August 2, 2009

Riva Restaurant

This past Wednesday, Riva transformed the former pizzeria by introducing a new menu, now offering stuzzuchini, or Italian tapas. Let me start by saying, I am a "picky eater" and by picky I mean I pick at everybody's plates. There is nothing I love more than getting a sample of everything (yes, I can spend all day at Costco). Oh how I wish that all restaurants offered small plates!

We started off the evening with a nice bottle of Chardonnay - I have to have my wine with dinner -- and the sea bass and caprese. The sea bass had a hint of lemon oil with pink peppercorns and salt. The fragrant and tart lemon oil offered the perfect compliment to the fish and floral peppercorns. The caprese was served with yellow heirloom tomatoes, burrata, and a basil sauce. Being a burrata lover myself, you just can't go wrong with an heirloom tomato topped with fresh burrata.

Next we had the garlic shrimp and lamb bolognese. The garlic shrimp were served in a garlicky tomato sauce with English peas, and the lamb bolognese was served with a small, flat homemade pasta. The pasta seemed to be a favorite amongst both us, and the diners near us as well. It was rich, flavorful, robust and simply delicious.

Our final two plates were the diver scallops and the short ribs. The diver scallops to me, were perfection. They scallops were soft, buttery, and covered in light bread crumbs and lemon zest. The short ribs were served with creamy semolina, mushrooms and smoked mozzarella. This smokiness of the mozzarella complimented the rich beef, and it all melted in your mouth with the creamy semolina, a perfect combination.

All in all, this was a great experience and I will definitely be back. I was not disappointed, and was pleasantly surprised by each dish. Five stars in my book.

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