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Rivoli Report - Berkeley

KathySK | Dec 16, 2005 12:12 AM

Thanks to those that suggested Rivoli for a birthday dinner :) It was great.

We were seated promptly at our reservation time, the room was crowded but not uncomfortably so. We got a table right next to the wall of windows looking out on the garden. Lovely garden area and a bit of a show during dinner! In the time we were there a cat, a skunk and a 'possum all strolled through.

There were a lot of birthdays being celebrated tonight apparently. For each birthday group there was a bit of confetti on the tablecloth (a nice touch).

Our group of three split the portobello fritters (very tasty, no complaints here!). We also each ordered a different entree that we played round robin with - we had the scallops (highlight of that dish was really the incredibly rich, buttery mashed potatoes and roasted tomatoes), the flat iron steak (meltingly tender, everyone loved it), and the undeniable star of the show was the slow braised lamb shank. There was some sort of Mediterranean inspired spice rub that we all loved, but really the highlight was the richness of the lamb that literally fell off the bone and wasn't gamey in the least. It was the best lamb presentation any of us had ever enjoyed. The couscous it was served with was great too, the homemade yogurt was extremely creamy - almost like a sour cream.

For dessert we split the warn chocolate budino (nice, like a light version of the chocolate lava cakes that are everywhere) and the sorbets as a palate cleanser.

All in all a great experience - I'd return/recommend it to friends without hesitation.

Thanks for steering me right (as always) Chowhounds!

Kathy

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