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Nov 15, 2009 05:05 AM

River Tavern [moved from Restaurant L & E thread]

<<Much better idea to go down the street to the River Tavern, whose food actually makes sense and tastes coherent.>>

I don't know about that. I agree with you on the food we had at River Tavern (burger, chicken sandwich and a fresh-squeezed cocktail). It was excellent at a recent lunch. But the service we had from the minute we entered the restaurant was BEYOND SUB-PAR.

It makes more sense to me that people in a service business actually offer service (a la promptness, timing, "How's everything here?" or "Can I get you anything else?" or "Thank you" when the bill is paid)...NONE OF WHICH we experienced at River Tavern. Brasserie Pip and duGlace are not far from RT, but SO FAR ABOVE in terms of service (not to mention stellar food)...we won't bother to set foot in River Tavern ever again.

Brasserie Pip
46 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT 06442

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  1. river tavern, in my opinion, is hands down the best restaurant in ct...i love it...sure, service can be a bit "spotty"...but when you are eating food this glorious and are in the company of someone you want to be with, does it actually matter whether or not service is top notch? give the servers a break...most are young, work especially hard to please and will, if asked, try and accomodate you the best they can.

    1 Reply
    1. re: christiane314

      In our recent experience, the servers did NOT work hard to please whatsoever. I, too, was young(er) once and worked in a restaurant. I know what it is to serve customers despite being a teenager, which I was when I first waited tables.

      Dining at a restaurant is an experience--it isn't just the food, or people who are good cooks would eat at home and never bother to go out. Further, if you think River Tavern is the best restaurant in CT, I might politely suggest you are missing out on several far superior dining options in our local area.

      When we walked into River Tavern (with a reservation), we were asked if we wanted to sit in the front or in the back. Approximately half the tables in the back were open and, as the dining area has floor-to-ceiling windows, we chose the back. But were we seated at one of the open two-tops by the window? NO. We were seated in a cramped table (that shouldn't even be a seating area) directly next to the pass-thru from the kitchen. The seat nearest the window was actually WARM from being that close to the kitchen. We moved to one of two open window seats. Next we saw not one, but TWO couples after us ALSO be seated at the same crappy table next to the kitchen pass-thru window. One couple wound up next to our table near the window, the other asked to be relocated to a table in the front dining room. We actually joked with the table next to us that they tried to seat three parties in the crappy location when clearly there were better tables for two throughout the restaurant. That is just bad business.

      <<does it actually matter whether or not service is top notch?>>
      You bet it does, otherwise, I would stay home and make my own lunch. And I don't suggest service must be "top notch" but AT LEAST decent, attentive, polite...we had none of that. So give ME a break. We have had far better service at chain restaurants--not to mention at dozens of independents where we dine frequently--than we had at River Tavern.

      River Tavern
      23 Main St, Chester, CT 06412