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“Under the Bridge and Over the Top!”
Review of The River Cafe

The River Cafe
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Ranked #12 of 6,577 Restaurants in Brooklyn
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$25 - US$100
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Old Fulton St.
Transit: A or C train to High Street/Brooklyn Bridge; 2 or 3 train to Clark Street; F train to York St.; Bus #41 to Old Fulton St./Cadman Plaza West
Description: The River Cafe is open for Dinner service every day of the year. Dinner service begins at 5:30 Lunch is served on Saturday from 11:30 AM until 2:30 PM Brunch is served on Sunday from 11:30 AM until 2:30 PM
Reviewed April 30, 2018

When you think of New York, one of the most famous images is the Brooklyn Bridge, but you don't usually think of it and have your mouth watering. The River Cafe changes that experience. I will never again picture the bridge and think about DUMBO without remembering the great food I had on a recent visit to the River Cafe. The occasion was an important birthday ( a large round number ) with our oldest and dearest friends. The table was booked long ahead of time and was perfect.

To be sure, we knew the food at the River Cafe was good, but the evening we spent there it was excellent. The appetizers, which were all good, included a steak tartare and some wonderfully fresh oysters. Among our main courses, there was an amazing and quite generous portion of lamb ribs cooked to perfection, a superb duck, and and amazing pork dish. Everything came hot to our table and was beautifully presented. We all selected different desserts. The signature "Brooklyn Bridge" was a chocolate masterpiece. Even the sorbets were rich and extravagant.

As for the bar, my Plymouth Martini was right on target.

The staff was attentive and seemed to sense what we needed. The were friendly and accommodated all our needs.

I can't say a single thing bad about dinner at the River Cafe. Difficult as it is to get around NYC sometimes, they even have free valet parking if you want to drive. But on a nice evening a walk around the area and a trip back on the subway is a preferred way to travel.

This is an expensive place to dine, but for the right event, it's perfect.

    • Service
    • Food
Thank dontstopkeepmoving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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158 - 162 of 3,660 reviews

Reviewed April 28, 2018 via mobile

Making our reservation several weeks in advance seemed to have secured a prime table next to the window - or maybe it was just good karma?! Unbelievable view, amazing food and wonderful service without being invasive. It was a lovely evening in Brooklyn. Yes it was expensive but it was not unexpected and money well spent. So happy to say I dined at the River Cafe!

Thank Ann K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 26, 2018

We had a party of 6. Four people had never been to the River Cafe, but my wife and I had been there on several occasions several years ago. The view of lower Manhattan at night is spectacular, but you must understand that the window seats are predominantly reserved for parties of two and four, so with larger groups you'll not get a full view of the skyscrapers. The food and service are top rate. Waiters and sommelier are attentive without being overbearing. However the first things my wife and I noticed were the crowded conditions of the dining area and the noise. With a party of six it was very difficult to hear the person across the table from me. I'm sure that closer to the windows and with a table for four, that would not be an issue. My conclusion was that this is not a restaurant for a large group. However this would not stop me from coming back with another couple. One last thing, Uber and cab drivers do not like to get close in to the restaurant because of the tight quarters for cars. The walk from the street didn't bother us, but in the rain this could be an issue. Dinner with a very nice magnum of wine cost about $450 per couple, gratuity included.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mslimbarski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 25, 2018 via mobile



My fiancé wanted to give me the most memorable evening he could on my 40th birthday,and, therefore, was thrilled to be able to procure a reservation here, which claims on the website to offer "a magical experience." He made the reservation, and though the website specifically states that there are no advance seating requests taken (all seating is at the discretion of the maître d upon your arrival), he still noted in the applicable section that it was my 40th birthday and that we would very much like to sit by the window. When the hostess or reservationist called to confirm the reservation, we reiterated our request. She said that she had written it down in the notes for the maître d but, once again, that seating requests are solely at the discretion of the maître d.

Our reservation was for 7 pm. We arrived early so we could enjoy the bar area first. When we checked in at 6:20, the restaurant was, perhaps, only half full and there were a number of available tables by the windows. Additionally, there were no parties behind us waiting to be seated. The maitre d, Josh, asked if we would like to be seated early since there was so much availability. We agreed, feeling excited that given the situation, we would most certainly be able to be seated by the window. Instead, Josh told us that this was not to be; however, there were other options. My fiance explained that it was a very special occasion and that there must be something he could do -- after all, the tables were empty, but Josh's response was that it was "impossible." We could not fathom how this was an impossible request, since there are no advance seating requests honored as specifically stated on your site and by your employees and there were several available tables by the windows.

We specifically arrived early and were prepared to wait, if necessary, for a window table to be available. We were well dressed for the occasion and we were there to celebrate a very special birthday. Instead, Josh tilted his head, bent forward so that his face was close to mine and told me to leave, and that perhaps, I should come back at another time. I was dumbstruck. My fiancé was prepared to spend a significant amount of money so that we could enjoy the chef's tasting menu, wine tasting, champagne, etc. Instead, although this will be one of the more memorable birthdays I ever celebrated, it certainly won't be the kind of "memorable" my fiancé and I had in mind. I left in tears. My birthday was ruined because one of their staff - obviously, a prominent part of their staff -- was so arrogant and unkind that he believed it acceptable and within the scope of his duties to send customers away, rudely dismissing them, erasing their reservations and ensuring that they will never come back.

I could never get back what was so cruelly taken from me; and with all of the fabulous restaurants in New York, I do not have to spend my money in one that is so sure of itself as to place itself above common decency.

6  Thank Janelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 24, 2018 via mobile

My girlfriend booked is in here for my birthday dinner, it was lovely, the service was great. We had the 3 course meal, it’s not cheap but including 2 half bottles of bubbly it was $400 inc service charge. However i would say it’s worth it for a special occasion and anyone looking for great steak I would try here, I had a 450g steak as part of the fixed menu (wow).

Thank Roman R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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