Riviera Supper Club and Piano Bar
Want to enjoy the whole dining experience? The Riviera Supper Club and Piano Bar will provide patrons with a multifaceted combination of cuisines, libations and entertainment all in one setting.
“The unique thing about this place is that in 1947 it began as a supper club; we are still following the model as a supper club today,” co-owner Jonathan Gorst said.
Open seven nights a week, the Riviera provides free entertainment from piano players to a Broadway show every three months.
Gorst and co-owner and chef Travis Owen focus on the on the whole dining experience.
“Jonathan and I have put everything we are into this restaurant,” Owen said. “The Riviera has become the culmination of our paired visions of exquisite cuisine alongside incomparable musical talent.”
Having traveled throughout the country and the world, Gorst, a former “Phantom of the Opera” musical director, brings his flair for entertainment and showmanship to the supper club.
“I love having people take in an evening at the restaurant,” Gorst said.
Owen and Gorst’s mission since taking over the Riviera in 2016 had been to locally source food.
“We’ve been building partnerships with different companies, farms and suppliers that are local,” Gorst said.
“You’ll find that our kitchen is a very complex blend of artistry and local ingredients.”
Owen’s path to the Riviera began 28 years ago next door in what is now CO. Ranch House and was then Tony Rosa’s Peppo Nino Italian restaurant.
“I fell in love with the bustle, the noise, the havoc, and the magic of the kitchen,” Owen said.
For Owen the science of food and flavor is an intriguing combination.
“I get excited how odd flavor combinations that don’t sound like they should be complementary are because of the molecular makeup of the ingredients,” Owen said. “I love that a seaweed extract can be used to create pearls of different liquids that look like caviar; that a special tapioca maltodextrin can absorb oil to the point it becomes powder but returns to a liquid once it touches one’s tongue.”
The Riviera menu is always evolving as chef Owen brainstorms new ideas to bring to the restaurant’s patrons.
“I have a notebook on me at all times where I can jot down ideas,” Owen said. “Our Boozy Burger was the byproduct of a four-in-the-morning dream I awoke from and wrote out what I was eating in the dream.”
With the fall menu they are doing a beef wellington, a very traditional dish that you don’t find at many places in the valley.
“We like to kind of dabble between moving forward in the American cuisine and holding onto some of the traditions,” Gorst said.
Along with the nightly live piano, the restaurant is also known for hosting murder-mystery dinners, and their quarterly Broadway-inspired meals.
The Broadway series is the marquee event at the Riviera, including a seven-course dinner inspired by the show, or from the region it is set in.
Gorst plans to reprise a production of “Les Miserables” in January.
Prices: Mid-range. Ambience: This iconic restaurant, originally established in 1947, features a refined, relaxed dining experience with live entertainment seven nights a week. Signature dishes: Avocado toast, gravlax and bagel and mussels with Thai red curry broth.