Since Chef Mark DeResta’s arrival in January
2009, dinners at Riverside have a distinct fresh “Italian” flair
that is DeResta’s trademark. Chef Mark’s style and philosophy
is simple food with few ingredients, consistently prepared properly.
Everything he serves is fresh. Riverside’s dinner menu
changes every few weeks depending on fresh ingredients becoming available.
Chef Mark has worked at numerous Hood River dining favorites. He created
Abruzzo Italian Grill with partner Glen Pearce, and worked at Brian’s
Pourhouse and Sixth Street Bistro. Chef DeResta worked with the Hood River
Inn’s catering manager Jan McCartan and Rich Cushman of Viento wines
to create a Riverside Grill red table wine. It’s a reasonably priced
Sangiovese-Barbera blend available by the glass, half-liter and liter.
Originally from Rhode Island, Mark DeResta began working in restaurant
kitchens at age 15, starting as dishwasher, moving to salads, and up the
ranks as a willing listener who did what he was told. He continued restaurant
work through college, and shortly after graduation moved to Hood River. “I’ve
worked with a lot of great people and learned a lot along the way,” DeResta
remarks. “When I came to the Gorge, I realized I could do bigger
things. I’m Italian, grew up on good Italian food, and I’m
passionate about it.”