Food was fantastic. Service was arrogant and completely blind to standard service cues. They made my date feel uncomfortable and i felt embarrassed for suggesting the restaurant.
Very fine restaurant located in Emeryville near Acquatic Park. The heirloom tomato starter salad was outstanding along with the lamb shank and pork loin entrees. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a nice evening out with a well prepared meal. Server was great!
We had a party of six, including two kids, for my birthday. The food was delicious and fresh, and our server was friendly, attentive, and really good with the kids. Will definitely be back!
La verspera cocktail was terrific—and potent. Starters were delightful— scallops, beet salad and calamari. Sadly my companions would not give me a scrap of their fungi tagliatelle. They threatened to lick the plates. Lamb shank and bronzino were very good too. Only the scaloppine fell short. It did not look like any scaloppine we’ve ever eaten (or cooked). It arrived looking like a thick slice of dried out tenderloin and it proved to be tough and inedible. Our excellent server did offer to find a replacement but we declined as we had an event to go to. It was a little odd that she returned the meat to us in a take out box as the end of the meal, but I guess we did pay for it.
The Veal Scallopini could have been seasoned a little bit more. Acme bread and rosemary infused oil was delicious. Soup delicious.
Best pasta and risotto we’ve had in a long time!!!
Set in an attractive small office park in the middle of Berkeley warehouse district, Riva Cucina is a gem worth seeking out. Professional yet homey; excellent, low-key food; small but interesting wine list. Roasted tomato soup was outstanding; fritto misto good not great (the shrimp better than the calamari....but not many shrimp). Pastas were outstanding - the tagliatelle with ragu was completely traditional and excellent - pasta was air-light. Perchetelli with sausage was very good. Panna cotta with fruit was not the best we've had, but a very nice end to the meal. The chianti was rich and robust - good to pair with bigger-flavored entrees.
Although the service was lovely the food was mediocre at best. The Frito Misto was slightly overdone and came with no lemon. The pasta was terribly under done and relatively flavorless. The pork dish came with shriveled dry potatoes and under cooked broccoli. Just a really mediocre experience.
My margarita was the best! As usual! My dinner was wonderful. My desert was meh! I have never had a bad dinner there.
Every experience there continues to be outstanding: the food doesn't disappoint, the service is cheerful.
The food is fresh and flavorful and we continue to return because of the consistency.
For this visit we had excellent food and outstanding service. The salads and pasta entrees were well prepared and delicious.
The only negative was that the AC was either not working or not turned on. That made the dining experience a little uncomfortable.
Wasn’t as great as I was expecting but we went on a gift card. Fine restaurant but not sure I would go back except to use up the gift card. They gave us a glass of champagne for our anniversary and that was generous and lovely. Antipasto plate and bread were my favorite things, I did not like the seafood risotto.
Our favorite Italian spot. Delicious beet salad, light vinaigrette. Homemade breadcrumb pasta is always fabulous with homemade sausage. Perfect wine suggestion--Barolo. Others: ravioli light and flavorful; squid ink pasta tasted of the sea!; Panzanella salad the best example ever we tasted. Riva Cucina was our granddaughter's choice for her birthday dinner, and she loved it.
Riva Cucina has been a regular choice for eating out for some time. However, we were greatly disappointed by this trip. The noise levels were so high that conversation was impossible the entire evening, and even the waitress had trouble hearing us. And this on a midweek night. Pasta, as always, was excellent. My porchetta was disappointing; a bit dry, and very little flavor. Will stick to the pasta next time. LOVE the panna cotta. If the noise levels continue to be like this, we will have to leave it off of our favorites list.
The service was very slow and scattered. Couldn't ever figure out who or where our server was.
Food was very good, the service was wonderful. The inside of the restaurant is quite nice. I will definitely return.
Very authentic. Every dish was excellent and service was top notch.
Great food and service in a tranquil, lovely restaurant.
The food looked a lot better than it tasted. My breaded fish was slightly burnt tasting. The Oso Buco was served with a heaping pile of dried herbs on top for some strange reason. It was like chomping on twigs.
Delightful Saturday night dinner. The panzanella was more of a salad than a tomato and bread creation, but still very good. Speck and burrata was so tasty! The Tortellinin de Bronzino was excellent - fairly light, excellent flavors. The boar sausage was just gamey-tasting enough, albeit a touch dry (as boar tends to be). Kenneth Volk Pinot Noir was fine, nothing special. Our server was friendly and helpful. We look forward to returning.
This restaurant is one of my favorites. My friends and I stayed a little later than we intended this past visit, and even when we moved our conversation outside after paying, we were still offered service. This is a great place with amazing food and heart.
We had a very nice birthday dinner, but there were some off notes. On the plus side: the pasta was delicious, especially the vegetarian ones, and ample for dinner without a second course. The cauliflower appetizer was also delicious. The desserts were lovely, and it's very nice when a restaurant notices that you've said on the reservation that it's a birthday! And the place itself was very enjoyable.
On the minus: service was sweet but very spotty. A water glass had a big chip out of the rim, and when we pointed it out they nicely took it away - and never brought a replacement. There was a ridiculous and prolonged problem with a cocktail. The incredibly flustered server finally said something about "training" ... Despite other reviews, the fritto misto was bland, and the bread wasn't really good or plentiful enough for the cost.
I'd go back again.
Riva Cucina is truly a hidden gem! We had our service dog with us and they welcomed her with open arms. The service was perfect, suggestions for appetizers were spot on - speck burrata and cheese, the antipasti (yum). We had three pastas which we shared (there were 4 of us). Bolognese, Gemelli and the Risotto - all made with a very fine hand of flavors. Did I mention the perfect gin martini three onions. And then a surprise for dessert! We were celebrating an anniversary and a birthday - they presented us with one of the best chocolate fondant cake and Italain lemon cake. Oh my!! We will return to celebrate - and - next time perhaps behind the curtains.
Food and service were outstanding! Great for a romantic dinner date. Really unique northern Italian cuisine. Felt very special and would come back again!
Always a favorite, lovely setting and wonderful food.
The pasta was deliciously fresh and tasty. We enjoyed the pasta fungi, and the risotto peace, as well as the appetizers of tomatoes, and of scallops.
The service was wonderful, and everyone was helpful and friendly.
The desserts were incredible, especially the baked creme.
As usual, Riva Cucina didn’t disappoint. The food is amazing- and we’ve lived in Italy and don’t say that about very many Italian restaurants in the US. Love the cocktails too- just plan to get the dessert too- you have to try the torta della nonna.
Really gorgeous. The space is beautiful. Parking was easy. Got the branzino and bolognese. Both were outstanding. I'm sober so I ordered a not-too-sweet mocktail. It was perfect. The waitress was attentive but not too much. Honestly one of my favorite new spots in the area.
An okay standby, but food never feels inspired or particularly interesting. Frankly, there are much better options if you plan ahead.
Always a treat to dine at Riva Cucina. The rich Velvet curtains that reach the high ceilings makes for an elegant soundbreak against the backdrop of cozy brick walls. The dishes are notably select favorite
dishes of the Chef-Owner, and are delicious Northern Italian fare. I love the fritto misto appetizer and can't help but always order the Pappardelle Funghi which has the perfect amount of truffle oil. Upon leaving, I purchased a bottle of their own Olive Oil with Rosemary; I can't wait to serve it with a rustic baguette at home- it is to die for!
Portions are kind of on the small side, but the food is incredible!
Loved this private out of the way location. A great find. Thanks Open Table. Authentic Italian cuisine.
The seared scallops were just fine, but my wife ordered pork cutlet and I ordered braised pork and both came to us tough as shoe leather, over cooked and not nice at all. we sent both back. We had the lemon cake and it was strictly meh. Somebody needs to go back to school and learn how to cook meat.
What a great random find! Loved the building and the atmosphere inside.
Absolutely ridiculous wait for our 2 pasta plates. It almost felt intentional the disregard the restaurant gave us, making us wait a full hour before we had our entrees when the restaurant was half EMPTY. What the heck? This was on my girlfriend's bday weekend, so extra minus points.
We came in at 8:30 seeing there were still open reservation spots at 8pm available for 8:15, 8:30, and 8:45 and figured it best to walk-in given they didn't look busy and we live only 5 minutes away. The waitress looked very surprised when we said we didn't have a reservation despite the fact half the restaurant was empty and said she'd need 5-10 minutes to seat us. Fair enough, I went ahead and put us on the next available 8:45 reservation online (while standing right in front of our waitress) and then we went for a walk outside for 5 minutes. When we returned (~8:35) we were promptly seated in the far back, however after ordering our food the real absurdity began.
We order shortly after sitting, and given it was our first time we decided on just 2 pasta dishes and a simple appetizer of 2 small baked scallops. The scallops take 15 minutes, and the pasta takes another ~30+ minutes! Meanwhile, all the few remaining tables around us are being served their entrees (some of which arrived after us including a large family of 5) and the waitressing staff of at least 4-5 are just milling around cleaning tables and ignoring us. Again the restaurant is more than half empty at this point. After what feels like eternity, we ask the waitress who has not bothered to explain what is going on whether our 2 (only 2!!) pasta dishes will be ready soon and she says yes they're coming soon. another 15-20 minutes pass by with no updates or apologies and finally our entrees arrive. By now it is past 9:30pm (i.e. closing time for this restaurant and a full hour after we first got here) and finally we can eat. The pasta was indeed tasty, however it absolutely doesn't excuse horrible service.
Excellent in all ways. Noise level is a problem for us with hearing impairments
The experience was fair. I have to say on a Saturday night they only had to waitress's working so service was less then fair. They we're very polite but they messed up on our order which was a disappointment since it was a birthday dinner. As for the food, great flavors and fresh food. Would I return for the trip over probably not.
As always we love Riva Cucina .
Terrific meal all around!