressed with the indoor atmosphere, too quiet and could hear every word of the couples' conversation next to us. service and food was outstanding. no beers on tap :-( but excellent wine selection. next time we will sit on the patio by the fire if it's evening time and chilly. outdoor atmosphere looked superb."
    Dined on 10/12/2013
  • "My foodie husband discovered this gem when seeking an anniversary dinner site close to home... And it was so good we take friends there now. The outside is marvelous, with funky fun sculptures (doing laundry never looked so good)... A collection of vintage Vespas. And the food is amazing - perfect Italian for California foodies. Nice rooms for small dinner parties..a bit of a challenge to find, it has easy parking across the street, close to Caltrain station, tucked between two multi-story buildings... But once there, you feel like you're in Europe... With a sense of humor. Definitely recommended!"
    Dined on 10/11/2013
  • "We love this restaurant for its outdoor ambience and courteous staff. The food is consistently excellent as well. Perfect for a light lunch or special dinner, Cafe Riace is a great place to enjoy creative and tasty entrees and appetizers. Always a winner!"
    Dined on 10/7/2013
  • "Outstanding on all fronts. A must on special occasions, or for just a relaxed dinner with good friends :-)"
    Dined on 9/16/2013
  • "The food was great. We had the lamb shanks and rack of lamb. However, the service was uneven, with an unusually long wait between the main meal and dessert. The outdoor setting was very nice."
    Dined on 9/8/2013
  • "6:30 res on a Sunday night: Service was anxious-non-existant. Ordered soup, came out cold. Hostess apologized, oops forgot to turn on the kettle! Wanted this as a first course. Now comes the pasta with shrimp and lobster. Not much lobster at all (a tablespoon?) and it was tough and overcooked. Now the soup comes back, it is still cold. Waiter says, well will you eat it if is free? (NO) My husband did as he was hungry. I did not. Had to ask 4r times for wine glasses. Finally the hostess gave us some. Tried to order two other dishes, sorry are we out (at 6:30??) Waiter apologized for being understaffed but they were not full. NOT a good experience.!! Still charged for my soup! Said it was new for them to be open on Sunday, then don't be!!"
    Dined on 9/8/2013
  • "The two of us walked over here for our 43rd anniversary dinner. A really great evening."
    Dined on 9/6/2013
  • "A very nice 'special occasion' for four, seated outside. Patio is so pleasant - even with some wind, it was still comfortable. (They also have heat lamps and wool pashminas if you get cold, a nice touch). The service was erratic, slow to get drinks/wine, fast for the food. The food is fantastic and generous portions - took food home - and everything was very delicious. Downside: The wine list is overpriced and no reasonably-priced options. We couldnt find anything under $80, and ended up asking the waiter. He offered several suggestions that were more reasonable - so dont know why those aren;'t on the menu? And then, the manager needed to go fetch the wine in the cellar, so it took some time (seems really strange!)"
    Dined on 8/26/2013
  • "My husband & I enjoyed a wonderful evening. We started with a calmari appetizer, then shared a spinach salad. Both were excellent and more than enough for 2 people. We each had a pasta, mine with lobster and prawns, my husband the vegetarian lasagna. The pasta was freshly made and was wonderful. Portions were good sized and we both took some home. Its always wonderful to sit outside in their court yard. This place is always a treat! Our favorite Italian!"
    Dined on 8/24/2013
  • "i really apologize... I wasn't able to cancel this reservation and I didn't get to go!! but I know that it's a terrific place..."
    Dined on 8/22/2013
  • "My son loves Caffe Riace and chose to go to celebrate his birthday. It so happened that the restaurant was hosting some sort of wine tasting that evening and it was nearly impossible to park and the group was very noisy. However, the group was separated from the diners and the restaurant itself wasn't terribly busy (probably because walk-up diners would have been intimidated by the large group at the entrance and/or unable to find parking. It is a great setting and attractive for large groups, but you might want to inquire with the restaurant if they are hosting a large group before you book. The service was warm and efficient and the food is reliably delicious.. The best part is the lovely patio and the splash of the fountains."
    Dined on 8/20/2013
  • "We enjoyed out lunch at Cafe Riace. Lovely and fun setting, great food, wonderful service!"
    Dined on 8/20/2013
  • "I always liked this restaurant & their great outdoor space. The food is excellent & their wine list has really improved. However, my last dining experience was marred by the poor service. Our waiter was friendly & had good suggestions, despite being TOO friendly, often tapping me on my shoulder as if an old friend. what tipped the scale was his return of my signed credit card statement with approx 12% tip and TELLING me that i need to use one of the suggested tip amounts on the bill (the billed had pre-calculated tips for 15%, 20% & 25%). I paid for dinner for the 4 of us, including 2 close friends. if they were business associates or this was an important business dinner, this move by the waiter could have been very embarrassing!"
    Dined on 8/16/2013
  • "Our dinner for 4 people was almost a Keystone Kops experience - they seemed to be very disorganized. We asked for separate checks at the very beginning for each couple (for a very good reason) and when they brought the check, they said they couldn't do that, so we had to figure out what each couple's share was -- very annoying. They didn't seem to know when to bring the coffee and tea. As for food, everything was good (especially osso bucco) but the dessert (a chocolate semi freddo) was frozen hard and needed a sharp knife and fork to cut, and was still difficult. They were extremely busy, but still.... I made a polite comment to the waiter about their disorganization, and he was very defensive. No apologies."
    Dined on 8/17/2013
  • "Great food, better ambience but some servers are better than others. Ours was a little too familiar as opposed to professional. Nonetheless - it is a great spot with some genuinely great sauces and pairing of flavors."
    Dined on 7/26/2013