Pizzas Star at In Riva in East Falls
Adam Erace visits the banks of the Schuylkill River to try out In Riva, the new restaurant from chef Arthur Cavaliere.
The meatballs, though praiseworthy, aren’t the main attraction at this riverside rendezvous: That honor belongs to In Riva’s pizzas. Stretched 12 inches, they puff, crisp and blister in two minutes in the oak-burning oven, the centerpiece of the snug open kitchen. Up in the dome, 1100 degrees of heat seethe and hover like captive harpies, radiating the brash angles of the superior margherita’s raw San Marzano tomato sauce, sweetening the cippolini onions on a pie of the same name. The former is classic and the latter is new-school (with Brussels sprouts, sharp provolone, pancetta and chèvre), and I still couldn’t decide which I liked better after devouring three slices of each — though I can still remember the cippolini pie’s spatter of aged balsamic, and how the vinegar’s time-won sweetness and acidity cut bloodlessly through the pie’s considerable fattiness.