Livin' La Dolce Vita

Like all of Rivoli's platters, the cheese assortment ($6) is a minimalist origami of shapes and textures, this one featuring three (non-pungent) examples of the cheesemaker's art: fromage d'Affinois, Toscano Pecorino, and a Cabécou drizzled with honey and olive oil, presented with toasted rounds of walnut-currant bread. The mango and honeydew sorbets ($6), bracingly fresh and accompanied by spears of rich, delicate pistachio shortbread, are the ideal meal-closer.

Rivoli: A very cool setting for some very good food.
Anthony Pidgeon
Rivoli: A very cool setting for some very good food.

Location Info

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Rivoli

1539 Solano
Berkeley, CA 94707

Category: Restaurant > California

Region: Albany

Details

1539 Solano (between Nielson & Peralta), Berkeley, (510) 526-2542. Open Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday 5:30 to 10 p.m., Saturday 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday 5 to 9 p.m. Parking: manageable. AC Transit: 43. Noise level: pleasant

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As might be expected, the wine list betrays an open-minded European sensibility far removed from that of the parochial, I-won't-drink-anything-but-Chardonnay crowd. Reflecting the venue's Mediterranean thrust, with a few German and California vintages scattered here and there, the cellar features a wide variety of whites, both dry and sweet, with mostly food-friendly zins and pinot noirs on the red side. Wine prices are reasonable; only three (Fiddlehead Cellars' pinot noir, Paul Hobbs' chardonnay, and Silver Oak's cab) cost over $50.

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