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Beautiful RivaBella


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Written by David M. Brown

06/2014


The Legendary Sunset Strip has a new star.


RivaBella, 9201 Sunset Blvd., where West Hollywood meets Beverly Hills, combines classic Italian cuisine with contemporary California innovations, including new tableside-prepared offerings such as the Porcini Risotto and Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream.


Serving lunch and dinner daily, the restaurant is a partnership of Michelin-starred Chef Luigi Fineo and Los Angeles- based Innovative Dining Group, which operates restaurants and lounges throughout Southern California, Las Vegas and Arizona, all redefining traditional concepts in today’s vibrant culinary terms.


The 8,000-square-foot fine-dining restaurant is styled in the spirit of a rustic Tuscan farmhouse, with modern details, providing indoor spaces and a 2,800-square-foot al fresco patio. Parties at RivaBella can be accommodated to 750 guests, and the intimate wine cave caters to private parties.


The award-winning designer, Studio Collective, has created different spaces so that each visit to RivaBella can yield new experiences in food and setting. Hand-selected furnishings and finishes, such as the jade-green marble-topped bar, tumbled black-and-white marble tiles and rough-hewn timbers, combine traditional warmth and contemporary pizazz.


In the same spirit, Fineo and Chef-Partner Gino Angelini develop classic Northern Italian recipes into contemporary offerings: “old-school Italian fundamentals twisted into new-school preparations and presentations,” says Fineo, a native of Gioia Del Colle, Italy. “That inspires me to approach simple ingredients with playfulness and creativity. Even something like a vegetable can be transformed into art.”


Starters include Antipasti and Insalate offerings such as the Poached Lobster with ricotta, candied cashew, and peach; Roasted Octopus with taggiasca olive, potato, and salsa verde; Prosciutto di Parma and Burrata with wild arugula, aged balsamic; and pizzas such as fresh porcini mushrooms and gorgonzola cheese or Calabrian salami and olives.


Fineo’s signature entrées begin with a classic recipe from his grandmother: Cavatelli with broccolini, chile and salmoriglio. Other dishes are the Bone-in Wood-Fired 20-oz. Rib Eye with rosemary olive oil; a Lamb Ruben with pickled red cabbage, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and dark rye; Pranzo Completo comprising four hand-crafted plates; Grilled Whole Branzino, grilled filet of branzino with salt duo and Salmoriglio Sicilian-style sauce; and Pistachio Pappardelle with lamb and peach ragu.


And, the new Porcini Risotto with truffles, finished tableside in a 24-month aged wheel of parmigiano reggiano, is already gaining adherents.


Leading the finales is the new tableside-prepared dessert, the Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, which is poured in a fire engine red hand-cranked Kitchen Aid to whip up milk, cream, vanilla and sugar. “We then transform into frothy vanilla ice cream, which is served alongside an assortment of toppings such as Nutella, salted caramel, and macerated strawberries,” Fineo says.


RivaBella’s wine, craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails menus have been selected for individual quality as well as flavorful pairing with Angelini’s cuisine. With more than 150 bottles available as well as By the Glass selections, the wine list incorporates sparkling, red, white, and rosé, with a focus on Italian, Californian and French labels.


Second Article Image For lunch, RivaBella is open Mon.–Fri., 11:30 a.m. –2:30 p.m. Dinner is Mon. and Sun., 5:30–10 p.m.; Tue.–Wed., 5:30–10:30 p.m.; Thur.–Sat.: 5:30–11:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended. A bar menu featuring small plates is offered during happy hour, 5–7 p.m., Monday through Friday.


“We want our guests at RivaBella to feel as though they’ve been transported to the heart of Italy, from the design of the space to the authentic, yet modern cuisine,” Fineo says. “We hope to provide a lasting impression, so they come back and visit us again soon.”


For more information on RivaBella, call 310.278.2060 or www.rivabellarestaurant.com, www.innovativedining.com. For private or group events, contact RuthAnne Gibson, director of sales, catering and special events, Ruthanne@innovativedining.com.


Each month, Highline Autos visits a business that exemplifies the quality its readers expect in hospitality, dining, apparel, travel, jewelry, home décor and other exceptional services and merchandise.



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