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New York City Restaurants

River Café

Updated 02/25/2014

Fodor's Review

Hurricane Sandy left the River Café in bad shape, but after over a year in renovations, the restaurant, which has incredible views of the Manhattan skyline, is back and better than ever. The location and live piano music make it a waterfront favorite for romantic meals, marriage proposals, fancy birthdays, and other special celebrations. The menu offers a contemporary take on local and exotic ingredients—it's fixed-price-only at dinner; lunch has à la carte options.

For the ultimate experience, snag a window seat and try the chef's six-course tasting menu. Gentlemen: jackets are required after 5 pm.

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Restaurant Information


1 Water St., near Old Fulton St., Brooklyn, New York, 11201, United States

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Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted

Updated 02/25/2014


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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By Tonya

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Feb 21, 2005

Paid $300 for a view

Well, considering I have been to NYC plenty of times I should have heeded the advice of the NYC gurus about River Café. I was too caught up trying to impress my husband for his first visit that I forgot it was the food that actually counted. We had a great table at the River Café and the service was good, but certainly not exceptional. With the exception of the Chocolate Marquise Brooklyn Bridge for dessert the food was only average and little of

it there. I had the steak with a sliver of potato and my husband had the&well to be honest I cant remember what he had. Another thing that surprised me was the gratuity was included in our check. We felt really insulted by this. We would have tipped more than the 15% they gave themselves as the service was not sub par. I have never been to an upscale restaurant where this is common practice unless my group was over 6 or more. I think my husbands English accent always put fear in servers that they wont be tipped. What really ruined our visit was the con of the River Café car/taxi service. We were told we would have no problem getting a taxi to return to Manhattan (it was much too cold to walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge the night of our visit). After our coffee service we were told to talk to the guys who run their car service. We were given a set price of $35 to return to Manhattan which was triple what we paid to get there. We declined and asked for a yellow taxi. We were then told it might be a wait and our wait turned to 45 minutes. We could have called for a taxi and it could have been there sooner. There was no effort to get us a taxi since we declined the car service they offered. The view is good and like others have said just have a drink at the bar and have a better meal somewhere else. I am still kicking myself as we could have gone to Gotham Bar and Grill, Gramercy Tavern or Eleven Madison Park for our anniversary dinner.

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By Cherie

  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Sep 3, 2003

The River Cafe was the highlight of our trip!!

My husband & I vacationed in New york this past August and we celebrated our anniversary at the River Cafe. It was wonderful. The food was the best we ever had and the presentation was excellent. The view was perfect. Many times, restaurants that have a beautiful view are a bit lax with their food, because people often go there primarily for the view. Not so with the River Cafe. The food was excellent and was far beyond our expectations. Worth every

penny!! The staff was surprisingly friendly. Often times, this calliber of restaurant has a more "Snooty" or stuffy waitstaff. They were all very personable and attentive. They acknowledged our anniversary and made us feel very special. I won't describe the details of what they did so that it won't spoil it for any one planning a celebration there. We both highly recommend this diamond of a restaurant! Five stars!!!

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