New Restaurant Adds to West Berkeley’s Destination Status

A big-profile northern Italian restaurant opens today in West Berkeley, a neighborhood slowly establishing a reputation as a notable place to eat. Riva Cucina, a breakfast, lunch, and dinner café whose press materials emphasize the northern Italian and the sustainable, joins a short roster of glossy eateries that also includes 900 Grayson, Sea Salt, and Café Cacao. Riva Cucina’s husband-and-wife proprietors are chef Massimiliano Boldrini, a native of Emilia-Romagna who’s been catering and teaching cooking classes at Napa Valley wineries, and Jennifer Boldrini, who’ll manage the front of the house. Oliveto alumnus Tyler Rodde is sous chef. Riva Cucina’s opening menu promises stuff like a salad of favas and Berkeley-made Fra’ Mani soppressata, as well as carpaccio with artichokes. Last Wednesday, the Boldrinis helped plant a garden at nearby Aquatic Park School. Once established, says a PR spokesperson, it’ll help supply the restaurant’s kitchen with herbs. Riva Cucina is at 800 Heinz Avenue.

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