The River Street Cafe

★★★☆☆
  • 429 River St

    Troy, NY 12180

    Map & Directions
  • 518-273-2740

3.3333 6
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Let me begin by saying that my wife and I are very experienced with most of the resterants in the capital district, the good, the bad and the ugly. We eaten in some of the finest establishments in the world. We also know a lot of resterantours and are well aware of how hard it is to be a chef/owner. We both consider the River Street Cafe one of the finest places around. The menu ranges from the simple to the sublime and is always imaginative. The chef changes the offerings regularly, always relying on the freshest of ingrediants, especially the fish selections. If you see the Buffalo Calamari on the menu, it is a MUST order. Another favorite of ours is any fish selection in the brown butter sauce. Any of the sauces are wonderful. The wine list is interesting and well paired with the entrees, consisting of mostly medium priced selections.

George, the chef/owner is a very outgoing, enjoyable conversationalist (when he is not "slammed"), always offering little tidbits he has come across in his travels. Ask him about those hot pepper infused garlics! The rest of the wait staff is attentive and of a good caliber, always friendly. One of the real plusses here is this is THE place to bring guests or clientelle, because you are not rushed through like a herd of cattle. This is the place to enjoy a sunset along the Hudson while sipping an interesting new world wine and catching up with old friends while enjoying a great meal. It's called lesiurly dining folks! Very European.

The fact that you enter through the kitchen, puts one right in the foray and high energy that always accompanies finer eating establishments and bistros. I could just stand and watch a master chef at his craft, flames everywhere, pushing the staff the get the food to the tables. Just one flight up the stairs is a peaceful, simply decorated, quiet dining area that just seems another world for the action below.

We both consider George a good friend and excellent host.

2
★★★★★

Let me begin by saying that my wife and I are very experienced with most of the resterants in the capital district, the good, the bad and the ugly. We eaten in some of the finest establishments in the world. We also know a lot of resterantours and are well aware of how hard it is to be a chef/owner. We both consider the River Street Cafe one of the finest places around. The menu ranges from the simple to the sublime and is always imaginative. The chef changes the offerings regularly, always relying on the freshest of ingrediants, especially the fish selections. If you see the Buffalo Calamari on the menu, it is a MUST order. Another favorite of ours is any fish selection in the brown butter sauce. Any of the sauces are wonderful. The wine list is interesting and well paired with the entrees, consisting of mostly medium priced selections.

George, the chef/owner is a very outgoing, enjoyable conversationalist (when he is not "slammed"), always offering little tidbits he has come across in his travels. Ask him about those hot pepper infused garlics! The rest of the wait staff is attentive and of a good caliber, always friendly. One of the real plusses here is this is THE place to bring guests or clientelle, because you are not rushed through like a herd of cattle. This is the place to enjoy a sunset along the Hudson while sipping an interesting new world wine and catching up with old friends while enjoying a great meal. It's called lesiurly dining folks! Very European.

The fact that you enter through the kitchen, puts one right in the foray and high energy that always accompanies finer eating establishments and bistros. I could just stand and watch a master chef at his craft, flames everywhere, pushing the staff the get the food to the tables. Just one flight up the stairs is a peaceful, simply decorated, quiet dining area that just seems another world for the action below.

We both consider George a good friend and excellent host.

Pros: convenient parking, beautiful view of the Hudson, great food

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I'm happy to say that the River Street Cafe has consistently provided wonderful food and an atmosphere conducive to either small business dinners or intimate romantic couples. Reservations are a good idea, since they put on wait staff according to expected turnout of diners. On many occasions, I've found that drop-in dining works out for small groups without problems. The ambience is great, and I only have a few "nit -picks" about the food - for example, they have wonderful steaks and seafood, but typically only offer a mashed potato vegetable option. On occasion, some soups and dishes have been too salty for my wife's taste, but not for mine. The lack of a full bar is only a minor problem, since they usually have a nice selection of wines. I've been going to the River Street Cafe for many years, and I've been pleased with the experience. With a little additional effort, this restaurant could be great!

1
★★★☆☆

I'm happy to say that the River Street Cafe has consistently provided wonderful food and an atmosphere conducive to either small business dinners or intimate romantic couples. Reservations are a good idea, since they put on wait staff according to expected turnout of diners. On many occasions, I've found that drop-in dining works out for small groups without problems. The ambience is great, and I only have a few "nit -picks" about the food - for example, they have wonderful steaks and seafood, but typically only offer a mashed potato vegetable option. On occasion, some soups and dishes have been too salty for my wife's taste, but not for mine. The lack of a full bar is only a minor problem, since they usually have a nice selection of wines. I've been going to the River Street Cafe for many years, and I've been pleased with the experience. With a little additional effort, this restaurant could be great!

Pros: Really great steaks and seafood

Cons: limited vegetable selection, heavy on starches

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My family and I selected this cafe based on its location and the misguided belief that it was one of the finer establishments in the area. We were sadly disappointed. The previous post is severely misguided regarding price. I live in Manhattan, eat out almost every night and I've been to every hot spot in the city. We were horrified when the bill arrived. They switched bottles on what we had ordered. The items on the menu were available, then not available and then miraculously available again. The dining experience grew into a game of Russian roulette. The chef needs Prozac. You come to a restaurant and you pay for an experience, not a meltdown my a narcissistic basket case. You order dinner, you expect what is promised, not what the chef feels like gracing you with if you are lucky. The staff were like deer staring down the barrel of the chef squawking gun. The place should be renamed Mel's Diner. The food was moderate at best.

Shame on the River Street Cafe! If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen grumpus.

0
★☆☆☆☆

My family and I selected this cafe based on its location and the misguided belief that it was one of the finer establishments in the area. We were sadly disappointed. The previous post is severely misguided regarding price. I live in Manhattan, eat out almost every night and I've been to every hot spot in the city. We were horrified when the bill arrived. They switched bottles on what we had ordered. The items on the menu were available, then not available and then miraculously available again. The dining experience grew into a game of Russian roulette. The chef needs Prozac. You come to a restaurant and you pay for an experience, not a meltdown my a narcissistic basket case. You order dinner, you expect what is promised, not what the chef feels like gracing you with if you are lucky. The staff were like deer staring down the barrel of the chef squawking gun. The place should be renamed Mel's Diner. The food was moderate at best.

Shame on the River Street Cafe! If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen grumpus.

Pros: Could be lovely with a different chef that can handle the pressure and the public

Cons: Every aspect of the experience

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My wife and I are regular patrons of The River Street Cafe and were present the evening the previous reviewer was there. The River Street Cafe is a little quirky and one of the quirks is that when it is unexpectedly crowded service slows down. This doesn't mean that the quality of the food suffers but it does mean that diners must be patient. When the chef and owner tells you on entry to the restaurant to expect slow service (especially when he "barks" the information at you as he probably did because he was overwhelmed) and you nevertheless stay you should not complain that service is, in fact, slow and the staff is somewhat harried. The dinner we had that night was as good as ever although we did have to be patient. My wife and I dine out at "fine dining" restaurants at least once a week. The food at River Street is consistently amongst the best in the Capital District and, contrary to what the prior reviewer said, is a very good value. I've been to some of the finest restaurants in Manhattan and they are literally twice the cost of The River Street Cafe. I'm a bit of a "wineguy" and the wine list at River Street is superb and the best value I've ever seen in a restaurant. We went to River Street last weekend after returning from 10 days in Barbados and Mustique. The fish we had at River Street was better than any we had in the Caribbean and the resorts we were staying in were 5 star. If you want excellent, imaginatively prepared food at a fair price served in a romantic, leisurely setting, go to The River Street Cafe. If you want fast food go to one of the chains like Olive Garden. Who cares if the chef can be grumpy at times.

2
★★★★★

My wife and I are regular patrons of The River Street Cafe and were present the evening the previous reviewer was there. The River Street Cafe is a little quirky and one of the quirks is that when it is unexpectedly crowded service slows down. This doesn't mean that the quality of the food suffers but it does mean that diners must be patient. When the chef and owner tells you on entry to the restaurant to expect slow service (especially when he "barks" the information at you as he probably did because he was overwhelmed) and you nevertheless stay you should not complain that service is, in fact, slow and the staff is somewhat harried. The dinner we had that night was as good as ever although we did have to be patient. My wife and I dine out at "fine dining" restaurants at least once a week. The food at River Street is consistently amongst the best in the Capital District and, contrary to what the prior reviewer said, is a very good value. I've been to some of the finest restaurants in Manhattan and they are literally twice the cost of The River Street Cafe. I'm a bit of a "wineguy" and the wine list at River Street is superb and the best value I've ever seen in a restaurant. We went to River Street last weekend after returning from 10 days in Barbados and Mustique. The fish we had at River Street was better than any we had in the Caribbean and the resorts we were staying in were 5 star. If you want excellent, imaginatively prepared food at a fair price served in a romantic, leisurely setting, go to The River Street Cafe. If you want fast food go to one of the chains like Olive Garden. Who cares if the chef can be grumpy at times.

Pros: excellent food, good wine list, good value

Cons: service can be slow

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I can only describe my experience as a comedy of offense! We walked in to the chef angily declaring that if we are not patient people, we should get the hell out now! I wish we had, but my in-laws wanted to stay. Everytime we attempted to order an item on the menu, it was out. Throughout the evening we watched the chef walk up the stairs to hurl plates at the staff and snarl insults. He also decided not to provide sides with any dishes without notice. It was a complete ripoff given the prices. I could have gone to the finest restaurant in Manhattan for what we paid for dinner. They even snuck in wine that we didn't order. They should rename the place the S & M Bar, as only masochists and sadists would enjoy the experience. The food was also puerile at best. I could have thrown together better dishes in my own kitchen. I left feeling sorry for the staff, worried for my digestive system and confident that I would never return. My only other regret is for the staff, who did their best given the fact they seemed to be working for a chef clearly in the throws of a breakdown.

0
★☆☆☆☆

I can only describe my experience as a comedy of offense! We walked in to the chef angily declaring that if we are not patient people, we should get the hell out now! I wish we had, but my in-laws wanted to stay. Everytime we attempted to order an item on the menu, it was out. Throughout the evening we watched the chef walk up the stairs to hurl plates at the staff and snarl insults. He also decided not to provide sides with any dishes without notice. It was a complete ripoff given the prices. I could have gone to the finest restaurant in Manhattan for what we paid for dinner. They even snuck in wine that we didn't order. They should rename the place the S & M Bar, as only masochists and sadists would enjoy the experience. The food was also puerile at best. I could have thrown together better dishes in my own kitchen. I left feeling sorry for the staff, worried for my digestive system and confident that I would never return. My only other regret is for the staff, who did their best given the fact they seemed to be working for a chef clearly in the throws of a breakdown.

Pros: The decor was nice

Cons: hostile, insane chef, horrendously slow

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Relaxed, romantic, reasonably priced, and satisfying in every detail.

More than good, fresh ingredients prepared just right, this place has the details down. Fresh butter, evidently prepared fresh on-premises, graces many exquisite sauces, from the brown balsamic-and-butter sauce served with a perfectly blackened flatiron steak, to the more complex sesame, balsamic and herb butter sauce on the monkfish medallions. An excellent mustard vinagrette made for a surprisingly flavorful salad, and a drizzle of seasoned oil gave life to a pea and parmesan soup. An excellent dessert wine list provided the perfect companion to a delicate hazelnut espresso caramel pastry confection.

The setting is both casual and elegant, the service friendly, knowledgable, and attentive, and the price reasonable. It seems best suited to couples and small groups, but easily accommodated two larger groups.

Happy to have found it!

2
★★★★★

Relaxed, romantic, reasonably priced, and satisfying in every detail.

More than good, fresh ingredients prepared just right, this place has the details down. Fresh butter, evidently prepared fresh on-premises, graces many exquisite sauces, from the brown balsamic-and-butter sauce served with a perfectly blackened flatiron steak, to the more complex sesame, balsamic and herb butter sauce on the monkfish medallions. An excellent mustard vinagrette made for a surprisingly flavorful salad, and a drizzle of seasoned oil gave life to a pea and parmesan soup. An excellent dessert wine list provided the perfect companion to a delicate hazelnut espresso caramel pastry confection.

The setting is both casual and elegant, the service friendly, knowledgable, and attentive, and the price reasonable. It seems best suited to couples and small groups, but easily accommodated two larger groups.

Happy to have found it!

Editorial from

If you're looking for food with a view, look no further. Troy's River Street cafe, which makes its home in an old water pump house, is just a hop, skip and a jump from Albany and has a great view of the marina and the passing river. The…

 

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