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Nov 17, 2009 06:41 AM

Rivenova Restaurant - Stratford, CT (formerly Ciao, formerly White Lilac Tea Room)

Has anyone been to this new Italian place in Stratford on Main Street? Nothing seems to survive here. Menu from website seems basic.

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  1. I live in Stratford and every time I drive by I never see anyone in the restaurant. I'm actually surprised Stephen's and Blue Point have survived as long as they have since they never seem to be "packed" either. Acapulco's is doing very, very well though...and McCoy's Pub should be open hopefully the eating landscape will finally open up downtown. It the whole section is within a block of the train station.

    1. If anyone's looking to check this place out tonight's the night. From our local paper.

      "Holiday lighting Wednesday night

      Stratford can come together as a community to welcome the holidays and support local businesses on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

      A puppet show, music and the illumination of a tree and holiday lights will be part of a festival organizers hope becomes an annual tradition.

      Ted Peterson of Downtown Designs, based in Syracuse, N.Y., has been hired to coordinate the decoration of Stratford Center.

      The event could help paint Stratford as the gaslight village J. Bruce Alessie, special projects director for the town, has envisioned since a 2001 flood damaged businesses in the area.

      He sees downtown Stratford recovering by shaping itself in the manner that has succeeded in historic South Norwalk.

      As in South Norwalk, restaurants would anchor the area. But events are needed to draw people to those establishments.

      Square One Theatre and other dramatic performances bring people to Stratford for its theater experience, and a campus of cultural facilities such as Perry House, Baldwin Center, the Stratford Library and Sterling House, along with the churches, should attract crowds.

      Economic Development Commission Chairman Neil Sherman is encouraging residents to support their neighbors, particularly in the efforts to create a true community event Dec. 2.

      Mayor James R. Miron and Mayor-elect John Harkins are both scheduled to attend.

      Refreshments will be served from 5 to 7 p.m., with Stanziale’s providing coffee. Hot chocolate, cider and cookies also will be served.

      Downtown restaurants will offer free hors d’oeuvres and 10% discount coupons to those who dine at participating establishments. Stratford restaurants will also hold a holiday food drive.

      Sponsors, to date, include the Economic Development Commission, Chamber of Commerce, Fire Department, Department of Economic Development, Board of Education, Department of Public Works, the Stratford Library, Perry House, Sterling House, the Scottish Rite Masons, The Shell Station, The Milford Bank, Square One Theatre, Jim and Laura Caissy, Ovation Benefits, Marc Jarvis, Hudson Valley Bank, Ashcroft Holdings and Dougherty Insurance Agency.


      Plans call for Main Street to be closed Dec. 2 from 4 to 8 p.m.

      4 p.m. - Festivities begin at with the Snowmaiden Puppet Show by Purple Rock Productions in the Stratford Library Lovell Room.

      5 to 7 p.m. - Carolers from Christ Church will stroll Main Street.

      5:30 p.m. - A choir made up of Stratford students will sing on the steps of the Milford Bank.

      6 p.m - The tree and lights will begin to glow.

      6:30 p.m. - Santa Claus will arrive on a fire engine.

      7 p.m. - A barbershop quartet, provided by Square One Theatre, will perform."

      1. Rivenova hasn't had a lot of business because they didn't want to advertise themselves until they got their liquor license... which they finally did.

        it's got delicious food -- we've been there three times.

        Stratford is a pretty quiet town, and not a lot of folks seem to go out very often, particularly with the economy being so down.

        Give Rivenova a try!

        1 Reply
        1. re: PatriceFitz

          Went to Rivenova last night with my husband. We had a delicious, and we think, "authentic" meal that was not overcooked, and the service was excellent. We will definitley return to Rivenova for a quiet and yummy meal,

        2. I had this - and OMG, it was pure comfort food...Pollo Casarica

          Sauteed chicken breast with hot Italian sausage, artichoke, roasted peppers and provolone cheese over ravioli

          1. Kidsless evening last night so we finally checked this place out. Very impressed with the food overall. We arrived at 730-ish and the place was d-e-s-e-r-t-ed. One other couple and that was it. Sad, really. Shame too as the menu isn't expensive and there's a diverse selection of tantalizing options.

            We both opted for an evening special after an app of (was supposed to be Breseola but they were out!) Prosciutto, buff Mozz and roasted red peppers. Simple but enjoyable. My wife ordered the seafood Risotto and I ordered the Veal chop with Marsala sauce sans the Portabello mushroom chunks (I detest mushrooms). Wife loved her dish which was loaded with clams, mussels, calamari and scallops (and my wife isn't a scallop fan). I tried a few pieces of the seafood and they were all perfectly cooked and not overdone. I nearly licked my plate clean and decided not to gnaw on the nearly empty Veal chop bone.

            Excellent meal overall and we will return no doubt. Service was quick and friendly too (how could it not be?). We were both quite surprised to see the place so empty even for a Thursday night but a few things may have been working against them. Summer vacations? And of course...the complete lack of any visible frontage signs on the building. Must be another lame Stratford zoning law since the only visible sign of a business here (in the dark I should add) are a neon open and Sam Adams signs. The Rivenova sign should be illuminated at the least. Give people an idea of what's tucked in on that strip of previously doomed businesses. Blue Point, McCoys and Acapulco barely have any visible signage as well and Stephens makes do with a few spotlights. Hell, only Hwang's Karate's sign is illuminated!

            Any rate...if you live in Stratford do give this place a shot.

            Afterwards we hit Goody Bassett's for a single scoop of excellent ice cream to end the evening. Nice little place with a small cup actually means a small cup and not an oversized stuff your gullet to bloats-ville "individual" serving.

            Great little one two punch there in downtown.