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Caffe Riace
Caffe Riace

Caffe Riace Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.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 WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "Service and food was not up to Caffe Riace's usual standard. Appetizers were not served in a timely fashion and one was never served. Pasta was not as hot as it should. be. Bread was not fresh. Coffee never even offered. Disappointing but ambiance is always great."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "the BEST outdoor dining ! Great food, like being in Italy.. we dine here regularly and just enjoy it so much.."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We have previously dined at Caffe Riace and liked it. We were very disappointed with our last visit. Service was slow, but eventually our order was taken. That's where things went wrong. The wine steward approached. His first comment was "I want to let you know that our owner is offering a special on a wine normally $200/bottle, but tonight only $150 as we would like to reduce our inventory." We declined and eventually ordered a $60 bottle of cabernet for our party of 4. The wine steward left, then returned about 5 minutes later and said that we really would do better with another cabernet that normally is $30 higher, but he had a deal for that bottle for only $75. We are there to eat dinner, not to haggle over wine prices."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "The food was delicious. Our waiter was inattentive - such as delivering cappuccino's without spoons or sugar, not listening to me order vegetarian lasagna instead of the regular lasagna. The rest of the wait staff was very nice and helpful. Too bad our waiter didn't seem to care about our table."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We loved the funky patio setting with giant naked statuary, a fountain with Venus hefting a front loading washer, a line of Vespas and a few other fun touches to make you feel like you just walked into an elegant Italian garage sale. The service was friendly, just attentive enough, never stuffy. We loved the antipasto appetizer (one person's worth is enough to share) because we got to try several things at once. On one visit, there was a divine bacon-wrapped pork loin on offer as a special that evening. Perfectly cooked, the bacon crispy and the pork loin juicy. The accompanying grilled peach the perfect sweet companion. Another time we chose the cannelloni, which was rich and meaty. Glad we shared that. Desserts very generous portions."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "For balmy evenings outdoors I'd pick this place but next time pick a table away from the large fountain. The falling water made it hard to hear conversation. We noticed the indoor rooms for 8 or 12, and a few tables indoors (much quieter, but no outdoor California living). Everyone liked the food, and the service was fine. We'll eat here again next time we're in town."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "waiters a little pushy took appetizer away with food left"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "a bit pricey for lunch since the menu is the same for lunch and dinner."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Caffe Riace is a lovely outdoor restaurant decorated with fun, interesting objects and art. The food is delicious and the service friendly and attentive."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "We went there for the first time on Father's Day. It exceeded our expectations. The food and wine was reasonably priced and very good. I highly recommend the resteraunt."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "As always Caffe Riace was a delight. Interesting menu items, good service, pleasant ambience. Best eggplant salad ever."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "food and service great, but my flower delivery was lost in their kitchen or somewhere, and no attempt made to find it"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "We have had so many fine meals and experiences here at Caffé Riace. Something seems to have been missing this evening. The menu did not point out that the hearts of Romaine salad had bacon sprinkled on it. Quite good, but not for my daughter. A steak à la française, which just wasn't very good. Good enough chianti. Not the usual. I'm not saying we are never going back; we shall return and hope to find that this was an aberration."
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "We have dined here repeatedly, and the food is consistently good. Now that the summer weather and warm evenings are here, we'll probably make this a weekly destination."
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "The ambience was great. It felt that we were at a restaurant in Italy; the waiters were disorganized and not very attentive. The waiter insisted that my guest had 2 main courses in mind: the osso bucco or the fritti mare. She was leanding towards the former, but the waite pusehd the fritti mare as he seemed to be preoccupied with the other tables. She decided ont he fritti mare bute then changed her mind. They breought her the fritti mare. We were expecting more of a relaxed atmosphere, but we experienced was waiters whizzing by us going from one table to the next and at no time inquiring whether we were enjoyng the meal or if there was anything else we needed. The staff seemed nice but really disorganized."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "When the weather gets warm, this is a go-to place. All seating is outside in a lovely patio garden space. We all ordered pasta that was very good. The only complaint is that the service is terribly slow. Also, our party of four was seated at a round table that seats 6 or 8. This made is a bit difficult to converse across such a wide space. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "I like the outdoor seating. Very charming. Food was great, particularly appetizer and pasta. Salad was so-so. Worth a repeat visit, for sure."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Title says it all. Hidden in an unlikely spot, this place is worth making a special trip. I have been there 4 or 5 times and every time I left looking forward to coming back."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Caffe Riace's food and portions were less than average. We had 3 orders of the Tutto Mare pasta, and the serving size was quite small. I feel like for around $20 a plate, the portion sizes should have been bigger. We had an order of the spaghetti bolognese and the portion size was bigger. Also, I had called a few days in advance to get a table inside, and when we got there, they wanted to seat us outside. The night was a little chilly, so our party wanted to sit inside. They were able to seat us inside but I felt my request was a nuisance for them. The flavor of the food is really good, they just didn't give us enough portions. The service was pretty good. I don't think I will be going back though."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Our table was ready & we were seated immediately, given menus, and served hot excellent focaccia bread. Our server explained that the regular menu was on the front & the specials on the back of a printed sheet. When we realized our menus listed different specials, our server said I had an old menu and replaced it. We both ordered Aragosta Pasta with Shrimp & Lobster in a light lobster cream sauce. The large portions were served hot & it was delicious! The shrimp were large, but, I do wish the chef had cut the lobster chunks bigger even though it would have resulted in a smaller number of them. The chairs were quite uncomfortable and not conducive to sitting and enjoying a bottle of wine. Seat cushions would be a definite improvement. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We arrived at 5:30 PM on a windy evening and therefore did not choose to eat in the courtyard. There are heating lamps. The food was excellent especially the Linguini Tutti di Mare,Caprese Salad and Tiramasu. The parking across from the restaurant is very convenient with many spaces available. We were very pleased and will return again. The sculptures in the courtyard and in the restaurant, as well as paintings on the wall give the restaurant an Italian Sicilian flare."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "for an outside restaurant running out of gas for the heaters is a big deal. It worked out for us as we realized (all on our own) that the heaters were running out. And waiters were bringing blankets to patrons. Even though we asked early on to ensure there was extra heaters around our table of 6 nobody said anything until we brought it and asked to be moved inside. With that we got a lovely private dinning room that was perfect. Only thing is the waiter kind of forgot about us, i had to go outside and find somebody to clear our table and bring dessert. That said, it's a lovely place and we all had an excellent time. Just disappointed in how they handled the misteps. Just own it and go with it. Thanks "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Great location for outdoor dining on a nice evening. It was a little windy and cold when we sat down; but, the waiters turned on two heat lamps and brought blankets for the girls so we were able to stay quit cozy. Once the wind died it was beautiful. I had the halibut with lemon risotto, which was good, but not great! Overall dinner was a little on the pricey side, with moderate bottle of wine and a couple of appetizers, the total was $250 including tip for 4 people."
    Dined on 4/28/2014
  • "Inside dining area very, very small, a little claustrophobic actually. Had a salad, lasagne & dessert: the salad was very good, large and with lots of goodies in it, altho the salad dressing was kind of bland. The lasagne was enough to split between me and my dining pal, but the plate came with just lasagna--it definitely needed some vegetables added, and certainly would have improved the appearance, as well as adding another needed taste--just a plate of lasagna, pretty boring! They served foccaccia with an olive dip--the bread was good but I hate olives so didn't enjoy that at all. Had the apple strudel for dessert with coconut ice cream--and it was just absolutely delicious! "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "FOOD-One of the order was FISH with rice, and it came uncooked. The fish was still reddish inside so we weren't sure and ask the waiter. He said he'll replace us with a new one, and that took over half an hour. And the new fish that came, was much harder, as if it was microwaved. ENVIRONMENT- was quiet and the space was very small. Like a small living room, trying to squish in as many tables and chairs together. Good for elders, so old people don't have to walk too far and get seated and fill loved with a buncha people all squished together. PRICE-Over priced!!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "We "found" Caffe Riace after years living in the neighborhood. Lunch was delightful, out in the sun. Fresh bread, the special "rice balls" orancina - must have! and a great salmon salad. We followed up with a Friday dinner and found the place to be intimate, quiet, romantic and with great environment, food and service. What a great place!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "Our two families (7 total) had a charm filled evening at Caffe Riace. I can't say enough about the ambiance, the service and the food that all go to create a one of a kind experience for dining."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "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 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 always try to visit Caffe Riace when I'm in town and it never disappoints."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "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