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Mar 20, 2010 06:24 AM

excellent [Rivenova,Stratford, Ct.]

Five of us ate at the Rivenova restaurant in Stratford, CT last night....can't figure out why the place was so empty. Service was excellent -- attentive without hovering. Four had fish -- chilean sea bass, sole florentine, and a dish with three kinds of seafood. The presentation was beautiful, and they were all happy with the flavor and temperature of their food. I had eggplant -- not the best I've ever had, but a substantial portion and quite tasty.
I'd go back in a heartbeat, and I hope others do too....I'd hate to see them go under.
This is where the White Lilac Tea Room used to be.

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  1. I'm wanting to try it out. I found five, all very positive reviews, off Chowhound.

    1. So this is in the little Devon neighborhood? Awesome...

      4 Replies
      1. re: MasterofLightChick

        Devon is in Milford. This place is next to the Stratford Theater on Main Street near the train station. Hope they succeed. There's 2 or more recent vacancies in that strip already. But McCoy's across the street is doing well so there's hope for the new places.

        1. re: LorenV

          I wondered about that place. Acapulco's across the street has been making a go of it for for over 10 years. I think their food is excellent - just bring your ear plugs.

          1. re: RatherBeFishing



            1. re: mrfoxwoods

              Well.....after reading all of the positive reviews, we ventured out last night. With no specific plans, we initially tried to get into one of our long time local faves - Aldario's, but were told that they could not seat us at our desired time. As we were dining with a friend, I thought that Rivenova would be a good alternative. We arrived at 8:00 p.m. to find that maybe 1/3rd of the tables we occupied (an ominous sign on a Saturday night?). Additionally, the downright unattractive dining room did not add to our optimism. Undeterred, we were seated and I can state, unequivocally, that we had an absolutely wonderful dinner. All 3 of us had a caesar salad (delicious homemade dressing and a major bargain at $3.95- just wish they had used better croutons!) and my wife and friend had linguine with white clam sauce while I had a very good veal dish (Vitello Arrabiata). I can state, unequivocally, that the pasta dish was as good as any version I have ever tasted ( wife let me taste hers!). WIth easily over a dozen freshly opened littlenecks, the $16.95 price was a genuine bargain. My wife never finishes her dinner, and there was not a strand of pasta remaining!). My veal dish was in a very nice, light sauce with peppers, onions, and mushrooms and was fork tender and absolutely delicious, and again, it's price of $17.95 (with potato and vegetable) was more than reasonable.
              The wait staff was very attentive and was unfailingly obliging with our questions and requests.
              A couple of minor negatives (neither of which would deter us from returning!):
              Bread: very generic and soft - would much rather see a nice crusty version. The olive oil we requested in lieu of the butter was very commercial tasting and we would have preferred something a bit more flavorful.
              Wine list: Very limited selection (maybe a 1/2 dozen whites and a comparable number of reds). While I realize that this is not high end, wine oriented cuisine, it would have been nice to have a few more choices.

              The verdict: A gem in Stratford! We would gladly make the trip from New Haven again to dine here (and our summer home is in Milford so there is little doubt that this will become one of our "go-to" places in the summer! Hopefully,
              word will get around and more diners will discover this wonderful place!

      2. This is an excellent restaurant. Very good food, good prices, nice service. I don't understand why it's not busier. Tonight was our first visit, but it won't be our last.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LSL

          Oh well...another one bites the dust. Passed it last night and a big "For Rent" sign was in the window. Very sad!


          New Asian restaurant coming to town in its place.

          1. Name of the new restaurant is Akoya Asian Cuisine. Looks like work is progressing finally as the sign is up and work is being done inside now.