Good wine, poor food.
we went here as guests of my parents. The courtyard was lovely, especially on a late summer night. The courtyard filled fast, and our service slowed waaaayyyy down. We had 'leisurely dining" experiences before, but this was ridiculous. It would have been OK if the food was worth the wait, but it wasn't. The "lemon butter sauce" on my veal was cooled and thickened. My husband's food was cold. We had to flag our waiter down several times for more wine, to refill the bread basket, etc. All of the waiters were running around (literally!) like ants. They were out of tiramisu! What Italian restaurant runs out of a signature dessert at 8pm on a Saturday night??! Once dessert was served, we never saw our waiter again. My dad was not offered a second cup of coffee, nothing. The busboy brought our bill.
It's true that the wine is fabulous and the list extensive. Maybe they should invest in more waiters and an extra chef.
This was so disappointing. We'd eaten here years ago and it was delicious, a marvelous time. Something has really changed. We won't be back.
We celebrated our anniversary here last night. It had been a couple years since we were here, despite it only being 1/2 mile from our home. It's so easy to bypass the long established places for the new hot spots.
We were greeeted and seated by Riccardo, and when he found out it was our anniversary he brought us two complimentary glasses of Prossecco. We had appetizers of panzanella (bread salad) and seared scallps with pancetta and preserved lemon, both very good. We had brought a bottle of Italian red which Riccardo chilled for us and served, and we also ordered a bottle of Prossecco as my wife can't drink much red. As others have stated, their wine list is great for Italian choices, and they have their own wine shop accross the parking lot from the restaurant.
We had pastas for dinner, I the Lasagna della Marche (Marche is the region Riccardo is from) and my wife a penne with squash, zuchinni and tomatoes (vegetables were perfectly cookeed). We finished with mixed salads which come with the entrees, which were very good as well.
Our experience was so good here we have vowed to go back frequently. It is best when Riccardo himself is there, as he is the consummate host making sure everyone is taken care of.
Great wine, so-so food.
We have tried Riccardo's four or five times over the last year and the experience has been mixed. Given that dinner for two with wine is generally over $100 (and can even approach that for dinner for one with two glasses of nice wine and a full course), it is not a place we will continue to frequent despite the fact the place is very convenient to us and we were really trying to like it.
On the plus side, the outdoor courtyard in the back is very pleasant with a fountain and reasonable seating. The salads are generally good while the appetizers are reasonable. Service is generally good although when they get busy, it can go down hill quickly.
The wine list is a real treat, coming in a heavy book with a label and a description of each wine, many of which are available by the glass. The servers seem very knowledge and helpful about the wine. There are some real treats on the wine list, both at the pricey end and at the affordable end.
However, for me, this does not outweigh the poor entrees. My wife and I have sampled many of the pasta and meat dishes. I tend to the latter and was uniformly disappointed with the veal and pork offerings. The pork loin was watery and tasteless under a bland sauce. On our last visit, I decided to forgo the meat entrees for a pasta dish which seemed a safer choice selecting ravioli in a butter sauce which was bland with under-cooked tasteless ravioli. My wife's spaghetti dish was runny and unappetizing.
Deserts can be a treat, though.
Riccardo's food is well below the quality of the area Italian food chains (Olive Garden, Macaroni Grill) with service that sometimes approaches the chains. It's only real stand out is the wine list which does not justify the fairly high price tag of a meal there.
Excellent dining experience.
Sure it's spendy however one must do the homework ahead of time and find out if it's in the budget.
That said, the meal we had was well above average. My Double Cut Pork Chop with potatoes, smothered in a Bernaise type sauce was enough for two people, literally a mountain.
My companion's Penne was hefty and to the contrary she did end up demolishing all of it.
The tiramisu was perhaps the finest the city has to offer. The establishment has an excellent variety of desserts to choose from. There is an assortment of herbal teas, the brand name escapes me but not one you often see sold commercially. Very good..
I particularly enjoyed being seated adjacent to a book shelf type wine holder.. Though I didn't indulge, there was a fine array to choose from.
I"ve heard complaints about the waitstaff however the wait person was knowledgeable, personable, and offered objective advice.
2 excellent visits in 2 years. From the wine list through home-made pasta and all the way to desert, Ricardo's food and service were great. I will return and recommend it to others. It is one of the few places with a comfortable ambience that is good for a romantic evening or for a business lunch. 5-stars for sure.
Best Veal In Portland. I've been dining here for the last 18 years or so, once or twice a year. The first time I went in my wife was out of town so I was alone with my two young daughters (3 and 5 yrs old) and the owner (his son manages it now) sat down with us and entertained the girls and complimented them on their table manners. At that point I was pretty much sold on the place. Then the food came, the girls had pasta dishes that were the best I've had since I was in Italy, I had a simply prepared veal dish (you know, white wine, capers,etc.) that was so incredibly good, melt in your mouth quality, that I have ordered veal every single time I've been back, except once when they had a boar special. The Italian wine selection is incredible with really great prices for a restaurant, markup is about twice retail, or a little less. Desserts are okay but not great, too many made off-site, and just not fresh enough, but I'm not a big fan of anything sweet. The bar is not too good, no selection in hard liquor and no after-dinner drinks, they would like you to buy a dessert wine. Unlike other reviews I've read here, I have ALWAYS had great service here, both on the patio and inside. It is not an inexpensive place but I have always walked away feeling like it was money well spent. To top it off the restaurant owns an Italian wines shop across the parking lot with truly GREAT wines. This review is making me hungry, I think I'll go call them and see what tonight's veal specials are!
Closest thing I've found to dining in Italy..
Authentic, well prepared Italian food. Best lasagna I've found outside Italy. Well thought out and researched wine list - priced closer to retail than most restaurants (Retail shop across the parking lot). Knowledgeable wait staff. I'm there 2-3 times per year over many years. More often to the wine and espresso shops.
I think someone is planting negative reviews because I this ristorante would not be so successful if there were that many dissatisfied customers. We find it to be consistently excellent.
Don't sit inside. We love Riccardo's and have gone there for special occasions for several years. Today was a special occasion. We were sorely disappointed by the service. Maybe the staff didn't show up, but no one tried to remedy an irregular situation. We had never learned that sitting inside was a no no. No service. No heat. No water. No dessert. As usual the lasagne was mouth watering, but wilted today as well as the salad. We did learn from the host that sitting inside just doesn't get you service on a nice night. But now we know--the patio is really a room and there are heaters and it was warmer there than outside. So, maybe we will go back--maybe not. Not for a special occasion; it needs to be special when the wine is $15.00 a glass.
Inconsistent, but great menu and wine list.
We used to go to Riccardo's at least 2 times a month. Summers are wonderful out on the patio with a great bottle of wine and their innovative Italian (with PNW fresh ingredients) dishes.
However, we've had some very unsettling experiences there. It's either great (and it should be for two people you can expect to spend $200 minimum for 1 good bottle of wine, appetizer, 2 entrees, 1 dessert) or it can suffer, greatly. YES, service usually takes 2 hours for a wonderful meal, it's not slow, but European paced. If you want fast (poor) food, go to Olive Garden or Romano's.
The last time we went to Riccardo's we had a nice meal, but had to chase down the servers for water, bread, another bottle of wine and our check. We were served a side of attitude as well, which should never be an issue, as this place is well established and those of us in the neighborhood give them 80% of their steady business.
I do love their wine list (however, tends to be over priced , as for their $40 wines are found retail for $12...that is a giant mark-up), it's unique and they offer some Italian wines that no other place in Oregon can!! The cuisine is great most of the time, but as the service can be inconsistent, so can the food. The restaurant business is a funny thing. Service needs to be great and food consistent. And you remain on top!
I recommend, but with reservations. If you go on a good night (good serices/food) enjoy. If not, let management know, if they do nothing about it, then never go back.
We go because they are very close and we try to always support local business, when ever possible. However, if we continue to encounter inconsistencies, we would rather stay at home and know we can rely on our own devices.
Very Disappointed. As a former server I have plenty of insight into the ins and outs of waiting tables. I also am quite forgiving as I understand when servers get busy and overwhelmed. With this in mind I couldn't bring myself to think of enough excuses as to why the service was as bad as it was when I dined here recently. At first the service was great - we were seated and greeted promptly and informed of the featured items. Our server was very informative and knew the menu well. After the salads came it was all downhill from there. Our drinks were not delivered until we flagged down a busser and had him get them for us, twice. Then our server never came back to the table. Our food took over 40 minutes to get to the table. Our busser was outstanding - kept our waters refilled and plates cleared. He even boxed our take home items right away. Never did see our server until our table and the 3 tables next to us flagged him down asking for the check. One man was so mad he just reached right out and grabbed the server's arm to give him his credit card. The busser came over once again to offer us dessert menus but then no one came back to see if we wanted anything. We FINALLY got our check and paid. I am really surprised that no one, besides the busser of course, was helping our server. No other servers nor the owner of the restaurant were assisting this poor guy. I am sure plenty of people have a nice experience dining here but I would hesitate to return based upon what I saw.
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