Two home runs and a triple.We look for three major things when we go to a restaurant, Food, Service, and Ambience. Riva hit home runs on the first two with an interesting menu of delicious choices and truly delightful service from Paige. On the third, a solid triple with a slight complaint about the hard seating. After a couple of hours the hardwood chair and bench made us squirm. We will be back again because the food and service are compelling.6/7/2013 12:00:00 AMever changing menuWe love the ever changing menu, that depends on what's fresh at the time.
Also love the laid back atmosphere and rustic décor.6/1/2013 12:00:00 AMThis and ThatGreat for a special or romantic occasion! The ambiance and decor really sets this place apart. The only drawbacks: its outdoor dining is not available for dinner because of their neighbors and it only offers beer or wine (not a full bar).5/31/2013 12:00:00 AMtasty and generouswonderful flavors, attentive service, generous and gracious hosts.5/30/2013 12:00:00 AMLovely spotDown a nondescript post-industrial road (Heinz Ave, where they used to make Ketchup) is this lovely restaurant. The food is great, the service is friendly and efficient, and there's a great courtyard outside to play hide and seek with your 5-year-old while you wait for your dinner!5/29/2013 12:00:00 AMEasy to overlook--but don't!I can't remember when I've given 5 stars all around! At first, I thought I had discovered a hidden gem--that perfect combination of great food and reasonable prices. But it soon became clear that many others have discovered Riva Cucina and, judging by the warm greetings of the staff, the place soon filled with what seemed to be regulars. It is clear why: The food is honest--fresh ingredients, well prepared and unpretentious. I wouldn't consider returning without eating the scallops and the passatelli pasta dish again. The setting is warm and comfortable, and the service charming. It's the kind of meal that I want to return to when I get tired of Mission Chinese. I may just become one of those regulars!5/25/2013 12:00:00 AMEnjoyableWe all enjoyed our meals. Staff was sufficiently attentive. Ambience is nice; brick walls and high ceilings; bright from a wall of windows. Reflective surfaces made conversation a challenge at times, though. One of us thought their food was "bland." The rest agreed the food was prepared with a light touch, letting the simpler elements speak for themselves, which we all enjoyed. My squid pasta went uniquely well with the spattering of seafood and a simple wine sauce, for example. I could taste each of the different types of seafood along with the unique flavor of the pasta, whereas other dishes I have had can munge all the flavors into one (which can also be very tasty, too).5/18/2013 12:00:00 AMDeliciousWe tried Riva for the first time this weekend, and I was very impressed. Everything we ordered was amazing and the prices were reasonable. This is definitely a place I'd recommend.5/17/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat dining experienceI was pleasantly surprised by my visit to Riva Cucina. The service was great and the food was both unique and wonderful. Prices were fair considering the quality. I'll go back again.5/15/2013 12:00:00 AMEverything delicious.....We had a party for four, three of us had outstanding pastas, and one gentleman had the fish of the evening...very good,lovely
Presentation....wine selections were very nice.....we also had two starters, so no one was open to dessert....:(5/14/2013 12:00:00 AMexcellent food, out-of-the-way spotNice to see the food quality holding up, and the customers increasing. Riva Cucina deserves it, as their hard work in the kitchen and dining room definitely reward the customers.5/10/2013 12:00:00 AMBest pastA and lamb I ha eBest pastA and lamb I ha e ever had. I cannot wait to return!5/9/2013 12:00:00 AMVery good!Location is tucked away and in a cool brick warehouse. Very close to the freeway and lots of parking. Nice for Berkeley. The food was really, really good. Prices are extremely reasonable on the pastas and they were delicious. Wine list is small, but good, and also priced reasonably. Service was very good. This is a good spot and I'm happy I discovered it. Definitely recommend and definitely will be back.5/8/2013 12:00:00 AMAmazing & authenticChef Massi is incredibly humble and talented. I run the US division of an Italian based company and Riva Cucina is a must when executives visit from Italy. Fresh is the word and with a new daily menu there is always a pleasant surprise waiting for your taste buds. This is an absolute gem and should not be missed if dinning locally.5/7/2013 12:00:00 AMRelief from trendy crowdsJust discovered this little gem. We loved the setting and the service was genuine, unpretentious. Patrons of all ages and not too loud. Food was delicious and portions just right.5/3/2013 12:00:00 AMThe food and service are outstandinThe food and service are outstanding. Pastas were perfectly cooked and attractively presented. We had the whole grilled fish and it was outstanding. Service is attentive and friendly. I whole heartedly recommend this place.4/27/2013 12:00:00 AMWe celebrated our 48th weddingWe celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary. This was our first time at Riva Cucina and were pleasantly surprised to receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine and good wishes for a happy anniversary. The hospitality was excellent.
The service was excellent especially in the timing. We did not feel rushed and appreciated not having the entre' served right on top of the soup.4/25/2013 12:00:00 AMA great neighborhood restaurantA great neighborhood restaurant featuring regional Italian food. Some misses on the appetizers (scallops were well prepared and served in the shell but in a pool of oil; buratta was a sloppy mess) but the pastas and main courses were excellent. The wine list is small but has some good choices and values.4/24/2013 12:00:00 AMRiva Cucina, now in its sixthRiva Cucina, now in its sixth year of operation, is a gem. It is tucked away in West Berkeley in what was once the Durkee Mustard Factory, a beautiful old brick building.
The fare is Northern Italian and the chef/owner is a superb chef. His pastas are especially succulent and tender.
The staff has always been thoughtful and efficient.
Since it's so close to the freeway (Ashby Avenue exit, left on 7th Street for 2 blocks and left again on Heinz and you're there), even San Franciscans can enjoy it.
It is just an outstanding place for supper.4/16/2013 12:00:00 AMThis is an excellent restaurantThis is an excellent restaurant that I have been dining at at for years. The owner/chef is Italian who started a family here in the U.S. They are lovely people.
This is excellent, authentic, italian food, as you would find it in Italy.4/13/2013 12:00:00 AMAlways loving to find a spectacularAlways loving to find a spectacular restaurant. Riva is that place. The food was tops--loved the scallops, the pasta, the salmon that my partner and I ordered. One of the best Italian Restaurants we've been to in the Bay Area. We'll be back.4/2/2013 12:00:00 AMFANTASTIC in every way!!I can't say enough great things about this place! We had a group of ten and EVERYONE was happy! The food is excellent...I had gnocci and honestly, it was the best I've ever had. Also had a side of spinach that was amazing..I admit spinach is my favorite veggie, but some people don't know how to cook it. These folks do.
The service was perfect. Available, professional, accommodating and friendly.
Only thing I didn't like here was the rosemary infused olive oil, but they brought out regular when I asked and it was GREAT.
Will definitely be back. SO HAPPY to find a place of this caliber in the east bay.3/29/2013 12:00:00 AMEverything was terrific. MyEverything was terrific. My fourth trip there, I take all my friends and visitors there!3/26/2013 12:00:00 AMNice ambiance, warm service,Nice ambiance, warm service, delicious, solid food. Would recommend!3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMFood was excellent even theFood was excellent even the Frito Misto was not oily at all.3/23/2013 12:00:00 AMOur new favorite! Up thereOur new favorite! Up there with the Berkeley /Oakland best!3/20/2013 12:00:00 AMThe dishes always have a niceThe dishes always have a nice balance of the flavor components.3/15/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat dining experience as usual.As usual, service at Riva Cucina is excellent. The staff really work hard to ensure a wonderful dining experience. Everything we had was very good - bean soup, fristo misto (standard order for us), squid ink pasta (very good, salty but I like the saltiness) and the cheese desert. However, my daughter was disappointed with her pasta order - overly cheesy, it's the one with sausage. She wished she had ordered her regular gnocci. The Syrah I ordered was blah, for $9.00 per glass, I think it should have been better quality.
Otherwise, we love Riva Cucina and it's a go-to restaurant for us when we are feeling Italian. Best in Berkeley.3/15/2013 12:00:00 AM4 Star Food at Reasonable PricesI ate at Riva Cucina not long after it opened and was not favorably impressed - but a couple of years later, I had to work later than usual, it's right down the road from my house, my wife was feeling Italian, so what the heck.... Good decision! Last night's dinner was excellent: Frito misto with plenty of squid and prawns, accented with a lemon oil; gnocchi with braised beef shanks; and one of the best grilled rack of lamb that I've had in a long time. The wine list looks good, (I'm a BYOB kind'a guy); service is warm, friendly and pretty professional, (a marked improvement over my first visit); and the room is pleasant, (although there are a lot of "hard edges" which help to make it NOISY). Prices are reasonable.3/14/2013 12:00:00 AMSecond time here and stillSecond time here and still just as impressed. This time it was for a business meeting, which the staff handled with aplomb. The space was perfect for a good conversation as well.3/14/2013 12:00:00 AMNot to be missedFood was delicious and the service was the best we have had anywhere. I can't wait to go back.3/9/2013 12:00:00 AMGreat northern Italian cuisine.Great northern Italian cuisine. House made pasta and the gnocchi are to die for.... The rack of lamb was terrific this evening!1/23/2013 12:00:00 AMOur second visit to Riva Cucina....Our second visit to Riva Cucina....we came back for the incredible gnocchi. The roasted quail entree was fabulous! Great service and Wednesday nights is free corkage night.1/2/2013 12:00:00 AMThis restaurant is a realThis restaurant is a real find. The pastas are delicious and I especially love the beet salad. My husband thought his lamb shank should have been more flavorful, but he loved his scallop appetizer. Easy pRking in a warehouse section of Berkeley. This is on our list of East Bay favorites.12/15/2012 12:00:00 AM