A gem !!! What a great dinner we had at Riva. The food was delish starting with the endive salad and followed by two excellent pastas. Our server was outstanding , attentive, friendly and had great suggestions. The atmosphere was understated and elegant and yes quiet enough to actually hear each other!
We will return a great choice👍
Always love the food and atmosphere at Riva Cucina--they are best at using high quality ingredients to make classic, simple, delicious food. Their pasta is so tasty you could almost eat it plain, though that would be a shame because then you would miss the excellent bolognese, sausage or mushroom options. The one dish that didn't sing was the beet salad--the beets were oddly flavorless and the lettuce tasted undressed. The entire effect was bland.
The truly lovely thing about this meal, however, was our server's conscientiousness. I noticed a little gleam in her eye when she heard my daughter and me toast my husband, wishing him a happy birthday. Still, did not expect what she did: after our meal, she brought out a complementary piece of delectable chocolate cake with a lit candle on top! How thoughtful was that? So make the trip for the pasta and the atmosphere, big bonus for the gracious service--enjoy your evening at Riva Cucina!
Our grilled salmon was over cooked and had to be replaced. Pasta meals are better.
The cocktails were good as were the salads. The four different entrees were all very good. The pasta was cooked to perfection. The raviolis were also done perfectly. The issue I have is when the waitperson leans across the table to clear dishes from the far person. If there wasn't room on the other side of the table for the waitperson to get in, it wouldn't be such a big deal. But to be lazy and lean across my face with dirty dishes to grab the dirty dishes from the person to my left was just wrong.
I feel fortunate to live close by this gem of a restaurant. Some of the best N. Italian food I've found in a long time. The service has always been friendly and professional. When the weather permits, eating outside is also a plus.
I've lived in this area for four years now, and Riva Cucina remains on the short list of favorite restaurants.
I can't wait to go back.
The ambiance is quite good . The antipasto misto was delicious and is enough to satisfy you before you even think of having a main course. The Pappardelle al Funghi needs improvement. The noodles were luke warm, stuck together and you had to use your fork to "cut" through blobs/knots of noodles - they weren't easily swirled into the fork when the fork was spun, if you know what I mean. It may just need to be sprinkled with some olive oil right away after being taken out of boil, and served as soon as possible. For that reason, I gave it a 3 instead of a 4. I don't believe it was worth $18.50. The highlight was the mint panna cotta which was a special dessert just for the night that I went (was not on the dessert menu).
😀 amazing food
A couple friends were late, but the restaurant was very accommodating. The food was delicious from appetizers to dessert. One person raved about the artichoke soup, another the scallop appetizer, another the endive salad. The service was impeccable. We will definitely come back when we are in Berkeley again.
Casual Italian featuring local ingredients paired with a short but interesting wine list. The five of us started out with salads and soups all of which were very good and filling. We followed up with pastas and grilled fish leaving no room for desert. A great place in a hidden location and well worth a visit.
The menu looked really good and I was looking forward to a grilled branzini which was expertly deboned, but lacked flavor; the potatoes were not hot and not crispy; the pear salad seemed to have little pear in it, and no dressing
Love this restaurant. But oh, how we wish they would offer specials! Or maybe vary the menu once a month. Just by one entree and one appetizer. If we knew we would find new dishes from time to time, we'd dine there more frequently.
We brought visitors from Japan who continued to rave about the food and wine here for days after their meal. The delicious food, fine wine and superb service made a truly lasting impression.
We have enjoyed many wonderful meals over the years at Riva. Tonight did not disappoint! We tried the day boat scallops for the first time and did somersaults with a simple formula of breadcrumbs, lemon, parsley, butter... perfectly executed. We then returned to our favorite menu items around fresh lettuce salads and the delicate pasta Bolognese. We love Wednesday night's no corkage that is hard to find at a restaurant of this caliber. Service is attentive, and personable...and we always come away feeling that we are part of the Riva family.
a delightful surprise with good service, and very good food, and easy parking. We would come again.
How Osso Buco could be made so bland and tasteless is beyond me, but they managed to do it. Risotto was similar. Maybe the kitchen ran out of seasonings. Won't be back.
This was my first time and I will definitely go back. Great food. Particularly appreciated the setting and the ability to hear my table mates (not always true these days)!! Easy parking and easy access to freeway. I am spreading the word!!
Limited menu. Preparations overall were average. Wouldn’t rush to return
always reliable, well prepared tasty food in a non pretentious atmosphere
Lovely dining experience overall. I'd definitely come back again!
Riva Cuchina never ceases to be just wonderful! Even on Valentine's Day where you might expect things to be a little crazy, everything was "spot on"! The special menu of halibut was great & we had the pleasure of the owner's sister-in-law waiting on us which made our evening more special! Great food, great place!
Wonderful food, great service, and nice outdoor seating space (weather permitting). I recommend this restaurant to everyone I know.
This place is always great. Will return again and again.
I've visited Riva Cucina 4 times. Each meal was delectable. My friend and I go before concerts. It's a small drive to the theater, but there's nothing that comes near the quality anywhere near the University anymore. It's an extremely quiet neighborhood and offers some outside seating in warm weather, I believe. Despite a full restaurant, it is no problem hearing one's companion. I love quiet restaurants and this hits the mark on all scores.
a favourite and underpriced local restaurant, which we enjoy on a regular basis. Highly recommended.
Excellent food at a reasonable price in an elegant setting.
Excellent food, really good for dates and business meals
Two of us dined here and chose the Restaurant Week menu. I was not impressed, sorry to say. My past experiences dining here and choosing from the regular menu have been much better.
Great food and ambiance. You were given time to savor your food between courses and were not rushed out the door after dining.
Secret Berkeley spot. We always have the scallop. Fresh and local new-Italian flavors.
Wonderful Saturday night meal!
Great food and service. Nice to find great Italian food close to home.
One of our favorite restaurants now! So happy we found Riva Cucina!
Excellent Italian food, amazing pasta and great selection of drinks and wine!
The service & ambience were good; no complaints. We ordered the fritto misto of shrimp, squid & green beans. The beans were flaccid & unappetizing; the dish was unseasoned and bland, with an unappealing dipping sauce. We had the pasta Bolognese, the pasta w/salsiccia, & the butternut squash ravioli. The ravioli were undercooked; the Bolognese pasta slightly over cooked. The ravioli were tasty. The salsiccia was dry and a little tough. I found my Bolognese to be lackluster. We were comped a piece of chocolate cake for my friend’s birthday & it was absolutely delicious. They were very nice to provide that. I won’t be returning unless I only want dessert.
We had a group dinner for 6 and all enjoyed the offerings of the menu. The Burata is still as good as I remember it. The pork belly/pork loin entree was fantastic. Charging for bread with olive oil was a bit much but you really don't want to fill up on this form of carbs. Actually was glad I only had one slice.
I've been going to Riva Cucina for years and will tell you that this amazing restaurant is a GEM.
The food is amazing, the ambiance incredible and the service is stellar.
Massimiliano puts out some of the most authentic Italian flavors in the Bay Area.
Only one of four enjoyed her main course. The lamb shank was tasteless, everything brown. The gnocchi were tough and the duck sauce tasted like the shards of the lamb. Endive salad was delicious. Excellent wine. Dessert - nonna - was delicious and made in Italy. It was clear we were disappointed with food not eaten; waiter gave us one piece of cake as a token.
I almost don't want people to know about this place, but it really really deserves a larger following. Highly recommended.
Lovely room and ambiance!The New Year’s Eve menu was wonderfully crafted. There was a variety of great sounding salads which in hindsight wish we had ordered instead of the lobster bisque. As far as bisques go, it was executed well but the taste was bland. Tha pasta was excellent and reminded us of pasta dishes we had in Italy. The star of the dinner was the lamb shank! Simple preparation, few ingredients with amazing results! A definite winner! Worth mentioning was also the interesting selection of side dishes, including my favorite lentils! I strongly recommend Riva Cusina and look forward to my next visit !
We enjoyed a delicious halibut dinner on New Year's Eve with porcini mushrooms and sauteed spinach accompanied by a nice Napa chard. Maine lobster bisque and desserts were also delicious. Soft background music added to the comfortable ambience. Staff members were attentive and provided good service. A very enjoyable New Year's dining experience!