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River Cafe, Brooklyn...any opinions?!

joeybieber Aug 24, 2007 08:25 AM

......Does anyone have any opinions about celebrating a very special event at THE RIVER CAFE in Brooklyn, New York......have had a few different comments and need feedback asap. Many thanks! Not sure if this is the right place for this message?! Joey

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  1. bobjbkln RE: joeybieber Aug 24, 2007 08:57 AM

    You didn't say how many people would attend this event. Might help in giving you comments. The River Café has great views (especially if you get a table by the window). It is a very comfortable place with excellent service. The drinks are pretty good. The food is competent but not spectacular. The biggest negative is that the food is not up to the prices charged. You are paying for the atmosphere.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bobjbkln
      joeybieber RE: bobjbkln Aug 24, 2007 04:11 PM

      thank you! we are just 6 and apparently will have a table in the middle somewhere. Have heard tat food is no good-hence my questioning as thought the location would be a fun adventure.is the food really bad?!

      1. re: joeybieber
        bobjbkln RE: joeybieber Aug 24, 2007 08:12 PM

        I don't know where you saw (or how you interpreted) that the food is bad. In fact, the food is quite good. But it is not spectacular or particularly memorable and it is expensive enough that you might think it should be. As I said before, the mark-up is for the atmosphere. And yes, the view from a table in the middle is still special. Finally, the River Café is a very nice spot for a group of six. Enjoy.

    2. hangrygirl RE: joeybieber Aug 24, 2007 09:26 AM

      I was at the River Cafe when I visited NYC in late April this year and I absolutely adored it. The food was wonderful, view gorgeous, and the wine went down well. I've heard mixed reviews as well - but my experience was fantastic. We were a group of 25 and had booked a really nice room (and had the patio to ourselves) and I had the most amazing steak I have ever had. I would highly recommend it at least... Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: hangrygirl
        joeybieber RE: hangrygirl Aug 24, 2007 04:12 PM

        great! Hope we are so lucky.......! Thank you!

      2. e
        E.Kantro RE: joeybieber Aug 24, 2007 09:45 AM

        You can arrive by auto at the entrance, walk through an assault of wonderful flowers and plants, then to be seated having one of the best views a restaurant can offer in NYC. You will be so hyped up with all that I mentioned anything less than an A+ for the food could be accepted and handled by relaxing and enjoying the view.

        1 Reply
        1. re: E.Kantro
          joeybieber RE: E.Kantro Aug 24, 2007 04:14 PM

          thank you! What did you eat? Can you enjoy the view if not by the window?

        2. Steve R RE: joeybieber Aug 24, 2007 12:23 PM


          1 Reply
          1. re: Steve R
            financialdistrictresident RE: Steve R Aug 25, 2007 03:07 PM

            Steve R, thanks for posting this link. There was also a longer, more recent thread on the Manhattan Board. Joeybieber you might want to do a search and see what else comes up. I think I posted after we went for dinner.

          2. f
            Fleur RE: joeybieber Aug 24, 2007 06:24 PM

            River Cafe is a unique experience.

            It is a wonderful place to celebrate a special event, or just have a wonderful, memorable evening.

            The ambiance is elegant, the view spectacular, and the food , wine, and service are excellent.

            I have been dining there ever since they opened. We celebrated my parents' anniversary, family birthdays, graduations and birthdays.

            Now we go for a romantic evening for two, for a great drink, or for dessert and coffee after a concert. We always take special friends visiting NY. My in-laws just visited for a week, and they loved River Cafe.

            This is fine dining. The food is very delicious, and beautifully prepared and served.

            A table in the middle is just fine.

            I'm hoping you will have a memorable time. We always do.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Fleur
              joeybieber RE: Fleur Aug 25, 2007 03:54 PM

              thank you too!! Joey

            2. t
              Tay RE: joeybieber Aug 24, 2007 06:43 PM

              I would agree that the whole package is a nice experience. It was mentioned in a previous post, but let me repeat: It will set you back quite a bit. If cost is a consideration, skip the wine and save the 400% markup.. We have found if you watch the liquor tab, you can really impact on the bill in a very positive way. Of course, if money is not an issue, then just have yourselves an outstanding time!

              12 Replies
              1. re: Tay
                Fleur RE: Tay Aug 25, 2007 12:44 AM

                If it is a special occasion celebration, one knows what the cost will be in advance. The OP did not mention any budget restrictions or requirements, so I am assuming that is not an issue.

                The River Cafe is well worth the prices they charge. They have provided the setting for many memorable events in my family, and for many of our friends.

                Of course, if it is not within one's budget, try someplace that is.

                1. re: Fleur
                  Perkalator RE: Fleur Aug 25, 2007 02:59 PM

                  Gotta say, I went to River Cafe and Water's Edge (Queens counter-part) and thought the food better was better at Water's Edge. Views just as spectacular, setting a little more elegnt at river Cafe, I felt like I was at a wedding caterer at Water's Edge. What's nice about the Water's Edge is the ferry from 34th Street.

                  1. re: Perkalator
                    financialdistrictresident RE: Perkalator Aug 25, 2007 03:05 PM

                    I respectfully disagree (other than The River Cafe being more elegant, and the ferry is a plus). Other than the views, I thought the food was better at River Cafe. It should be noted that I was with a group at Water's Edge vs. dining for two at The River Cafe. There is a Water Taxi to The River Cafe, not sure if it runs in the evening but if you go for brunch that's an option.

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident
                      Steve R RE: financialdistrictresident Aug 25, 2007 03:12 PM

                      I go to the River Cafe several times a year and, while the food is no longer some of the best in NYC, as it was when Burke or Palmer were in the kitchen, it is still very good. I went to Water's Edge with some friends not so long ago & thought the food to be below mediocre. Form over substance in all areas: food, wine list & service. Only the view was above average and that doesnt compare to the River Cafe's view or ambience either. I liked it years ago under other management with a clearly different skill level. I wont be going back.

                      1. re: Steve R
                        joeybieber RE: Steve R Aug 25, 2007 03:51 PM

                        Thank you! I am now feeling mors confused than before as didn't even know about the water's edge!
                        we are off to celebrate my Husband's 60th with our 4 grown-up kids and need something super special just like him!! Joey

                      2. re: financialdistrictresident
                        joeybieber RE: financialdistrictresident Aug 25, 2007 03:52 PM

                        Thank you! I am now feeling more confused than before as didn't even know about the water's edge! we are off for dinner... should we go for sunday brunch to the alternative one?
                        we are off to celebrate my Husband's 60th with our 4 grown-up kids and need something super special just like him!! Joey

                    2. re: Fleur
                      joeybieber RE: Fleur Aug 25, 2007 03:53 PM

                      Not worried about budget on this occasion but would like to feel that we've had value...will we?! thank you!

                      1. re: joeybieber
                        Clinton Hiller RE: joeybieber Aug 26, 2007 05:36 AM

                        Absolutely, yes. Go and enjoy. River Cafe is a wonderful all-around experience.

                        1. re: joeybieber
                          Tay RE: joeybieber Aug 26, 2007 06:14 AM

                          Joeyb ...At the River Cafe, you'll have a decent meal, great views (unless the weather is poor) will be charged a lot and then the evening will be over.
                          If you want to have better value and you don't mind a nice drive, make reservations for Sunday Brunch at the Molly Pitcher Inn in NJ. The place is lovely, the service outstanding. Buffet brunch very bountiful and only about $30, pp.(I night be off a couple of dollers) The view of the Navisink (sp?) River is beautiful, free parking and you are never rushed. If the weather is favorable and you want to extend the day, you can take a walk along the water's edge. It's a great way to hanf out with your family in a relaxed , yet 'dressed up' atmosphere. Their brunch is sure to please everyone's tastes. Here's a link...


                          1. re: Tay
                            joeybieber RE: Tay Aug 27, 2007 03:46 PM

                            A HUGE thank you-I totally agree! I have changed my mind about the River cafe as get the feeling it's not what we want after all.......sorry to have put you all to trouble ut so helpful! We are going to go for somewhere FUN in the city!!The link looks lovely and hopefully we'll go for brunch, if not this time then another as it seems charming!

                            1. re: joeybieber
                              Tay RE: joeybieber Aug 27, 2007 09:18 PM

                              The way I see it...
                              You'll be with the people you love best in all the world, I think you'll have a great time wherever you go. :-} There are so many fun places to eat in the City. So many different food choices. I hope you have a wonderful time and let us know how it all worked out!

                        2. re: Fleur
                          Tay RE: Fleur Aug 26, 2007 05:48 AM

                          I respectfully diagree. Many people will consider expensive what others may consider reasonable, so I cannot see why you would just assume the OP knows that, although the place is in 'downscale' part of town, the prices are very upscale. If we are being honest, I think we all really know that no 'image' restaurants are worth the prices they charge, including eateries like the River Cafe, Peter Lugers, Nobu, etc.. We just allow ourselves to get caught up in the hype.

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