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Nice But Not So Fantastic Meal at Rivoli Restaurant in Berkeley

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Nice But Not So Fantastic Meal at Rivoli Restaurant in Berkeley

r
rightstar | | Apr 13, 2007 07:00 AM

Yes it was that time again. Rivoli in the spring. Garden side dining. We showed up full of anticipation.

The lamb shank with eggplant gnocchi was average but nothing to get excited about. I couldn't taste the eggplant or the tomato. The red pepper cream tasted like ordinary cream and there was too much of it. The broccoli was a little too soft for my taste and the rabe was soggy. The saffron aioli was tasty, though, leaving a nice smooth taste on the palette. It was the highlight of the dish. As for the mint relish, it would have been nice if the lamb had been infused with the flavor.

The pork loin tasted too much like regular bacon and it was chewy so that you had to spit it out. I couldn't taste the pear marmalata but the creamed sweet onions were rather good. The corn spoonbread souffle was nothing special. I did like one thing about this dish, however. The green beans with bacon were excellent. I would have enjoyed a plate of it on the side.

As for dessert, it was nothing special either. The strawberry shortcake wasn't warm like the menu said and it was a plain scone. I couldn't even taste the meyer lemon syrup. The chocolate souffle with vanilla ice cream was much better but only because of the orange chocolate sauce which we liked.

Yes it was a nice meal, and the garden in the back looked beautiful. The service was very efficient. However, the menu overpromised and undelivered. It would have been better if it had left out all the extras and just simply stated the dishes as they were: lamb shank and pork slices.

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