poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

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For my birthday, TC offered to take me out to a restaurant of my choosing. Where to go? I racked my brain and decided on Rivoli, site of one of my favorite meals ever.

True to my previous experience, the service was impeccable. When we got to Rivoli, our table was ready but we were offered another by the window if we were willing to wait 10 minutes. We accepted their offer and while we waited, they gave us generous, complimentary tastings of sparkling riesling. Score!

We couldn’t decide between three appetizers, so we got them all. (You only live once, right?) Of course, we had to get the portabella mushroom fritters, my favorite dish from my first visit.

"Portabella fritters, get in my belly!"

We also ordered the smoked trout on a cornmeal blini with white corn purée, avocado, baby beets, cucumber, dill cream. It was amazing on many different levels — texture, taste, and aesthetics.

A mound of deliciousness: smoked trout blini with veggies and dill cream.

My favorite appetizer was the Gruyère soufflé, served with caramelized sweet onions, garlic croutons, and salsa verde. Imagine one of those baked cheese things (liked baked brie) but a million times better. Light, flaky pastry surrounding a cloud of melty, delicious Gruyère. The caramelized onions were a perfect complement to the cheese.

The Gruyère soufflé rocked my world.

Now on to the main course! TC got the grilled white shrimp atop a potato, leek and brandade gratin, with baby spinach, lemon butter, and salsa verde. It was good but a little too rich and decadent (read: creamy) for me.


I got the grilled pork tenderloin filled with prosciutto, sage and bread stuffing, served with olive oil braised corona beans, sautéed spigarillo with garlic, and Marsala jus. It was super savory, and as I was already full, I only had about a third of my entrée. Just fine with me — I took the rest home for gourmet leftovers. The spigarillo was a really interesting green — very flavorful and stood up well against the pork and prosciutto.

Pork wrapped around pork. Yum.

Even though I was absolutely stuffed, we had to get dessert. They stuck a birthday candle in the warm chocolate soufflé cake, which was served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate and caramel sauce. As you know, warm chocolate cake is my favorite, so it was a perfect ending to a spectacular meal.

Scary blurry picture of me and the cake. Happy birthday to me!


Author: Jen

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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