1539 Solano Ave
Berkeley, CA 94707Neighborhood:
CalifornianPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.rivolirestaurant.com/
- Phone: 5105262542
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Californian, Mediterranean
- Executive Chef: Wendy Brucker
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Rivoli Restaurant
Rivoli strives to be a hands on, moderately priced restaurant with simple and creative food, carefully selected wines and comfortable service in a warm and lively atmosphere. Rivoli’s distinction comes from the heart and soul of its owners and staff. The menu relies on what is seasonal, local and fresh, using mostly organic produce, sustainably caught fish and naturally raised meats and poultry. The wines are selected for their affinity with the food, and offer the best values from the cooler regions of California and the Old World. The dining room staff provides friendly and attentive service and the chefs and cooks are skilled artisans of their craft.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Rivoli Restaurant - Best Restaurants in Berkeley ›
Rivoli Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
212 reviews since May 1, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (158)special occasion (156)neighborhood gem (139)romantic (107)notable wine list (58)scenic view (32)good for groups (9)hot spot (7)kid-friendly (3)vibrant bar scene (2)late-night find (2)great for brunch (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
- Our favorite restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/26/2014For my husband's birthday this year I was determined to find someplace other than Rivoli, our stand-by for all special occasions. But after spending time looking at menus on-line, nothing was as good, or as reasonable. Once again, our family had the perfect meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing RestaurantfoodiefabulousDined on 8/23/2014We celebrated my husbands 50th Birthday. The service was impeccable, the ambience just delightful, the food, well insanely delicious would be a good description. Everything was perfect..highly recommend Rivoli any time for an amazing dining experience. 5 stars Thank youSpecial Features:
- Birthday celebrationOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/22/2014Wonderful service and surprise decorations for a birthday celebration at a requested table overlooking the garden. Phenomenal salmon. Wine steward took exceptional care with the cork on a very good bottle of wine.Special Features:
- Not quite up to its past reputationUCity63Dined on 8/21/2014We were expecting to have a really great meal at Rivoli's, after seeing The 100 ft. Journey. It was so-so. Our waiter was extremely slow in coming to our table. We had inordinately long waits for cocktails, bread being brought, food coming, etc. The artichoke soup was tasty, as was the prawn appetizer. Salmon main course was good, but the pork chop entree was tough and would have had no taste w/o the jus. Bland corn pudding tasted like canned corn. The usually excellent hot fudge sundae came without whipped cream and too little ice cream, which was partly melted, and an over abundance of nuts. It had been perhaps waiting too long on the counter, and someone was definitely unclear on the concept of a hot fudge sundae.
- Modest exterior/brilliant interiorLAVLISHDined on 8/19/2014You enter through a diminutive bar and a short service hall to an exotic interior . The entire back wall of the intimate dining area is a verdant oasis of greenery that transports you far from Solano avenue. We started with a shared appetizer for 3.Everyone devoured the Portobella fritters .They were robust, crispy and satisfying. The Wild King Salmon was grilled to perfectly reflect the flavor and delicate, melting texture. A spicy Romanescu (sp?) sauce with the right amount of crunch was an awesome complement along with the potato gratin and fresh veggies. Try the nectarine crisp with hazelnut gelato. It bursts with flavor and won't disappoint. Our leisurely dinner was well paced and we never felt rushed.Food and wine were well matched .Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 8/19/2014Rivoli was once great. but it's been going downhill for some time now. I had a ravioli dish that was truly odd, even disgusting; I shared it with everyone at my table and they were all appalled as well. No one had a good word to say about any part of the meal except the desserts, which were each exquisite.
- A Berkeley jewelMagistra504WDined on 8/17/2014On a recent trip to the Bay Area, I found myself dining twice in Berkeley. The first time was at the grande dame Chez Panisse, and the second time was at Rivoli, about which I knew nothing prior to going there. While Chez Panisse acquitted itself admirably in its consistently fine tradition, Rivoli absolutely charmed me on every level. Service was precise and unpretentious. The food was inspired and memorable. Ambience was pleasant and understated. Noise level was modest, especially for a one-room setting. Dinner at Rivoli was truly a delight for both my partner and me.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- leadcarbonateDined on 8/16/2014We enjoyed our meal at Rivoli, as usual. Good food, low-key atmosphere, mostly good service.Special Features:
- Soryy, I wouldn't go backOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 8/16/2014Rivoli was disappointing. One appetizer was great but the other, deep fried mushroom fritters (were they called fritters?), was just mediocre bar food; fried, crispy something or other. The two way chicken was very good, but the risotto wasn't. The seafood in the risotto was great (lobster), but the rice tasted like chicken soup.
- Not up to standardsOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/12/2014I usually have a good meal at Rivoli, but I would not recommend the rissoto. I think this just wasn't their dish or the night for this dish. The risotto was terrible, something along the lines of a Swanson's rice and pea dish, with a few rubbery scallops and a couple of lobster pieces- not even good ones. It was more of a soup than risotto. I have been going to Rivioli for years, so this certainly won't stop me from going again, fortunately I've had more good meals there than bad.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful for a low-key birthdayanddsDined on 8/11/2014I took my boyfriend here for his birthday this past week. When I made the reservation on opentable I mentioned that it was his birthday and how we would like a table near the window that looks into the rear garden (it's beautiful) if it was possible. Not only did they give us a table near the window but the host wished my boyfriend happy birthday as he sat us and there was happy birthday confetti on the table when we arrived. These small gestures were really thoughtful and made our night. The service and food were fantastic. We will certainly be returning soon!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- never a disappointmentalbanydinerDined on 8/10/2014As always we enjoyed our dinner at Rivoli. It was an excellent choice for our 44th anniversary. The food was very good, the service attentive and efficient. We look forward to future dinners there, even for no occasion.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Quiet Special OccasionlessismoreDined on 8/5/2014My husband and I dined at Rivoli for the first time to celebrate his birthday. I asked for a window table to celebrate the occasion when placing the reservation and mentioned we were keeping the occasion low-key and there was no need for special treatment (i.e. candles or attention). Sure enough they took note. When we arrived, the hostess quietly wished my husband a happy birthday, seated us at a beautiful window table, and our fantastic server also wished my husband a good birthday. The service, feed and wine was fantastic. The pace was relaxing and we will certainly go back. No birthday needed to feel special there.Special Features:
- Rivoli DisappointmentBayEatersVIPDined on 8/3/2014We went to Rivoli Sunday night to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Unfortunately the meal was less than memorable. Both of our entres were cold to room temperature and basically tasteless. We haven't been there for a while, but remembered the superb meals we have had there in the past. This restaurant has clearly lost a step. Mid way into our meal we both agreed that we would never go back again.Special Features:
- Great FindpjjdDined on 8/2/2014Scallop appetizer, shrimp on grits and vegetarian lasagne were delicious. A little too creamy for our taste otherwise I would have given the food a 5 star. Tables are close together; close enough that we could hear the next table's conversation. But we had a great dinner and experience overall.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ZZZBerkeleyDined on 8/2/2014Rivoli is a neighborhood jewel that can really serve a place for multiple occasions. And it's child-friendly! We took three kids to have dinner there including our two year old boy. The staff are super nice and making sure the "demanding toddler" is taken care of. Even though we have to rush through the meal, we received best service and a wonderful dinner experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always Excellent!OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 7/30/2014We are never disappointed at Rivoli. It remains my absolute favorite restaurant. Every single course was amazingly delicious, from the portobello fritters on a bed of arugula to the hot fudge sundae.Special Features:
- rivoliOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/30/2014Overall it was a good experience. The food is good and well prepared The service adequate...My disappointment was with the main course. I ordered the veal shoulder. I was served rare beef. When I told the waiter he said that it was veal. I let it go, as it was my wife's birthday and I did not wish to get into a debate. But veal is not bright red and served rare. Eugenio Massoni.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A delightful findOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/30/2014Old friends came together, all of whom are world travelers, and found Rivoli to rival most of our favorite restaurants. It is a small restaurant with a lovely view of their garden. The Moroccan chicken was wonderful and I fell in love with their chickpea fries. The salmon was fresh and perfectly prepared. It is rather noisy however, made worse by the loud voices of children. It would have been a perfect spot if young children were not encouraged. But all in all, a lovely restaurant with a fabulous chef in a location where you can actually find parking!Special Features:
- LizKDined on 7/29/2014Rivoli never disappoints. Food and service have remained consistently outstanding over many, many years. The signature mushroom fritters are all-time favorites. The entrees are always creative and give diners plenty of delicious options. This time it was the grilled shrimp with grits, etc. Our server was a pro. Can't say enough about this restaurant!Special Features:
- GardenMusselsVIPDined on 7/25/2014Beautiful setting with a view of tropical garden through large floor to ceiling window from an intimate sized dining room. While menu selections are not extensive, there are a variety of choices to suit most tastes. The portobello fritters were out of this world while scallops as appetizers were wonderful. Veal leg entree was excellent and lamb meatballs were good.Special Features:
- Always Perfect!demetraVIPDined on 7/24/2014A return to NorCal after Moving down to LA prompted a visit with my Berkeley son and a meal at our spot, Rivoli. The parmeson and roman souffle was as light as air. The meatballs and rissotto were spot on and the desserts, especially the cheesecake, were perfect!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Was good but not fantasticECMontiesDined on 7/23/2014Didn't seem as special as previous visits or recent experiences at comparable restaurants. Service was excellent but we felt a bit rushed. A more leisurely pace would have been nice. (I never thought I'd mark a restaurant down for being too efficient.) Portobello mushroom fritters and butter lettuce salad starters were excellent. Grilled leg of veal was good and combination of grilled shrimp, grits and corn medley worked very well. We liked the nectarine crisp but were surprised at the $9.50 price tag for most of the desserts including the hot fudge sundae. My cappuccino was excellent.Special Features:
- Forget the saladKathDined on 7/23/2014The shrimp entree was fabulous. The salad was just a big pile of greens with oil on it. Don't be in a hurry - it took an hour to be served on a Wednesday night.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding service and food.KirkDined on 7/23/2014Rivoli is the place I take friends for a special dinner--always great food and service!Special Features:
- HowardDined on 7/20/2014Food was wonderful, service faultless. Entire evening was delightful.Special Features:
- great as alwayseapfotoDined on 7/20/2014This is the best restaurant on Solano by far. Great food, great service, great everything really.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My favorite restaurant in BerkeleyfoodiegrandmaDined on 7/20/2014I have known the chef-owner, Wendy, for at least 30 years, since she was "chefing" at a restaurant in a Berkeley hotel, and her food just keeps getting better. The menu changes weekly and is always seasonal, but you can always count on finding two things: the portabella mushroom fritters, and the hot fudge sundae. She tells me that she gets a revolt from her customers if she tries to take these items off the menu. I had a great shrimp with grits a few days ago, (not your ordinary grits, either...) and shared a couple of desserts - the chocolate brioche bread pudding, and the peach cobbler. Small but well curated wine list, including some good half bottles, excellent service, beautiful garden view - what's not to like?Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Something was missingOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 7/19/2014We have eaten at Rivoli many times over the years and always enjoyed our meals. We chose the restaurant to take friends for a special dinner. All four of us were disappointed in our meals and our service. Upon being seated we asked the waiter to open our wine, it took him a very long time to get around to the task, not allowing the wine enough time to breathe properly. Two people ordered the scallops, the plate looked messy, to much going on and the scallops themselves were just ok. I ordered the mushroom fritter, it had to thick of a batter on it and the aioli tasted like mayo. The butter lettuce salad was a hit. All entrees were good, but not the outstanding meal we remembered from previous visits. Rivoli what happened?Special Features:
- First Class Service, Wonderful FoodBlinkyPalermoIIDined on 7/18/2014The staff went out of its way to make our 21st anniversary dinner lovely, from decorating our table to making an adjustment when one of the courses was less than perfect. Excellent food, gracious service and a beautiful garden view make Rivoli an excellent choice for a romantic dinner or convivial get together. It's nice, too, not to have to shout to carry on a conversation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good Food for a Special OccassionLenusMDined on 7/18/2014With the menu changing every few weeks that are reasons to come back to Rivoli for unique and delicious food selections. Service was more attentive than on my previous two visits and the ambiance provides a comfortable and special dining experience.Special Features:
- Consistently superbOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/16/2014Rivoli's food is consistently superb. There are just the right amount of choices so that there is always at least one option for me. I like the size of the restaurant (not too big, not too small), the ambiance, the lush greenery to look at outside and the service is excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Over RatedtalasianDined on 7/16/2014I took my wife to this restaurant based on the good reviews and was disappointed with some of the dishes we ordered. My dishes were fine and had little to complain about. I had the portobello mushroon fritters and the steak entree which were fine. My wife started out withe the scallops on a bed of lettuce which wa fine, but the two scallops were extremely small. She then had the lamb and pork meatballs on saffron risotto. The risotto was not creamy at all and the rice was not complely cooked. She did enjoy the necturine crumb dessert. We probably would not come back.
- Still my favorite restaurantLastCubScoutDined on 7/16/2014Awesome food. I have never had a bad or mediocre dish here. The ingredients and preparation are all top notch. The slow braised lamb and pork meatballs on risotto were intensely flavorful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- nightingaleDined on 7/12/2014Our dining experience was very pleasant in pleasant surroundings. The wait staff was very attentive and gave descriptions of the entrees. A good restaurant for a special occasion.Special Features:
- great findJammerdaveDined on 7/10/2014Loved it, found this on open table and we were so pleased. no flaws, all goodSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/10/2014Thanks so much to the great folks here for another wonderful dining experience. MonicaSpecial Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 7/10/2014As a 1st time visitor, the ambience was great, as well as the food and service. Would definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The garden view is beautiful & theBeeLadyDined on 7/9/2014friendly, knowledgeable and professional service was perfect on our visit to this neighborhood restaurant. We dined with a friend and regular from the area and she said "you must have the Portabella Mushroom Fritters". She was right, they were out of this world. The Scallop entree was perfectly grilled, although with a sweet relish and potato and corn "risotto", I thought it could use a bit more acid. I may have made a bad call when I asked that they leave the padron peppers off the dish as our friend had her's with the peppers and didn't think it too sweet. The Flat Iron Steak was wonderfully seasoned and tender and my partner enjoyed the accompaniment of potato and olive oil puree, broccoli di ciccio and fried shallots. We'll be back!Special Features:
- 4luvoflifeDined on 7/8/2014Lovely spot to enjoy a great meal and conversation with friends or a special someone. The view of the garden is very relaxing. The service is polished and professional as well as friendly and welcoming--a regular couldn't have received better attention than we did. The staff are knowledgeable about the menu and the wines. Rivoli is unassuming Northern California elegance--exellence delivered without affectation. I will go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.