By April 1, 2016 Read More →

ChefView – Giddy Up at Rivi’s

Chef View

By Dana Johnson

Giddy Up at Rivi’s!

I can finally believe the great buzz I keep hearing about Oakdale’s Rivi’s. It’s not a chuck wagon, and you won’t find calf head soup or red flannel hash on the menu, but you will be able to satisfy your hearty appetite and your taste buds will have a new flavor addiction! As an Oakdale resident I couldn’t be more delighted by welcoming Rivi’s to Oakdale as it is a one of a kind place purposely designed by owners Amy and Paul Rivera to not shadow other small business owners out of respect and a true sense of a shared community. That’s just so nice! I asked Paul what inspired him to open Rivi’s in Oct. 2105; “I had to give Amy something for our 10 year anniversary!” Thank you for raising the bar for all the husbands!

From the outside of Rivi’s my first impression was, it’s so quaint. Soon as I walked through the door my eyes had so much more too view. I love this place! From the warm tones throughout to the Tuscany vibe I immediately picked up on in the front wine bar. I found myself exploring further down the corridor where I found more casual seating & an open kitchen. Nothing to hide when it comes to what’s going in my mouth is even better. I continued down a bit further & on the left was a swanky lil’ cozy parlor with antique furniture where I could have an intimate private gathering. While at the end of the corridor I see flames that lure me in to a gorgeous and spacious patio with a stunning glass fire pit and outdoor heaters. Are you sure I’m still in Oakdale?!

Chef Travis Chavez impressed me with his red roasted peppers hummus & pita bread. Then came the ground lamb shepherd’s pie full of tasty flavors. Oh yeah I’m thinking I may redefine “cow” girl! Yep, prime rib sliders with a signature orange-mint horseradish & bbq sauce with onions, cheese and au jus served with apple slaw & sweet potato fries! In a word “Dana~licious!” Amy & Paul’s fav, too! No stopping me now as the lamb shank, white cheddar mash, and demi glaze seasonal veggies insisted I sample them, too! Way to go, the presentation matched my palate remarkably. I’m allergic, but the Ahi tuna also comes with high praise. Moussse, chocolate cake, & cheesecake, really? Next time I’ll start with that!

Thanks to Brian the Smiling Mixologist (find him on FB!) aka Joe for the invite & having such a solid following as he’s behind the wine bar at Rivi’s. 32 wines by the glass and many more by the bottle! Yes, they pour flights of wine & beer! They have 6 rotating taps with at least 2 beers from Oakdale’s Last Call Brewery. Plus 805 and Framboise Lambic Raspberry from Belguim. Yes, I was in flight and finished by sampling some smooth ports! Hard to find good port, love this with or as dessert!

Modesto View signature question? Beatles or Stones? Amy & Paul both said Beatles, but they had some wine and they may have only heard me said Beatles, so I don’t their response counts in my tally! Cheers Dah~lings! (Chris’ note: It counts on the Beatles tally)


150 N. 3rd St. Oakdale, CA 95361


Hours: Wed.-Thurs. 4pm-11pm

Fri.-Sat. 4pm-1am



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