Official details are emerging on RivaBella, West Hollywood's soon-to-be-realized Italian opus from Innovative Dining Group, operators of Sushi Roku, Katana, Delphine, Soleto, and Boa. Taking over the former flagship of Hamburger Hamlet on Sunset Boulevard, the restaurant will embody a Tuscan farmhouse feel designed by Studio Collective, with nearly two-thirds of the dining space dedicated to an al fresco patio. Emilia Romagna-born Gino Angelini, the former Rex and Vincenti master-chef who oversees his own celebrated Angelini Osteria, will have a well-deserved pedestal here as executive chef and partner. We're dying to know how Angelini's hand-crafted and cozy cooking will translate into 8,000-square-foot of the kind of glitzy, smooth machine typically engineered by IDG, which typically bleed a little of the club life into an upscale restaurant. Finally, we have some idea.
A press release sets the stage for traditional fare with "innovations" encouraged by IDG. Pizza, pastas, salads, antipasti, and entrees will be found on lunch and dinner menus, with dishes like Sicilian-style branzino, porcini and gorgonzola pizza, braised wild boar with crispy polenta, and house-made saffron tagliatelle with prosciutto ragu. Angelini staples like the famous veal and beef lasagna verde "Ommagio Nonna Elvira," and his uni-tossed spaghetti alla chittara will also make the cut, aside changing daily specials.
Wines will be housed in a wine cave and a full bar will serve loungers. Design elements include cobblestone flooring, vines-laced trellises, skylights, and lanterns in space that merges rusticity with fashionable allure and an open-air feel.
Already packed to the rafters with chef-driven Italian, and with newcomers like Bestia and Bucato on the way, RivaBella's greatest asset is no doubt its honored chef, who will bring even the most glam-phobic gourmands to the table for a taste.
RivaBella, opening this winter at 9201 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-278-2060.