Restaurant Week at the River Cafe

Friday we headed over to DUMBO to celebrate restaurant week at the River Café. The River Café is a gorgeous place right on the water with a stunning view of lower Manhattan. I’d been here a couple of times before but never for their restaurant week and I was excited.

We were a little early for our reservation so we stopped off first at Almondine to pick up the best Almond Croissant in the city for Mr. T who was working Then we headed over to Jacque Torres to drool a little as the smell of chocolate slowly enveloped us. Then a last stop to Five Front for a drink in an attempt to cool down from the humid weather.

We walked into River Café and got a nice two seater right by the window. I couldn’t help but notice they added another row of seats to the space. I assume they want to pack it in for restaurant week. It made the space a little tight but still quite manageable.

We ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and perused the menu.

One thing I thought was a little strange was that our bread arrived almost immediately- before we even placed our food order. I’ve had that happen before and I kind hate it. It’s not a bad thing- it just ensures that I will fill up on bread before my food even comes!

Oh well- the bread was slightly warm and came with creamy room temperature butter, perfect for spreading. I missed not having any salt for my butter but it was still quite tasty.

After much debate on our appetizers we placed our orders.

My first dish was the Chilled Vegetable Gazpacho. I have only had gazpacho once in my life and I hated it. However that was years ago and I figured it was time to try it again.

My bowl arrived with the marinated shrimp and avocado salad alone. Then the waiter poured the soup tableside. I know that’s kind of old fashioned but I loved it. The shrimp and avocado salad went fantastic with the summer tomatoes in the soup. Although I still will never be a big Gazpacho fan this dish was light and refreshing.

Mr. Pruner ordered the Lamb Meatballs “Au Poivre” as his appetizer.

As soon as I smelled the Cognac sauce from his dish I was jealous. Luckily I was given a bite and it was absolutely wonderful. The Colorado Lamb was amazing light and earthy for a meatball and the buttery potato puree absorbed all the rich sauce.

Winner of this round of dishes goes squarely to Mr. Pruner.

For my entrée I ordered the Duck Breast.

When my dish arrived I was immediately struck by how much this resembled the roast duck I’ve had in Chinatown. Usually when I order Duck at a fine dining establishment it comes out cut into medallions looking almost like lamb.

No matter what I was expecting my dish was fantastic. The crispy parsnip root and plum slices on top really gave this dish a totally different flavor than your average roast duck. If I could change one thing it would have been a little more rare or had more port wine sauce just to make it a tad more moist. However it was an excellent entrée.

Mr. Pruner ordered the Brooklyn Three Cheese Ravioli.

This dish was also quite tasty with homemade Italian Sausage, Cherry Tomatoes and Grilled Asparagus all mixed in. I thought the ravioli could have been cooked a little bit longer as it came out quite firm but the fresh Parmigiano Reggiano and Sage brought a depth to this dish that I haven’t tasted in many pastas.

Round Two- entrees- goes to me- The Tasty Trekker!!!

So who will win this three course challenge? The final dish.

A dessert sampler for each of us! We are both winners!!

I don’t know any girl that doesn’t love a dessert sampler. This one came with Strawberry Shortcake, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory’s Vanilla Ice cream with Walnuts and the Dark Chocolate Marquise Cake.

Everything was delicious but the combination of the Chocolate Cake with the Vanilla Ice Cream was absolutely decadent. I promised myself I wouldn’t overeat on dessert but we both pretty much licked the plates clean.

So we enjoyed a fabulous meal for only about $24.07 each without wine! That’s a great deal!

Sometimes service lacks at restaurant week but it was pretty well done here. I have a minor quibble with our waitress who kept spilling each time she filled our wine glasses. She didn’t use a linen to wipe the top after each pour so it dripped on the table. That was kind of aggravating. However the other staff were completely accommodating and very professional so it made up for that minor issue.

After that lovely meal we burned off some calories by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and back into Manhattan. What a lovely start to a day!

The River Cafe


Cookie said…
I love it when they pour the soup tableside too! It feels so much more gourmet that way!