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“Undervalued Gem in Downtown Berkeley”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Sportivo - CLOSED

Sportivo
Cuisines: Italian, Mediterranean
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
California
Level Contributor
68 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Undervalued Gem in Downtown Berkeley”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2012

It seems like folks in Berkeley have not yet caught onto this really great little restaurant! The food is excellent. Last night three of shared a wonderful salad, a delicious pizza (half eggplant for the vegetarian in our group and half spicy meat - yum), plus a bowl of pasta with Bolognese sauce -- one of the best I have ever had. On top of all that, the bar is amazing -- really some of the best cocktails anywhere. The service is professional, helpful and friendly. We made a reservation and they saved us a cute table right at the window. A lovely dining experience. This was only my second visit, but I am convinced that this place is consistently great.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank CalAdventureGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Germany/US
Level Contributor
130 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Really Wonderful Sicilian Food in Family Atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

A buddy of mine and I stumbled into Sportivo after watching a movie on Shattuck. It was a little late and we were running out of options. What a find. The waiter/maitre'd, Henry, pushed us strongly towards a Halibut special. A wonderful suggestion. The best halibut either of us had ever had. Presented in pieces in a metal bowl with rice gnocchi and a few scallops and a variety of herbs and spices. A truly innovative dish. The owner came out and spent a few minutes with us and gave us the family history....a childhood spent partly in the Bay Area and partly in Italy, wonderful parents (his dad runs LoCoco's in Piedmont), a love of cooking and simple but great tasting food. Gaetano runs the front of Sportivo, while his big brother Gilberto (a bear of a fellow) runs the kitchen.

I had such a surprisingly good time I took my wife, my 25 year old daughter and an old family friend for an equally fun time the next week. Then back again with another buddy for lunch. Then last Saturday I hosted a group of 21 around the big central table that anchors Sportivo's front room. Everyone in this big group praised the antipasti (the caponata is a healthy, tasty starter and the butternut squash on toast with a sprinkling of some mild, sweet tasting cheese was....well, I'm running out of superlatives).

On every measure Sportivo is a great place to go. Check it out! If you're a sports fan the TV is on right over the bar. If you're not a sports fan, go during the week and sit off to the right.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Well worth a visit!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2011

I came in as it was the only place open whilst I was doing a bit of sightseeing in the area and fancied a lunchtime margarita (as in cocktail not the pizza). The bartender made the most awesome margarita, and I love these so know a good from a bad. Just by the ingredients he used I knew they take pride in their drinks. He then gave me a warm piece of bread with olive oil and freshly made in their kitchen.

The service was very good, the bread was just so well made. I will be making a special trip to make sure I come back to this place before I leave.

It's refreshing to goto a place with such good service and food/drinks

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TOKLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, Califolrnia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“My new favorite Italian restaurant in Berkeley”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2011

This is now my favorite Italian, and one of my favorite all around restaurants in Berkeley. It has a full bar, great wine selection and the food is awesome. The first time we went there we had the mussels in a saffron broth, and when we were talking to the chef/owner, he actually brought some freshly ground saffron to our table to show us he used only the finest cut and you could tell by the amazing color and aroma. We also shared the lamb plate and the herb crust was like nothing I have ever tasted. Everything was so fresh, and each dish seemed to out do the previous one. We went back again the next night, and again for my husband's birthday. In fact we are going back again tonight!

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TailorMaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Ga.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Pleasant outdoor sidewalk dining until annoying political hawkers spoiled it.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2011

My wife and I enjoyed a pleasant outdoor lunch. The homemade bread alone would encourage our return. The Italian food was tasty and well prepared. The only drawback was the annoying political hawkers repeatedly calling out to pedestrians. I wouldn't sit outside if the proprietor cannot prevail on the activists to move down the street.

  • Visited May 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MiddleAgedSkierHiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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