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“Fantastic!”
Review of Riviera Restaurant

Riviera Restaurant
Ranked #15 of 543 Restaurants in Santa Rosa
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 16 July 2013

Great Italian food, marvelous wait staff, quiet enough to have a dinner conversation! Four of us agreed this was the best restaurant we found in this beautiful wine country. Don't miss this place!

1  Thank Mary Lou M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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120 - 124 of 159 reviews

Reviewed 28 June 2013

Small location but quaint, much like an Italian Restaurant in Italy, although they do like biking as there are bike shirts on the walls but it does not take away from the food. The fettuccine bolognese was as good and authentic as if you were Italy. Homemade pasta, Carbonara, homemade ravioli's and homemade bread is awesome here. The salads fresh and great tasting with just the right amount of dressings. Staff very friendly and attentive. We went early right around 5:30pm and did not have reservations on a week night and got in with no problem. I can see that you may need reservations on a weekend as it is a small place. Molto Buono!

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Thank KauaiOma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2013

We shared a stunning lunch here with friends. The service was wonderful and the meals excellent. Would totally reccomend

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Thank nzdarl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

You know that you can't go wrong when local folks steer you to their favorite place. Our group was on a tour of wineries in the Russian River Valley when we asked some of the people at Hook and Ladder winery where they'd go for Italian food. They gave us an enthusiastic recommendation. And they were right! The Riviera has the rare combination of truly excellent food and good wines that is also reasonably priced. The prawns and scallops Veneziana (sauteed with lemon garlic sauce) was tasty and delicious - the special that evening was a similar dish served over risotto that others at our table raved about. My wife chose the ravioli "Odessa Gunn" with wild porcini mushrooms, tasty but the tomato basil sauce was a little weak on the basil. Of the deserts, the creme brulee was light and luscious, but the tiramisu was disappointing. Overall - I'd go back there next time I'm up in wine country.

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Thank art l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2013

My wife and I have been dining at Riviera Ristorante for many years and most recently just a couple of weeks ago. We’ve never had anything at Rivera that wasn’t outstanding. The restaurant is family-owned and operated, and their attention to detail that is unmatched in anything we’ve found outside of Italy. The head chefs are the husband-and-wife team of Luca and Rita Pesce; they have several very capable assistant-chefs, most especially, Urbano. Giampaolo Pesce, Luca’s brother, effortlessly attends to the many details of managing the restaurant and acts as maitre d’. Luca and Giampaolo are from the little town of Recco, near Genoa, and Rita is from Rome.

The authentic, down-to-earth Italian cooking at Rivera makes use of the freshest-possible ingredients – vegetables, seafood, and meats. When friends from Southern California, Washington State, or the East Coast come to visit, they always want to go to Riviera; it has developed quite a reputation. Riviera is well known for pillow-soft gnocchi, fabulous lasagne (which is not always available), fabulous sauces, and amazing specials. We almost always order one of the incredible specials. When we went to Riviera a couple of weeks ago, we split an order of my wife’s favorite salad – shredded radicchio mixed with julienned pears, julienned fennel, and Gorgonzola cheese with a balsamic vinegairette dressing. My wife ordered the special of fettuccine with sausages and Porcini mushrooms in a garlic cream sauce; I ordered the special of lamb chop loin with Porcini mushrooms in Marsala wine sauce; and we split a tiramisu for dessert. It was all wonderful – phenomenal. Their wine selection is reasonably-priced and provides many Italian wines from various regions of Italy along with many local Sonoma County wines.

Reservations are a good idea, as the restaurant is often very crowded. Riviera is usually busy, often filled with classic, animated Italian conversation. Giampaolo, Luca, Rita, and Gianluca always have time to stop by and chat for a minute or two. The friendly, personal attention afforded by Giampaolo, Luca, Rita, Gianluca, Urbano, and the rest of the staff makes you feel like one of the family and is extraordinary by any measure. Gianluca, who is one of the waiters in the restaurant and is from Florence, provided us with a referral to one of his favorite restaurants in Florence when we went last year. His referral, as with everything else from Riviera, was superb.

We anxiously look forward to our next dinner at Riviera – the best Italian restaurant in Northern California.

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1  Thank Paolo-Chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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