La Riva means the shore, in Italian, and I guess it’s a sign of its move from the east coast’s Weston Super Mare, Clacton. I’ve been trying to think of something interesting to go along with that fact, something about the non-shore like location of Park St, being opposite Jamie’s Italian perhaps, replacing Beijing Bistro – a tasteless but cheap oriental restaurant – but I can’t.
It’s a nice restaurant. The staff are friendly. The midday meals are great value at £5.95. The space is open and cheerful and the food is pretty good.
It’s not amazing. It’s better than Vincenzo’s across the road and it’s not as good as Jamie’s. It’s also not as good as Mamma Mia’s on Park Row which has character and a lovely family friendly atmosphere and setting. A great place for a first date and somewhere where you could make a nice tradition of visiting for intimate occasions.
La Riva feels a little more functional. I had the quattro stagioni pizza and it was nice. Martin, my dining companion had the risotto alla pollo but was so busy playing with our daughter that I’ve no idea if he liked it or not. Let’s assume he did and let’s go on assuming that he liked his white wine as well. My sparkling water was delicious, by the way.
I don’t have much more to say about La Riva. It’s a nice enough Italian restaurant on Park St. I would be very unhappy if I received a marriage proposal there but it would be one of my first choices for a quick and tasty meal at lunchtime.