Any fans of Rivoli, Berkeley?
I'm relatively new here - my first post - although I do follow restaurant recommendations for SF-East Bay from Chowhounders.
Anyways recently to celebrate my food-loving kid's 10th birthday, I took him to Rivoli's on Solano Ave. His first time and second time for me with a gap of over 10 years.
My kid loved the food and possibly due to the momentous occasion (his 10th!) thinks its the greatest restaurant ever. I thought it was good too, though I did think the wine list and savory courses were better than the dessert selection. Most of all, the service was impeccable and the food was very good value.
I wanted to know what other Chowhounders think of Rivoli - have you'll mostly had very good experiences there? I am asking because I 'm thinking of taking a bigger group there and also want to compare experiences.
Thanks for your responses!
P.S. I also want to share the glowing post my kid wrote about Rivoli on his kids food blog (project for school). Please check it out if you like at http://www.onthehop.net/2012/10/my-10...
I've not been in several years, so take it for what it's worth. Some of my family love Rivoli so we went four times over 2 yrs. We found the starters fairly good, the entrees less successful with occasionally very odd, poorly balanced sauces. Desserts were technically well executed but too sweet for our tastes, especially the chocolate which was the dark sweet European style instead of American bittersweet.
It's a half-level above the others on Solano, but honestly we prefer the fab wood-fired pizza and superb onion soup at Nizza la Bella, and the comfort food/amazing salads at Bistro 1491, both of which are less $$$ than Rivoli. At Rivoli's price range, we prefer Five @Hotel Shattuck, JMHO.
Thanks for the tip on Nizza la Bella and Bistro 1491 - will try it out.
We went to Five- Shattuck Hotel recently. Portions were generous. The mussels we had were fine - the mussel broth was salty for my taste and didn't have other interesting favors. I got grits as a side - they weren't as creamy and pearly as I'd expected. The butterscotch pudding was decent. Maybe I need to try other dishes there that are more their specialty. The service was distracted however and I felt there was room for improvement.
Update on this 2014:
We don't recommend either Nizza or Five any longer. Nizza's cost cutting has gone too far; the pizza crust is inferior to what it was and some of the dishes were simply boring.
We don't like Five's new chef Tonnelier. The service has always been erratic: very good when good, which we've fortunately always experienced. But I know other people have had issues with them.