Good food, service, and prices.
We started with the Arancine balls. When our server saw how much we enjoyed them, he brought us a couple of the Polenta balls to try. They were very good as well!
My wife and I shared the Spaghetti Carbonara. Very good! Pasta was cooked perfectly. Carbonara sauce was well incorporated - not too much sauce.
We then shared the Osso Bucco as our secondi piatti. Lovely and fall off the bone. Good flavor.
Wine list is extensive. I was able to find a reasonably priced Nero D'Avola by the glass.
Service was very good. Definitely going back.
3/13/2013 5:00:00 PM
I've eaten at Caffe Riace
I've eaten at Caffe Riace several times over the past several years, and have always had a good experience. Food has always been good.
3/22/2013 5:00:00 PM
Patio Dining at its Best
Cafe Riacce features a very small indoor dining room but a beautiful and comfortable patio with interesting and quirky statuary and lovely gardens. Fortunately, outdoor dining is possible almost year round in Palo Alto. The service was prompt and friendly. My seafood risotto was absolutely loaded with a variety of seafood in a richly flavored saffron broth, served steaming hot. My husband's penne arrabiatta was hot and spicy and very satisfying. This is a pleasant place for lunch and dinner, though finding parking in this area is always challenging. We will definitely be back.
3/26/2013 5:00:00 PM
Perfect outdoor dining experience
Perfect outdoor dining experience on a warm/mild evening. Food was delicious. Service was great as well. Highly recommend it!
4/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Superba cucina italiana con statue
Wonderful fun and delicious! Great Italian, nay Sicilian, cuisine served on a terrace with several classical bronze statues and a fountain featuring a woman holding a washing machine. No joke!
Hidden away or tucked away inside an office building's patio or terrace, Caffe Riace requires seeking it out. It is located on a street bordering Oregon Expressway. But once found, it is not to be forgotten, as it truly is one of the finest Italian restaurants in the area.
4/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
You Feel Like You Got Away
If outdoor dining is your thing, you need to check this out. Always a vibrant crowd in good weather, daytime or night. Flavorful food to stimulate the palate. Of my three visits here (two dinners and one lunch), it has been the service that has taken this place one notch higher. Dinner or lunch on the piazza and an attentive wait staff with a nice touch of humor and warmth. Some expansion of the wine list might be nice. Otherwise, Fantastico!
5/9/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great foodStaff a little distracted
We had a nice dinner, but staff seemed to be un-focused or distracted
Service was slow, we ask for the terrace heater to be turned on and it took 10-15 minutes to get it done
Water glasses are not refilled as frequent as they should be
Food is delicious
5/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Very Nice Dining Experience
Food was wonderful, service was great and fast, and the ambiance was very outdoor European cafe - which I loved.
5/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
Not as good as past visits
Outdoor setting was good for our large group of 7, and they positioned space heaters and provided blankets to make sure we were warm. But 2 items we tried to order were no longer available (at 7 on a Saturday night). Also, one member of our party requested pasta carbonara (not on the menu this visit, although it had been before), but we were told they didn't have some of the ingredients. They had an appetizer with pancetta, and dishes with egg and cream, so I don't know what they could have been out of. Most likely didn't want to accommodate a special request. Also, the wait staff brought us one plate of bread for a group of 7, and we had to ask for more. All in all, not what we've been used to on past visits.
5/23/2013 4:00:00 PM
They took care of it all
We come here often & have always had great food & good.. sometimes great service.
We had Major problems with service - a specific waiter. The food was outstanding. But the management, the waiter etc, came back & apologized profusely. Then, they comped most of our food which we didn't expect. We all will definitely return because they handled the situation & it was a 1 night. out of many nights. Now they know us all so well, they'll treat us even more special.
This is the way a restaurant should handle any issue. Accept responsibility & 'deal with it'!
5/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
4 Star Food at 5 Star Prices
We enjoyed the fountain-side patio luncheon and service. The salmon was tasty and the service attentive. A $70 tab for 2 for luncheon (one iced tea and two pieces of salmon with asparagus spears) is a bit over the top, so I'd suggest saving this for special occasions.
Also, it would be a nice addition to have a more formal gluten free menu and a couple of additional choices for vegetarians.
6/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
A slice of Italy!
A scenic spot - our summers are not complete unless we dine out on a warm evening at Caffe Riace!
6/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best place to bring out-of-towners
Always a great evening. Sound of rushing water provides privacy.
6/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent pasta with lobster
Every entree was excellent. The starters were good. The affogato was overpriced. Overall excellent food and would return.
6/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
A neighborhood gem...
Tucked away off California ave, Cafe Riace offers a bounty of reward to those adventurous souls who seek out the tasty and unpretentious. Nestled in a courtyard with two interior spaces, CafeRiace does a magnificent job serving great Italian fare to all who enter.
Every trip holds a welcome treasure. Enjoy!
6/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
We love Caffe Riace! From the setting through the service, to the food! It is always wonderful!
6/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
I always enjoy dining at the
I always enjoy dining at the Caffe Riace. It reminds me of Italy!
6/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
spend a few hours in Italy
Few restaurant with outdoor dining can match up with Caffe Riace on the lower peninsula (Palo Alto) for a truly Italian outdoor dining experience.
If you haven't been here, you haven't "lived the California good life" . But please, NO PHOTOGRAPHS of the nude statues in the courtyard. ha ha ha
The Food: Authentic Sicilian ! 0nly wish San Francisco Sourdough bread would replace the house made crushed olive soft pastry-like offering.
6/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
A wonderful evening outdoors
Being a bit off the beaten path helped us escape the hoards and associated parking issues of other parts of Palo Alto, yet still enjoy a Date-Night dining experience in a courtyard setting. Attentive service without making you feel rushed.
6/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
An Italian piazza in Palo Alto
Caffe Riace, a neighborhood gem, is popular for business lunches, special dinners, date nights, group celebrations, and families with well-behaved children. The menu adheres to authentic Italian dishes, albeit with a nouvelle flair. I ordered grilled swordfish, garnished with a date and carmelized scallion chutney, and my husband had the gnocchi in creamy pesto sauce. Both dishes were delicious. The desserts are typically Italian, and the housemade gelato is among the best I've tasted. The "piazza" ambiance includes a central fountain, flanked by two bronze (nude) Roman warrior statues. On cool evenings, heating lamps keep the chilly night air at bay. Indoor seating is available, mostly as a back-up in case of rain.
7/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Step into Italy right here in Palo Alto! A little off the beaten path so you need to know where you are going. Wonderful outdoor seating with a fountain. Very romantic...food is fantastic. I highly recommend it for a date night.
7/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Surprisingly great food
I dined here years ago and was very pleased by the amazing food: I ordered the specials, including a lobster panna cotta appetizer, a bresaola and bufalo mozzarella appetizer and the rack of lamb with porcini risotto. All were excellent, perfectly prepared and served perfectly. The ambience was spectacular as always in the garden on a warm night with the fountains and statues providing the flavor of ancient rome. The only two issues here were an overpriced wine list (only a few bottles under $50) and terrible service. We waited almost 45 minutes to order on 4th of July and wound up missing our fire works. Once we ordered the food came fairly quickly but it seemed like they needed more wait staff.
7/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Once again, the Riace crew has come through for us. We had a surprise birthday dinner for a friend. 9 of us showed up, and our waiter (I wish I could remember the young man's name, but I had not seen him at my previous visits) was attentive, knowledgeable, and fun! The food was superb, as usual, and the management even made sure that the weather cooperated (OK, that's a stretch). Went there intending to get their famous Osso Bucco, but switched to the pasta Tutto Mare. Fresh house made linguine, perfectly cooked seafood.........No sense going on about Cafe Riace, except that we would not keep returning if it was anything less than the best go-to restaurant I know!
7/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Small group - great dinner
Always love the food in Palo Alto but the parking. Caffe Riace combines the best of both worlds - private parking and great food. The service was excellent - we were a party of 6. They were very attentive - even split the bill 6 ways! Patio sitting - the night was a little cool and in addition to the heaters they had blankets!
7/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Special occasion dining experience
Wonderful atmosphere, amazing Italian dishes, excellent service.
8/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
I've been here many times and the good and ambiance never fails me! But... Sometimes the service does. Although the wait staff are friendly, timing for lunch can run up to 1.5 hours.
8/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great for it's location near
Great for it's location near Cinearts movie theater. Easy parking, lot right across the street. There's a large outside eating area surrounded by a few very large scultpures. Out of 6 of us, 5 were quite satisfied with their meals.
8/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Bring an appetite
As we were led to our table my wife and I noticed that the serving sizes were quite generous - an understatement. The observation raised concern whether their reputation was based on quantity versus quality. Have no fears. I had salmon which was done to perfection. My wife had a pasta dish which she described as excellent.
The servings of both as anticipated were large but fortunately we skipped an appetizer to leave room to share a dessert. We tried the Italian cliché dessert of Tiramisu. It wasn't cliché. It was perhaps the best I can remember. Shall definitely return.
8/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
I miss Italian waiters. Dessert was served frozen and hard as a rock. It was supposed to be room temp. Needed a steak knife to cut it. Should have been comped. Wish you had alternative to wine or beer... Alcohol Pear or Apple cider is an idea.
8/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Different and quite wonderful
We enjoyed out lunch at Cafe Riace. Lovely and fun setting, great food, wonderful service!
8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Lovely Spot to Enjoy a warm evening
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.
8/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
i really apologize... I wasn't
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...
8/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
An Excellent evening
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!
8/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent food, nice environment
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!)
8/25/2013 5:00:00 PM
Always a great experience
The two of us walked over here for our 43rd anniversary dinner. A really great evening.
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food Ok service
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.
9/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Outstanding on all fronts. A must on special occasions, or for just a relaxed dinner with good friends :-)
9/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Charming Outdoor Dining
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!
10/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fun, eclectic setting, amazing food
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!
10/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
overall great place to eat
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.
10/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
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.
10/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
A hidden gem!!!
What a great place with amazing ambiance and fantastic food!!!!
10/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Most Romantic Restaurant EVUH!
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.
11/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
Sicily with Love
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.
11/25/2013 4:00:00 PM
always top notch dining
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 !
12/1/2013 4:00:00 PM