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river cafe

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I've planned River Cafe for my parents 30th anniversary this coming Saturday. I keep hearing some bad reviews. Is it really so touristy?

We've recently eaten at Grammercy Tavern and EMP, so I thought this might be different and special, but any other suggestions would be be welcome.

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  1. It is certainly very lovely, but a bit contrived. Full of tourists for sure. Great view. I personally think that's the draw.
    The food is good 'safe' american cuisine, no surprises. Definitely not bland due to quite good and fresh ingredients, but maybe on its way. A bit too safe for me, and for the same money you can really have great chow in this town.

    3 Replies
    1. re: NYJewboy

      While I'm not sure that I disagree with NYJb on the facts, I certainly disagree on the conclusion. While the food will not match GT or EMP and the prices may be pretty close, I think that the River Café is a great special occasion place. The food, while "safe", is very good and the atmosphere, view and service are excellent. This is not Tavern on the Green or OIBL!!! This is a quality special occasion restaurant. Don't worry, you and your parents will have a great time.

      1. re: bobjbkln

        I agree with bob. That's why I take my mother there. What I meant was that it may not be a 'chowhound-type destination'.

        1. re: NYJewboy

          I agree too. Only one quibble with bobjbkln... EMP and RC's prices arent close (at least they havent been for us). We dropped over $500 at EMP without pushing into the expensive wines and were under $400 at RC with similar wine choices. In my opinion, the difference in food was worth the difference in money but RC is a lovely special place to take your parents.

    2. My parents love River Cafe, and it is a great place for an anniversary celebration. As others have mentioned, the food is not on the same level as GT or EMP, but it's well prepared and 'good' (not excellent). It is a lovely room with a fantastic view.

      1. Relax and enjoy yourself. I live in Brooklyn Heights, am not a tourist and enjoy the River Cafe very much. It is not too touristy. It is a special occasion restaurant with great views. As such, it attracts tourists, but so do all the first-rate places that have gotten wide publicity. As an example, a group of Germans sat next to me at Hearth the other night. This is not Tavern on the Green - the food, wine, service and ambience combine for a fine experience. Go and have a great time!