Aquariva Restaurant

★★★☆☆
Hidden find serves Italian meets Northwest cuisine on the banks of the Willamette River.
  • 0470 SW Hamilton Ct

    Portland, OR 97239

    Cross street: Southwest Moody Avenue

    Map & Directions
  • 503-802-5850

About Aquariva Restaurant

Hours
Mon-Fri 11am-10:30pm Sat-Sun 2:30pm-10:30pm
3.3929 28
Hi! Sign in to let us know how Aquariva Restaurant was?
Write a Review
.

Run Away- The lunch scene at Aquariva was terrible. \r
Seeing the bar in the day time was disgusting. \r
It looks like it hasn't been cleaned in months. \r
Ordered a burger, was over done and very greasy. \r
Very poor

3
★★★★★

Run Away- The lunch scene at Aquariva was terrible. \r
Seeing the bar in the day time was disgusting. \r
It looks like it hasn't been cleaned in months. \r
Ordered a burger, was over done and very greasy. \r
Very poor

.

DO NOT frequent this place. Your vehicle will be towed!

3
★★★★★

DO NOT frequent this place. Your vehicle will be towed!

.

We loved our reception at Aquariva!

We were searching for locations to have our wedding reception from NewYork. We really didn't want the typical wedding hall place so once we saw the reception space here we knew it was where we wanted to have it.

The space has large windows looking at the river with a deck. There is also a cozy room with a fireplace for people to relax. They placed candles throughout giving it a very romantic feel.

The service was outstanding! We literally had ZERO problems. The banquet manager Bobby and staff did a great job. We had a sit down dinner and all of the food was brought out promptly and glasses were always full. When the bottles of wine that we had ordered ran out they made sure to talk to my parents before bringing out more.

Our food was delicious and we everyone has called to tell us how great it was. We did a three course meal. The salad was light salad with pine nuts. Our appetizer was carrot ravioli, DELICIOUS!! And our main course options were Herb Crusted Halibut, Balsamic Pomegranate Chicken and Grilled Wagyu Beef Culotte Steak. All were very good, but the Halibut was my favorite.

The event planners, Leslie and Courtney, and the banquet staff made the night unforgettable. We would recommend Aquariva to anyone!

2
★★★★★

We loved our reception at Aquariva!

We were searching for locations to have our wedding reception from NewYork. We really didn't want the typical wedding hall place so once we saw the reception space here we knew it was where we wanted to have it.

The space has large windows looking at the river with a deck. There is also a cozy room with a fireplace for people to relax. They placed candles throughout giving it a very romantic feel.

The service was outstanding! We literally had ZERO problems. The banquet manager Bobby and staff did a great job. We had a sit down dinner and all of the food was brought out promptly and glasses were always full. When the bottles of wine that we had ordered ran out they made sure to talk to my parents before bringing out more.

Our food was delicious and we everyone has called to tell us how great it was. We did a three course meal. The salad was light salad with pine nuts. Our appetizer was carrot ravioli, DELICIOUS!! And our main course options were Herb Crusted Halibut, Balsamic Pomegranate Chicken and Grilled Wagyu Beef Culotte Steak. All were very good, but the Halibut was my favorite.

The event planners, Leslie and Courtney, and the banquet staff made the night unforgettable. We would recommend Aquariva to anyone!

.

We had a gift certificate to use here, and we chose to go on my husband's birthday. We were so happy with our decision. I was a little nervous because of the previous reviews, but thought we'd give it a shot. They have a really impressive wine list with prices that vary to suit anyone. I had a glass of their Malbec and it was fabulous. Our waiter was super friendly and helpful. I was dissapointed in their limited dinner menu, and wished that there were more options to choose from. I ordered the Halibut with Asparagus Risotto, and my husband had the Balsamic Pomegranate chicken. Both dishes were outstanding. We'll be going back again - perhaps for brunch next time.

2
★★★★☆

We had a gift certificate to use here, and we chose to go on my husband's birthday. We were so happy with our decision. I was a little nervous because of the previous reviews, but thought we'd give it a shot. They have a really impressive wine list with prices that vary to suit anyone. I had a glass of their Malbec and it was fabulous. Our waiter was super friendly and helpful. I was dissapointed in their limited dinner menu, and wished that there were more options to choose from. I ordered the Halibut with Asparagus Risotto, and my husband had the Balsamic Pomegranate chicken. Both dishes were outstanding. We'll be going back again - perhaps for brunch next time.

Pros: Incredible Food, Atmosphere, Great Service

Cons: Limited Menu

.

love this place... favorite so far in portland, right on the water and perfect for summer dining. Can not wait to go back again!!

2
★★★★★

love this place... favorite so far in portland, right on the water and perfect for summer dining. Can not wait to go back again!!

Pros: location, location, location

Cons: had to wait a bit

.

The food was good, but the portions are small. The service was slow due to only having 2 (possibly 3) waiters on a Saturday night. The location was wonderful-right along the Willamette River with a wonderful view of the river. This is an ideal summer location with patio and roof top seating. I would definitely go there again! Not your typical italian restaurant!

For larger parties-I noticed that they have curtained off areas which gives privacy and special ambience!

2
★★★★☆

The food was good, but the portions are small. The service was slow due to only having 2 (possibly 3) waiters on a Saturday night. The location was wonderful-right along the Willamette River with a wonderful view of the river. This is an ideal summer location with patio and roof top seating. I would definitely go there again! Not your typical italian restaurant!

For larger parties-I noticed that they have curtained off areas which gives privacy and special ambience!

Pros: Fabulous Location!!!!!

Cons: Slow Service

.

So, how do I put this?? The food was just bad. It was poorly paired with sides and not presented well. My partner started with the seasonal soup, a chilled cantalope soup with basil. It was a bowl full of pureed cantalope with tons of olive oil drizzled on top. It has no basil taste at all and the olive oil did not go well with the soup. I had a salad which was average. The bread that both came with my salad and what was brought to our table was terrible. Supposed to be focaccia, but it had no topping on it at all and it tasted stale. It was terrible.
For dinner, I ordered the chicken and my partner ordered lamb. He liked his enough, altho it was extremely chewy and difficult to cut with the butter knife he had. We were never offered a steak knife. My chicken was undercooked. It came with a sauce, sundried tomatoes, arugula and croutons. The arugula was completely wilted when it came to the table and the croutons were the same bread used earlier, only know it was wet from the sauce. I took one bite of chicken and that was it. The description on the menu didnt match at all. It was on the bone with skin on and undercooked. I sat thru the meal watching my partner eat his meal. How pleasant that was. The kicker was the presentation of the dishes. To me, I think food should look as good or better than it tastes. Both our dishes were just plopped onto a white plate and sent out.
Dessert was better I had the panna cota with raspberries. It had no real flavor of its own, but the raspberries were fresh. He had the chocolate tart which was tasty, altho the crust was overdone. It was hard as a rock.
Overall, I was a very poor experience. Our waiter was very good tho. He was friendly and attentive. But, it's not the service that makes a dining experience for me.

0
★☆☆☆☆

So, how do I put this?? The food was just bad. It was poorly paired with sides and not presented well. My partner started with the seasonal soup, a chilled cantalope soup with basil. It was a bowl full of pureed cantalope with tons of olive oil drizzled on top. It has no basil taste at all and the olive oil did not go well with the soup. I had a salad which was average. The bread that both came with my salad and what was brought to our table was terrible. Supposed to be focaccia, but it had no topping on it at all and it tasted stale. It was terrible.
For dinner, I ordered the chicken and my partner ordered lamb. He liked his enough, altho it was extremely chewy and difficult to cut with the butter knife he had. We were never offered a steak knife. My chicken was undercooked. It came with a sauce, sundried tomatoes, arugula and croutons. The arugula was completely wilted when it came to the table and the croutons were the same bread used earlier, only know it was wet from the sauce. I took one bite of chicken and that was it. The description on the menu didnt match at all. It was on the bone with skin on and undercooked. I sat thru the meal watching my partner eat his meal. How pleasant that was. The kicker was the presentation of the dishes. To me, I think food should look as good or better than it tastes. Both our dishes were just plopped onto a white plate and sent out.
Dessert was better I had the panna cota with raspberries. It had no real flavor of its own, but the raspberries were fresh. He had the chocolate tart which was tasty, altho the crust was overdone. It was hard as a rock.
Overall, I was a very poor experience. Our waiter was very good tho. He was friendly and attentive. But, it's not the service that makes a dining experience for me.

Pros: nice location, good service

Cons: poor menu, bad food

.

Don't even bother eating here! It is a total waste of money! We were hotel guests and treated so rudely. The young waiter obviously had very little training and was preoccupied with tables of women clients. The waiter brings us foccia bread and NO BREAD PLATES or DIPPING sauces. We order salad.... he brings the salad and then the entree shortly after. We are OBVIOUSLY done with our salads and he doesn't pick up the plates. We have to ask another waiter to bring us BREAD PLATES and DIPPING SAUCES, and for STEAK KNIVES! Hello???... We just spent quite a bit of $$$ for Filet Mignon and you can't even ask us how our dinner is??? He comes back and askes me if I would like another drink.. I say yes... and he deliver's it after I am totally finished with my dinner, then has the nerve to ask me if I WANT DESSERT? ABSOLUTELY NOT! We ask him if he can take our plates, bread plates and salad plates and he has the nerve to tell us HE WILL BE BACK IN A FEW TO GET THEM!!!!!NO TIP for him. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME AND $$$. GO TO MCCORMICK & SCHMICK'S INSTEAD!

0
★☆☆☆☆

Don't even bother eating here! It is a total waste of money! We were hotel guests and treated so rudely. The young waiter obviously had very little training and was preoccupied with tables of women clients. The waiter brings us foccia bread and NO BREAD PLATES or DIPPING sauces. We order salad.... he brings the salad and then the entree shortly after. We are OBVIOUSLY done with our salads and he doesn't pick up the plates. We have to ask another waiter to bring us BREAD PLATES and DIPPING SAUCES, and for STEAK KNIVES! Hello???... We just spent quite a bit of $$$ for Filet Mignon and you can't even ask us how our dinner is??? He comes back and askes me if I would like another drink.. I say yes... and he deliver's it after I am totally finished with my dinner, then has the nerve to ask me if I WANT DESSERT? ABSOLUTELY NOT! We ask him if he can take our plates, bread plates and salad plates and he has the nerve to tell us HE WILL BE BACK IN A FEW TO GET THEM!!!!!NO TIP for him. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME AND $$$. GO TO MCCORMICK & SCHMICK'S INSTEAD!

Pros: Nice Atmosphere

Cons: Service and food

.

I head good things about Aquariva and it had a beautiful view, so we booked the place for our rehearsal dinner. I will start by saying the food was good and the view is beautiful. Not great, but good. Wine was very overpriced. However, there were some very unacceptable occurrences that night.
The first was the wine. We wanted to bring our own wine, but it was going to cost $18/bottle for them to open it and a room rental fees (I will explain below). It was amazing how approximately 30 adults went through exactly two cases of wine, plus beer, soft drinks, etc. This was more than 90 of us went through at my wedding. During the night, we repeatedly watched the waiters open a new bottle and refill glasses on tables while: 1) half full bottles were still sitting on tables and 2) without even asking if people even wanted more to drink. I cannot even start to imagine how much wine was wasted that night.
The second was the clean up. About 2 hours before our rental time was up, and while we were still sitting in the room talking, the staff was taking down the room (tables, chairs, table clothes, etc). I was absolutely appalled.
Third, I was never sure whom I was supposed to speak to throughout the planning. The coordinator was changed on me 3 times. Each time, I had to go over all the details again because they never spoke to each other. One of them could not even get my name right. Whoever I contact was apparently the wrong person, because the response would always be the same??ok, I??ll tell ____?. It was very confusing, frustrating, and wasted a lot of my time.
What was even more surprising was the response when I brought it to the manager??s attention. First, he said that since we were not charged a room rental fee, there is not anything to reimburse regarding the taking down the room during the event. The irony is that during one of our meetings, the staff told us that our current numbers did not meet the minimum amount required to avoid an expensive room rental fee. Therefore, we agreed purchased their wine and some extra food that we did not originally want. As for the wine, they agreed to reimburse us three bottles.
After the evening was over, I had some of our guests come up and make comments to me about these items. Overall, I am appalled by the unprofessional practices we experienced that evening.

1
★★☆☆☆

I head good things about Aquariva and it had a beautiful view, so we booked the place for our rehearsal dinner. I will start by saying the food was good and the view is beautiful. Not great, but good. Wine was very overpriced. However, there were some very unacceptable occurrences that night.
The first was the wine. We wanted to bring our own wine, but it was going to cost $18/bottle for them to open it and a room rental fees (I will explain below). It was amazing how approximately 30 adults went through exactly two cases of wine, plus beer, soft drinks, etc. This was more than 90 of us went through at my wedding. During the night, we repeatedly watched the waiters open a new bottle and refill glasses on tables while: 1) half full bottles were still sitting on tables and 2) without even asking if people even wanted more to drink. I cannot even start to imagine how much wine was wasted that night.
The second was the clean up. About 2 hours before our rental time was up, and while we were still sitting in the room talking, the staff was taking down the room (tables, chairs, table clothes, etc). I was absolutely appalled.
Third, I was never sure whom I was supposed to speak to throughout the planning. The coordinator was changed on me 3 times. Each time, I had to go over all the details again because they never spoke to each other. One of them could not even get my name right. Whoever I contact was apparently the wrong person, because the response would always be the same??ok, I??ll tell ____?. It was very confusing, frustrating, and wasted a lot of my time.
What was even more surprising was the response when I brought it to the manager??s attention. First, he said that since we were not charged a room rental fee, there is not anything to reimburse regarding the taking down the room during the event. The irony is that during one of our meetings, the staff told us that our current numbers did not meet the minimum amount required to avoid an expensive room rental fee. Therefore, we agreed purchased their wine and some extra food that we did not originally want. As for the wine, they agreed to reimburse us three bottles.
After the evening was over, I had some of our guests come up and make comments to me about these items. Overall, I am appalled by the unprofessional practices we experienced that evening.

Pros: decent food, beautiful view

Cons: service, lack of professionalism

.

Having heard wonderful things about Aquariva, our party of 6 decided to go on New Years Eve. Upon making reservations, my husband inquired about the menu for New Years and was told that we could have the choice between the Prixfix menu or the Casual Sunday menu. We all looked online and chose what we would be having before going out New Years. Upon arrival, we could not find parking and the "complimentary valet" was not well communicated with signs. After driving around, we had a member of our party go inside to ask where we should park as to not get towed. When we were seated, the table was set in up so we were all on the same side of the table...I assume it had to do with the small amount of space between our table and the table across from us. Definitely not set up for any type of communications to occur during dinner. At this point I thought to myself that the food better be good. I was dissapointed in this as well. After learning that our choices were now the PrixFix or the Bar menu, we reviewed the menus once again. As one member of our party was a vegetarian, her choices were limited to salad, veggie pizza, or cheeseballs. When her pizza came, they had inadvertantly put sausage on it and they had to remake it while we waited as our food became cold. I had the prixfix meal (the only way I could get any type of actual dinner as opposed to appetizers) The "apple" salad had 2 slivers of apple and so much pepper that I had to drink 2 glasses of water following it. The beef ribs were very good and tender and the gelato for dessert was very good. The service started off strong but as soon as our dinner was served, we did not see our waiter again. Our whole party had run out of water at the beginning of dinner and did not get any more until our checks were paid. I also was suprised at the auto-gratuity. Not that it was there but that is was not communicated. We were ready to add the tip when one of our party noticed that it had already been added.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Having heard wonderful things about Aquariva, our party of 6 decided to go on New Years Eve. Upon making reservations, my husband inquired about the menu for New Years and was told that we could have the choice between the Prixfix menu or the Casual Sunday menu. We all looked online and chose what we would be having before going out New Years. Upon arrival, we could not find parking and the "complimentary valet" was not well communicated with signs. After driving around, we had a member of our party go inside to ask where we should park as to not get towed. When we were seated, the table was set in up so we were all on the same side of the table...I assume it had to do with the small amount of space between our table and the table across from us. Definitely not set up for any type of communications to occur during dinner. At this point I thought to myself that the food better be good. I was dissapointed in this as well. After learning that our choices were now the PrixFix or the Bar menu, we reviewed the menus once again. As one member of our party was a vegetarian, her choices were limited to salad, veggie pizza, or cheeseballs. When her pizza came, they had inadvertantly put sausage on it and they had to remake it while we waited as our food became cold. I had the prixfix meal (the only way I could get any type of actual dinner as opposed to appetizers) The "apple" salad had 2 slivers of apple and so much pepper that I had to drink 2 glasses of water following it. The beef ribs were very good and tender and the gelato for dessert was very good. The service started off strong but as soon as our dinner was served, we did not see our waiter again. Our whole party had run out of water at the beginning of dinner and did not get any more until our checks were paid. I also was suprised at the auto-gratuity. Not that it was there but that is was not communicated. We were ready to add the tip when one of our party noticed that it had already been added.

Pros: View of the Willamette River

Cons: Parking, service,food

.

We were looking for a restaurant to celebrate our anniversay and since it was New Years Day, the selection seemed slim. On a whim, we called Aquariva, and we were pleasantly surprised to find it open for dinner. We read a review of New Year's Eve that was not positive, but since one of us had eaten lunch here and was impressed, we decided to give it a go. We were very pleased with not only the super service, but also the great meal and drinks. We had salmon, chicken, spinach salad, side of green beans and a great desert, Espresso Panna Cotta. The chicken came with parmesan mashed potatoes, both cooked perfectly. The green beans were not overcooked and the tasty salmon came with roasted onions that were incredible.

2
★★★★★

We were looking for a restaurant to celebrate our anniversay and since it was New Years Day, the selection seemed slim. On a whim, we called Aquariva, and we were pleasantly surprised to find it open for dinner. We read a review of New Year's Eve that was not positive, but since one of us had eaten lunch here and was impressed, we decided to give it a go. We were very pleased with not only the super service, but also the great meal and drinks. We had salmon, chicken, spinach salad, side of green beans and a great desert, Espresso Panna Cotta. The chicken came with parmesan mashed potatoes, both cooked perfectly. The green beans were not overcooked and the tasty salmon came with roasted onions that were incredible.

.

This site has been home to many things over the years and the latest version is Aquariva--the food is good, can be a little pricey as the little plates add up--but the view and the interior, a pallette of greys and red are elegant and festive for any occasion.--go for happy hour!

4
★★★★☆

This site has been home to many things over the years and the latest version is Aquariva--the food is good, can be a little pricey as the little plates add up--but the view and the interior, a pallette of greys and red are elegant and festive for any occasion.--go for happy hour!

Was this review helpful to you?
Ratings_icons Ratings_icons

.

I fly to Portland often for work and usually stay down town but occasionally stay at the Avalon. After work I didn't feel like taking a cab to a restaurant so I walked to Aquariva next door. Big mistake.

I ordered the flatiron steak with tomato-horseradish vinaigrette & arugula as well as a glass of cabernet and a side of mashed potatoes (didn't come with the steak). When it arrived I couldn't believe it; the steak was about the size of a silver dollar pankcake but sort of square. On two sides were bone and the other two sides were 1/4 inch of fat. When I cut it away I was left with 3 bites, each about the size of a thumbnail. No joke, that was it. Underneath it was a dozen or so large lima beans and maybe 4 leafs of wilted arugula. I called the waitress over, showed her what was there and asked if this was normal. She said yes then walked away. The mashed potatoes were just plain potatoes with melted butter.

I honestly can't remember a worse meal in a restaurant and I won't be going back. I try to give a restaurant where I've had a bad meal another chance and this was the second time I've eaten there (I don't remember what I had last time but I do remember it wasn't very good). After I paid the check I went back to my hotel room and called a delivery service that picks up food from restaurants and had it delivered.

The restaurant is associated with the Avalon, so if you're staying there and ask for a recommendation the first thing they're going to do is send you over there. DON'T DO IT! Take the complimentary shuttle car downtown and find a decent place.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I fly to Portland often for work and usually stay down town but occasionally stay at the Avalon. After work I didn't feel like taking a cab to a restaurant so I walked to Aquariva next door. Big mistake.

I ordered the flatiron steak with tomato-horseradish vinaigrette & arugula as well as a glass of cabernet and a side of mashed potatoes (didn't come with the steak). When it arrived I couldn't believe it; the steak was about the size of a silver dollar pankcake but sort of square. On two sides were bone and the other two sides were 1/4 inch of fat. When I cut it away I was left with 3 bites, each about the size of a thumbnail. No joke, that was it. Underneath it was a dozen or so large lima beans and maybe 4 leafs of wilted arugula. I called the waitress over, showed her what was there and asked if this was normal. She said yes then walked away. The mashed potatoes were just plain potatoes with melted butter.

I honestly can't remember a worse meal in a restaurant and I won't be going back. I try to give a restaurant where I've had a bad meal another chance and this was the second time I've eaten there (I don't remember what I had last time but I do remember it wasn't very good). After I paid the check I went back to my hotel room and called a delivery service that picks up food from restaurants and had it delivered.

The restaurant is associated with the Avalon, so if you're staying there and ask for a recommendation the first thing they're going to do is send you over there. DON'T DO IT! Take the complimentary shuttle car downtown and find a decent place.

Pros: It's on the river, so if the weather is nice you can sit outside.

Cons: Terrible food, interior decor not appealing. Did I mention terrible food?

.

We were excited to check out Aquariva as the reviews were quite good and we were staying at the Avalon Hotel and Spa. We arrived on a Saturday night at about 8:30pm to find the entire place completely empty. We sat at the bar and were literally 2 of 4 patrons. There was not one single guest in the dining room. The bartender was friendly and helpful with the wine list which I found to be quite small for a 'wine bar'. Cold and stark is how I'd describe the decor - black and gray. I did notice some red drapes back in the dining room. I'm sure the view is beautiful during the day since it's on the river. We began with a Caesar salad which was average and a fresh mozarella salad. This was 3 slices of not so fresh tomatoes topped with a small, rubbery piece of old mozarella, fresh basil and what they claimed was 30 year old balsamic. It was no different than the $3.00 brand which I purchase at Trader Joe's. My husband ordered a pasta dish which was the smallest portion I've EVER seen in a restaurant - it was about 1/2 cup of noodles, topped with 1/2 cup of sauce and 3 meatballs which were so tiny - about the size of a marble. We could only laugh! The whole thing was smaller than the size of my fist! I chose seafood risoto which I sent back because the pasta was raw (crunchy) and the fish was 'fishy'. The bartender was very nice about it and immediately offered me the opportunity to select something else. I chose a pizza which was tiny but pretty good. I do understand how it's difficult to offer fresh, properly cooked food in an estabishment which does very little business - it was a shame. The small portions would lead me to suggest that they simply offer the entire menu as appetizers. This way, people would expect 'taste' sized portions.

0
★☆☆☆☆

We were excited to check out Aquariva as the reviews were quite good and we were staying at the Avalon Hotel and Spa. We arrived on a Saturday night at about 8:30pm to find the entire place completely empty. We sat at the bar and were literally 2 of 4 patrons. There was not one single guest in the dining room. The bartender was friendly and helpful with the wine list which I found to be quite small for a 'wine bar'. Cold and stark is how I'd describe the decor - black and gray. I did notice some red drapes back in the dining room. I'm sure the view is beautiful during the day since it's on the river. We began with a Caesar salad which was average and a fresh mozarella salad. This was 3 slices of not so fresh tomatoes topped with a small, rubbery piece of old mozarella, fresh basil and what they claimed was 30 year old balsamic. It was no different than the $3.00 brand which I purchase at Trader Joe's. My husband ordered a pasta dish which was the smallest portion I've EVER seen in a restaurant - it was about 1/2 cup of noodles, topped with 1/2 cup of sauce and 3 meatballs which were so tiny - about the size of a marble. We could only laugh! The whole thing was smaller than the size of my fist! I chose seafood risoto which I sent back because the pasta was raw (crunchy) and the fish was 'fishy'. The bartender was very nice about it and immediately offered me the opportunity to select something else. I chose a pizza which was tiny but pretty good. I do understand how it's difficult to offer fresh, properly cooked food in an estabishment which does very little business - it was a shame. The small portions would lead me to suggest that they simply offer the entire menu as appetizers. This way, people would expect 'taste' sized portions.

Pros: The service was the only positive thing!

Cons: Small portions of overpriced, old tasting food.

.

We went for happy hour and were dissapointed. 3 out of the 8 beers on tap they were out of, the food was mediocre at best, tough chewy fries, bad crowd of business men and bar flys. Chef walking around not even smiling with a stern tough look to him. The dining room on a Tuesday night had 3 tables in it. Bad location? Concept? Too bad for them

1
★★☆☆☆

We went for happy hour and were dissapointed. 3 out of the 8 beers on tap they were out of, the food was mediocre at best, tough chewy fries, bad crowd of business men and bar flys. Chef walking around not even smiling with a stern tough look to him. The dining room on a Tuesday night had 3 tables in it. Bad location? Concept? Too bad for them

Pros: view

Cons: food and atmosphere

.

We've been to this place a few times ever since its latest incarnation as AquaRiva, and every time have asked ourselves, "Why is this not the hottest restaurant in Portland?" The answer must be its off-the-beaten-track location, because everything else about it is fabulous.
Tonight we sat outside on the banks of the Willamette River, with a view of the east side through the trees of Ross Island. The service was perfect; friendly and informative without being overbearing. The dishes were good to great, every one.
Starting with the oregon pear and dandelion green salad; pungent with highlights of ricotta and hazelnuts. Rappini with anchovy (not whole, but in the sauce) garlic and hot pepper; yum! Followed by a perfect risotto "risi e bisi", which apparently means with perfectly cooked sweet peas, parma ham, and parmesan. Am I in Parma, Italy? The pan fried oysters were a bit too fried for my taste, but forgiven by the terrific artichoke-lemon aioli; give me a spoon! Finally (we haven't exploded yet) the rare seared duck breast with asparugus, pork osso buco accompanied by polenta sprinkled with fennel pollen, and the incredible lamb "t-bone" (aka "chop") with melting fava beans in lemon and mint are to die for.
Chef Drew has been doing a consistently great job ever since iAqua Riva's opening nearly two years ago. Expensive? Compared to our other favorite place, Park Kitchen and its ilk, no. Prices are reasonable for the quality and portions. The setting is spectacular; the service very good.
Portland, where are you?

2
★★★★★

We've been to this place a few times ever since its latest incarnation as AquaRiva, and every time have asked ourselves, "Why is this not the hottest restaurant in Portland?" The answer must be its off-the-beaten-track location, because everything else about it is fabulous.
Tonight we sat outside on the banks of the Willamette River, with a view of the east side through the trees of Ross Island. The service was perfect; friendly and informative without being overbearing. The dishes were good to great, every one.
Starting with the oregon pear and dandelion green salad; pungent with highlights of ricotta and hazelnuts. Rappini with anchovy (not whole, but in the sauce) garlic and hot pepper; yum! Followed by a perfect risotto "risi e bisi", which apparently means with perfectly cooked sweet peas, parma ham, and parmesan. Am I in Parma, Italy? The pan fried oysters were a bit too fried for my taste, but forgiven by the terrific artichoke-lemon aioli; give me a spoon! Finally (we haven't exploded yet) the rare seared duck breast with asparugus, pork osso buco accompanied by polenta sprinkled with fennel pollen, and the incredible lamb "t-bone" (aka "chop") with melting fava beans in lemon and mint are to die for.
Chef Drew has been doing a consistently great job ever since iAqua Riva's opening nearly two years ago. Expensive? Compared to our other favorite place, Park Kitchen and its ilk, no. Prices are reasonable for the quality and portions. The setting is spectacular; the service very good.
Portland, where are you?

Pros: Great food; good value; beautiful setting

.

I'm a huge pasta fanatic, and am pretty picky. I had the dungeness crab pasta the other day and it was scrumptious! I loved it so much I've been craving it ever since. I personally think the decor is chic and the view is great as well.

2
★★★★★

I'm a huge pasta fanatic, and am pretty picky. I had the dungeness crab pasta the other day and it was scrumptious! I loved it so much I've been craving it ever since. I personally think the decor is chic and the view is great as well.

.

We loved the ambience, the view and the idea of a nice meal on the river front. The cocktails were disappointing, but the appetizers & entrees were great. Service was incredibly slow, but the beautiful views and good company we were in made it a tolerable pace. Was very disappointed at the end when a 20% gratuity was automatically billed to our table of 5. I actually liked our waitress and would have been inclined to tip her well, but for the restaurant to assume a 20% gratuity for only 5 people went too far in my book.. I felt taken advantage of and robbed of my ability to adequately thank our server on my own. I also doubt they would have alerted us had we inadvertantly double tipped.

2
★★★★☆

We loved the ambience, the view and the idea of a nice meal on the river front. The cocktails were disappointing, but the appetizers & entrees were great. Service was incredibly slow, but the beautiful views and good company we were in made it a tolerable pace. Was very disappointed at the end when a 20% gratuity was automatically billed to our table of 5. I actually liked our waitress and would have been inclined to tip her well, but for the restaurant to assume a 20% gratuity for only 5 people went too far in my book.. I felt taken advantage of and robbed of my ability to adequately thank our server on my own. I also doubt they would have alerted us had we inadvertantly double tipped.

Pros: River views, wonderful atmosphere

Cons: Expensive

.

Big Miss
Though billed as an Italian restaurant , there is no warmth or ambiance anywhere. The restaurant decor is black and white and very cold. I don?t know who?s idea it was to choose the dinner hour to move excess table out the back door making everyone within 20 feet of the door turn to ice. We started with the seared ahi tuna and the baby kumoto oysters, they were both great. The beet salad was also very good, but when it came to the entrees, oh my gosh. The osso bucco was way over done and flavorless and the Dungeness crab and pasta was a real miss. The crab flavor was non-existent and over powered by the lemon rind. The pasta was over cooked and stuck together in a lump. Not good. We did not stay for desert or coffee because we were both frozen solid and just wanted to get out of there. To bad, our server Julie was very sweet and embarrassed by the tables being shuffled about. We defiantly choose the wrong night, I guess the end of the Trail Blazer Season party to be held that night was far more important than we were. We will probably never go back. You only get one chance to make an impression and this night really failed.

1
★★☆☆☆

Big Miss
Though billed as an Italian restaurant , there is no warmth or ambiance anywhere. The restaurant decor is black and white and very cold. I don?t know who?s idea it was to choose the dinner hour to move excess table out the back door making everyone within 20 feet of the door turn to ice. We started with the seared ahi tuna and the baby kumoto oysters, they were both great. The beet salad was also very good, but when it came to the entrees, oh my gosh. The osso bucco was way over done and flavorless and the Dungeness crab and pasta was a real miss. The crab flavor was non-existent and over powered by the lemon rind. The pasta was over cooked and stuck together in a lump. Not good. We did not stay for desert or coffee because we were both frozen solid and just wanted to get out of there. To bad, our server Julie was very sweet and embarrassed by the tables being shuffled about. We defiantly choose the wrong night, I guess the end of the Trail Blazer Season party to be held that night was far more important than we were. We will probably never go back. You only get one chance to make an impression and this night really failed.

Pros: First course, pretty darn good.

Cons: Ambiance, cold and uninviting. The rest is all down hill.

.

As I gazed into the restaurant I noticed the unfamiliar placement of the hostess stand. It was awkward and unapproachable. The hostess had a fine demeanor and sat us quickly with a fine ethic and detail towards her work but sat us in a space that seemed nearly inhabitable. The service was curt at best and seemed nearly rushed. I found myself pushed between highly priced bottled water and tap water that was equal in price but not quality. The quality of the bottled water was absolutely sub par and would refuse it if I found myself to ever to experience such a situation again.
The food matched the service; a circus but not a pageant. The flavors were dull and not conducive of the expectancy of a long held Italian tradition that assumes flavor and wine to be paired in an exuberant delightfulment. The scallops were overdone and dull, the chicken was verbose. I have been to many a delightful dining venue and often 7/11 has been a better value. The service was lacking as well as the wine knowledge and its availability. I would recommend otherwise. The people at the bar and the hostess were quite nice and enjoyable.
---Confidant

1
★★☆☆☆

As I gazed into the restaurant I noticed the unfamiliar placement of the hostess stand. It was awkward and unapproachable. The hostess had a fine demeanor and sat us quickly with a fine ethic and detail towards her work but sat us in a space that seemed nearly inhabitable. The service was curt at best and seemed nearly rushed. I found myself pushed between highly priced bottled water and tap water that was equal in price but not quality. The quality of the bottled water was absolutely sub par and would refuse it if I found myself to ever to experience such a situation again.
The food matched the service; a circus but not a pageant. The flavors were dull and not conducive of the expectancy of a long held Italian tradition that assumes flavor and wine to be paired in an exuberant delightfulment. The scallops were overdone and dull, the chicken was verbose. I have been to many a delightful dining venue and often 7/11 has been a better value. The service was lacking as well as the wine knowledge and its availability. I would recommend otherwise. The people at the bar and the hostess were quite nice and enjoyable.
---Confidant

Pros: Great bar and hostess

Cons: Slow service and poor food quality

.

My husband and Is first visit was on our honeymoon. We were staying at the adjoining Avalon Hotel & Spa(Also very fabulous). We were both exhausted and hungry. I recognized the restaurant as the old Rivers, but much more clever and chic. The moment we walked in the door, it was evident that customer service is important to them. Our server, Miguel was excellent. He knew the menu selections and had great recomendations. The focacia bread and white bean spread were awesome, and I am not a bread eater. Dinner was equally as brilliant. I had the scallops with oven dried tomatoes, and the mashed potatoes(not the kind your mom makes!)My husband had the lamb chops and the vidalia onions. Seeing that we had just gotten married(we were still in wedding atire) they promptly helped us continue to celebrate by brining us a glass of champagne. I am a chef and a serious food snob. When I go to Aquariva, I can leave my toque at the door and enjoy. The view is also amazing. The last time we were there, the moon was full and reflecting on the Willamette, incredible! Almost forgot my husbands favorite part....the cotton candy for dessert, cleverly served on a water glass. We loved everything so much, that we have decided to celebrate our anniversary once a month there.

2
★★★★★

My husband and Is first visit was on our honeymoon. We were staying at the adjoining Avalon Hotel & Spa(Also very fabulous). We were both exhausted and hungry. I recognized the restaurant as the old Rivers, but much more clever and chic. The moment we walked in the door, it was evident that customer service is important to them. Our server, Miguel was excellent. He knew the menu selections and had great recomendations. The focacia bread and white bean spread were awesome, and I am not a bread eater. Dinner was equally as brilliant. I had the scallops with oven dried tomatoes, and the mashed potatoes(not the kind your mom makes!)My husband had the lamb chops and the vidalia onions. Seeing that we had just gotten married(we were still in wedding atire) they promptly helped us continue to celebrate by brining us a glass of champagne. I am a chef and a serious food snob. When I go to Aquariva, I can leave my toque at the door and enjoy. The view is also amazing. The last time we were there, the moon was full and reflecting on the Willamette, incredible! Almost forgot my husbands favorite part....the cotton candy for dessert, cleverly served on a water glass. We loved everything so much, that we have decided to celebrate our anniversary once a month there.

Pros: Excellent variety, nice atmosphere, fantastic service

Cons: would never have known it was there if we had not stayed at the Avalon

.

I had a business lunch here today and loved the space. It was very chic and comfortable. They have outdoor seating right on the river if you get there before the weather changes. The two kinds of foccaccia bread (Kalamata and Sea Salt) were served with white bean spread and olive oil were outstanding and promptly delivered to the table upon arrival. We shared a heirloom tomato salad ($7) which consisted of two huge tomato slices, one red and the other yellow, drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with just a touch of salt were two of the best tomatos I've had. My friend had a sausage sandwich of some kind which was served with potato chips. He said the sandwich was really good and had the perfect amount of spice. I had a seared Oregon tuna ($13) which consisted of approximately 5, 2" x 2" x 1/2", perfectly seared pieces of tuna. They were beautifully presented with a little spicy red pepper sauce. The grain was an incredibly tasty spelt with bits of red pepper and a yummy sauce.

2
★★★★★

I had a business lunch here today and loved the space. It was very chic and comfortable. They have outdoor seating right on the river if you get there before the weather changes. The two kinds of foccaccia bread (Kalamata and Sea Salt) were served with white bean spread and olive oil were outstanding and promptly delivered to the table upon arrival. We shared a heirloom tomato salad ($7) which consisted of two huge tomato slices, one red and the other yellow, drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with just a touch of salt were two of the best tomatos I've had. My friend had a sausage sandwich of some kind which was served with potato chips. He said the sandwich was really good and had the perfect amount of spice. I had a seared Oregon tuna ($13) which consisted of approximately 5, 2" x 2" x 1/2", perfectly seared pieces of tuna. They were beautifully presented with a little spicy red pepper sauce. The grain was an incredibly tasty spelt with bits of red pepper and a yummy sauce.

Pros: focaccia bread, seared tuna, ambiance

Cons: John's Landing Location is a bit off the beaten path

.

I have to say that I did not know what to expect. I was looking for a place to eat on the river. This town seems to not have that many optionsfor dining on the river. I was surprised by what I found at Aquariva. I had read something in the Oregonian a while back about the spot and heard that the chef used to be at Bluehour, one of our favorite places. The space is gorgeous. We realized upon ariving that this used to be Rivers restaurant. Wow, they had completely remodeled the space. I did not event recognize it. We had been to Rivers in the past and had vowed not to return. This place is definitly off of the radar. The waiter told us that they had only been open two months. The menu is all Italian food, but not the traditional Italian food that we were used to. You are not going to get fettucini alfredo here. It was kind of like eating tapas. We tasted quite a few dishes- You have to try the pear salad, sweet pea ravioli and the scallops. We also had a polenta side dish that was stellar. Our waiter seemed to know more about the food than the wine, but luckily we could navigate the wine list on our own. The service was good, but it did seem a bit slow a times. Luckily we were enjoying the atmoshpere and food. (We may have been in trouble if we had any other plans.) The chef obviously has some real talent. We eat out a lot and are more often than not are unimpressed with the food. I love the idea of small plates. You get to try so many more flavors. We are going to be back with a larger group of friends so we can try the entire menu. All in all I would definitely recommend this place. Just do not be in a hurry to make a movie!

2
★★★★☆

I have to say that I did not know what to expect. I was looking for a place to eat on the river. This town seems to not have that many optionsfor dining on the river. I was surprised by what I found at Aquariva. I had read something in the Oregonian a while back about the spot and heard that the chef used to be at Bluehour, one of our favorite places. The space is gorgeous. We realized upon ariving that this used to be Rivers restaurant. Wow, they had completely remodeled the space. I did not event recognize it. We had been to Rivers in the past and had vowed not to return. This place is definitly off of the radar. The waiter told us that they had only been open two months. The menu is all Italian food, but not the traditional Italian food that we were used to. You are not going to get fettucini alfredo here. It was kind of like eating tapas. We tasted quite a few dishes- You have to try the pear salad, sweet pea ravioli and the scallops. We also had a polenta side dish that was stellar. Our waiter seemed to know more about the food than the wine, but luckily we could navigate the wine list on our own. The service was good, but it did seem a bit slow a times. Luckily we were enjoying the atmoshpere and food. (We may have been in trouble if we had any other plans.) The chef obviously has some real talent. We eat out a lot and are more often than not are unimpressed with the food. I love the idea of small plates. You get to try so many more flavors. We are going to be back with a larger group of friends so we can try the entire menu. All in all I would definitely recommend this place. Just do not be in a hurry to make a movie!

Pros: the food

Cons: less than speedy service

.

I travel all over the world for a livng and my favorite tourist activitiy is fine dining. It's not unusual for me to spend several hundred dollars on a meal for two. Aquariva was the finest dining experience I've ever had, it's in my own backyard and I spent $67 for two. It's a beautiful place with a great view, a genius chef and the service was very nice--informed but not in my way.

2
★★★★★

I travel all over the world for a livng and my favorite tourist activitiy is fine dining. It's not unusual for me to spend several hundred dollars on a meal for two. Aquariva was the finest dining experience I've ever had, it's in my own backyard and I spent $67 for two. It's a beautiful place with a great view, a genius chef and the service was very nice--informed but not in my way.

Pros: Food, View, Price

Cons: Bar Service Was Slow

.

This restaurant is incredible. The decor is simple and elegant. So nice to see an Italian restaurant that isn?t all fake terra cotta stucco and faux finishes. Think the fashion districts of Milan, not tourist commercials. The service wasn?t slow at all. If you want to get a quick meal that?s slammed in front of you while the servers are hustling to free up your table, don?t go here. If you want a luxurious dining experience that lets you appreciate all the nuances of beautifully prepared food and an extensive list of wines by the glass then this is definitely it. The small plates menu was fantastic. The chicken was perfect and the scallops were the best I?ve ever tasted. We ordered the pear salad and the field green salad and had to switch halfway through, they were both so distinctive and so good. Note: the dessert menu is not a small plate portion?they?re full sized portions so by the time you get there you might want to share.

2
★★★★★

This restaurant is incredible. The decor is simple and elegant. So nice to see an Italian restaurant that isn?t all fake terra cotta stucco and faux finishes. Think the fashion districts of Milan, not tourist commercials. The service wasn?t slow at all. If you want to get a quick meal that?s slammed in front of you while the servers are hustling to free up your table, don?t go here. If you want a luxurious dining experience that lets you appreciate all the nuances of beautifully prepared food and an extensive list of wines by the glass then this is definitely it. The small plates menu was fantastic. The chicken was perfect and the scallops were the best I?ve ever tasted. We ordered the pear salad and the field green salad and had to switch halfway through, they were both so distinctive and so good. Note: the dessert menu is not a small plate portion?they?re full sized portions so by the time you get there you might want to share.

Pros: Free Valet Parking, Perfect Food, Ambience

Cons: Google Map Got Me Lost

.

The service was slow. The place was empty. The food was passable but not great. It seemed like we were there FOREVER. The interesting points: The menue is divided into red wine and white wine accompaniments. They serve you watermellon cotton candy for dessert.

1
★★☆☆☆

The service was slow. The place was empty. The food was passable but not great. It seemed like we were there FOREVER. The interesting points: The menue is divided into red wine and white wine accompaniments. They serve you watermellon cotton candy for dessert.

Pros: Cotton Candy

Cons: Location/Service

.

When we arrived I really liked the exterior appeal of the restaurant but was not impressed with the interior. The decor does not work at all, too dark, and very cold looking. Horrible wall color choice for a restaurant and the chairs were very slippery on the hard wood floor.The candles on the table did not blend at all with the interior theme.The bar had Tv screens with changing scenes of people and it almost looked like it was a fashion advertisment. Just a very odd mix of things.We were not very warmly welcomed when we arrived and we were greated by someone behind the bar. It was very humid inside, the door to the outside seating was open so I assume the airconditioning was off. Our waiter was dressed in a sport coat and jeans which later we were told he was the manager. The menu was explained to us and we had pretty good service up until dessert. We ordered a bing cherry crisp and it took way to long and when it arrived it was so steaming hot it was not edible. Even after ten minutes it was still so hot . We were told that the cook forgot it in the oven because he got too busy with a large table order. If the wrong person ate this it would have been a disaster waiting to happen. Our waiter was no where to be seen after he dropped off the dessert and we had to flag someone down. When we were leaving our waiter/manager was at the front host desk and did not even say good bye. The only thing that was a pleasant surprise was at the end the meal they brought us cotton candy as their after dinner mint. Nice place for people watching with a nice view but I would rather go somewhere else for a good meal.

0
★☆☆☆☆

When we arrived I really liked the exterior appeal of the restaurant but was not impressed with the interior. The decor does not work at all, too dark, and very cold looking. Horrible wall color choice for a restaurant and the chairs were very slippery on the hard wood floor.The candles on the table did not blend at all with the interior theme.The bar had Tv screens with changing scenes of people and it almost looked like it was a fashion advertisment. Just a very odd mix of things.We were not very warmly welcomed when we arrived and we were greated by someone behind the bar. It was very humid inside, the door to the outside seating was open so I assume the airconditioning was off. Our waiter was dressed in a sport coat and jeans which later we were told he was the manager. The menu was explained to us and we had pretty good service up until dessert. We ordered a bing cherry crisp and it took way to long and when it arrived it was so steaming hot it was not edible. Even after ten minutes it was still so hot . We were told that the cook forgot it in the oven because he got too busy with a large table order. If the wrong person ate this it would have been a disaster waiting to happen. Our waiter was no where to be seen after he dropped off the dessert and we had to flag someone down. When we were leaving our waiter/manager was at the front host desk and did not even say good bye. The only thing that was a pleasant surprise was at the end the meal they brought us cotton candy as their after dinner mint. Nice place for people watching with a nice view but I would rather go somewhere else for a good meal.

Pros: Nice view, good for people watching, cotton candy

Cons: parking, service,

.

Well, it all started with what should have been a 9 min ride to this place but we found it about an hour later. We got 3 sets of different directions from 3 different hosteses. Parking was non existent and we had to wait out in the parking lot for quite some time before anyone came out to greet us. We felt like we were being stared down as we got out of the car in casual clothes.
The interrior of the restaurant is beautiful and has a great view. The staff seemed very nice, if you were a friend of any of them, if not it seemed you are ignored. It was a long time before we got any water, even longer for the bread and longer still before we got a waitress to the table. She didnt explain anything, just handed us menus and walked away, didnt even introduce herself.
The wine we ordered came very quick but without a word and then he was gone too. Some time later our first course came to us. The food was wonderful. The waitress checked back before we even had a chance to take two bites and then we never saw her again until we tried flagging her down with some elaborate hand gestures. Our second course was also very good but again, no attention from any of the staff members other than the occasional kick to our chairs.

All in all the food was wonderful, a bit overpriced for some of it, the view is amazing. Parking is horrible, hard to find location, cold staff and it got quite dark once the sun set. I wouldnt go back unless somone else was paying and driving.

1
★★☆☆☆

Well, it all started with what should have been a 9 min ride to this place but we found it about an hour later. We got 3 sets of different directions from 3 different hosteses. Parking was non existent and we had to wait out in the parking lot for quite some time before anyone came out to greet us. We felt like we were being stared down as we got out of the car in casual clothes.
The interrior of the restaurant is beautiful and has a great view. The staff seemed very nice, if you were a friend of any of them, if not it seemed you are ignored. It was a long time before we got any water, even longer for the bread and longer still before we got a waitress to the table. She didnt explain anything, just handed us menus and walked away, didnt even introduce herself.
The wine we ordered came very quick but without a word and then he was gone too. Some time later our first course came to us. The food was wonderful. The waitress checked back before we even had a chance to take two bites and then we never saw her again until we tried flagging her down with some elaborate hand gestures. Our second course was also very good but again, no attention from any of the staff members other than the occasional kick to our chairs.

All in all the food was wonderful, a bit overpriced for some of it, the view is amazing. Parking is horrible, hard to find location, cold staff and it got quite dark once the sun set. I wouldnt go back unless somone else was paying and driving.

Pros: food, view on river, nice patio

Cons: staff, directions, price,

 

Wait, you're the expert.

If you've been to or used Aquariva Restaurant, leave a review.

It's easy, only takes a couple of minutes and you'll help thousands make an informed decision.



Write a Review