Rivermarket Bar & Kitchen, Tarrytown NY
- i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Sep 16, 2013 05:37 PM
I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of this restaurant from the people at Kittle House. I started this thread because they are now open for business. They are still in a soft opening phase (looks like the grand opening is Saturday), but they are taking limited reservations on OpenTable.
I called to get more information about the menu. RIght now they are testing out a limited menu of appetizers and entrees. The appetizers are $12 and up, and entrees (including a burger) range from $16 to $20s for pasta up to the $30s for some meat entrees. I had read that they were going to have flatbread pizzas, but they are not currently offering them, though they do have a special oven (the details escape me).
I made a reservation so I will report back after I go. There's very limited information online so I'm excited to get a firsthand look!
I went to Rivermarket last night with my husband. We had a really nice meal.
Let's be clear, despite some of the things I read about this place and despite the subtle suggestion of the name, the restaurant is set quite far back from the river (right next to Lighthouse ice cream) and there are no river views. The wraparound patio is not open as of yet, and while it will be nice to sit outside on a nice night, your view is mostly of the surrounding townhouses and/or the parking lot/street. But, the quieter location away from Main Street is a nice change (we spent almost a half hour searching for a parking spot near Main Street last week; parking is not an issue at all here).
I've been to Kittle House (same people) many, many times and one thing I love about KH is the really charming, unique setting. The building is quirky and has weird things about it, like the incongruous phone booth with no phone in the entryway, and lots of hallways and creaky floors. They really preserved a lot of what I imagine is the original character, especially in the Tap Room, where I always feel like I'm walking into a movie from decades ago. There is none of that charm at Rivermarket. It is beautiful and elegant inside, with an interesting beamed ceiling and a large, attractive square shaped bar, but it really has sort of a sterile, characterless feel (much like the townhouses surrounding it). I imagine as they settle into the space, this will be less noticeable, but it it a definite contrast to KH. Also, and I know there will be people on this board thrilled to hear this, acoustics are really an issue. When we left after 8, it was extremely loud. It is a large restaurant that can hold many people and it appeared they were only about 2/3 full when we left, and still the noise was noticeable (not deafening but probably a turn off for some).
Food was quite good, definitely up to KH standards, with a lot of local purveyors. Appetizers ranged from several salads to clams (or mussels? I can't remember), burrata, beef carpaccio, etc. Some were quite pricey for appetizers. Pastas were beef bolognese, a ravioli, and a vegetable pasta (I think), along with a special lamb shoulder over fettuccine, prices for appetizer portions around $12 and entree portions starting at low $20s. Only entree under mid $20s was the burger at $16, and some were well into the $30s (a beef dish at $38, if I recall correctly). They haven't started offering the pizzas yet, which I imagine will bring down the average price point a bit. But as it is, this is a fairly casual setting with formal dining prices, which makes sense given the immediately surrounding community. The dessert menu was particularly interesting with about 10 (!) choices that all sounded creative and delicious (smores, orange poppy cake, cookie plate, churros, ice cream/sorbet etc.).
We really enjoyed all that we ordered; the burrata was far, far superior to a really pathetic version we had at Red Hat a while back, over an artful and flavorful salad. The burger was perfectly cooked with excellent bacon on top, and topped with a gorgeous, thick slice of tomato, pickled onions, and baby lettuce. Only disappointment on that plate was the shoestring fries which were basically like the little skinny chips you get out of the bag (tastier of course but not fries). The fettuccine with lamb shoulder was tasty but I thought the fettuccine was a bit too thickly cut; my husband disagreed with me. Dessert was excellent, as it always is at KH, not too fussy but wonderful flavor combinations and a beautiful presentation: toffee cake with tart creme fraiche and caramel sauce. They really have it together in the kitchen, which is amazing for a restaurant just opening.
Nice wine list, as at KH, with good options at different price points. The beer list was not printed, which irked my husband. Not as good a beer selection as at KH, but some decent options.
We loved our waiter. He was attentive and not overly formal. As at KH, there are a lot of bus people and auxiliary servers, which means that water glasses don't go unfilled and places are cleared promptly, and crumbs are swept away. The staff could use, and probably will receive, more training about specifics about the menu, which would be our only slight criticism there. Either a manager or owner came over after our meal and talked to us for a few minutes, and he couldn't have been nicer.
Food-wise, this was a great meal and I can see returning when the entree price drops a bit with the introduction of the pizzas. I still like the Tap Room's atmosphere better but I am really happy to see the superior food they are turning out at KH migrating to other parts of the county where more people can enjoy it.
BEST PART OF THE MEAL:
The ROLL. A cross between a parker house roll and brioche that flaked almost like a biscuit, this roll must be 75% butter and it was FABULOUS especially with more amazing butter on top. They bake all bread in house and the bread chef is experimenting with lots of different rolls. If you don't receive this particular roll, you're just going to have to keep going over and over till you receive it. AMAZING!
They're on the HVRW list, I made a reservation today (since Valley decided not to do Thursday nights). Their RW menu is not posted yet.
I had dinner at the bar at Rivermarket last weekend. The bar is really large and has comfortable high chairs but was understaffed. Only two people working the whole bar, which probably has about 40 seats. We weren't in a rush, so it was fine, but the service was so bad it was almost comical (and reminiscent of Kittle House, unfortunately).
Drinks, however, were great-- a very skillfully concocted (and deliciously strong) Aviation cocktail, some great beers on tap, and a nice pinot noir to go with my burger.
Food was also great. The menu is really pricey, pricier than Kittle House, despite their original claims that it would have flatbread pizzas. We split a salad (which they split into two dishes for us, which I love). I had the burger, cooked perfectly medium rare, bacon comes standard, and I added cheddar. My husband's fettucine came with a lamb ragu and olives, a great combination.
Their new fall dessert menu was hard to resist. We had the pumpkin cheesecake, which I think was spiked with one of their beers on tap. Delicious.
I like the spontaneity that comes with the huge bar and not having to make a reservation, just don't go expecting a quick meal. On the bright side, we were able to linger and relax for quite a while.