Review on River Café
The legendary River Café is one of the best advertisements for Italian regional cooking in the capital and despite the steep prices and a two-hour time limit on tables, it seldom dampens the enthusiasm for gutsy, authentic food based on the very best ingredients from Italy and sources closer to home.
The setting - a converted warehouse on the banks of the Thames - is one of its great pluses (check out the new bar area and stunning cheese room). Designed by Ruth Rogers' famous architect husband, it comprises a bright and airy white room dominated by steel and glass with a much-photographed clock face on one wall, a high-arched ceiling and full-length windows opening out onto the terrace. The riverside views are glorious, and in fine weather this is one of London's premier al fresco dining destinations: summer in the city at its best.
Most of the culinary action takes place in the completely exposed kitchen, where a free-standing wood oven and char grill both earn their keep. Dishes rely on natural flair, and the results have a full-on impact. Menus change every session and dishes read like a shopping list of profuse seasonal produce: fresh crab crostino with maché and Castelluccio lentils; marinated leg of spring lamb with salsa rossa, braised Swiss chard, peas and basil; tranche of turbot poached in Vermentino and parsley with salsa verde and spinach - it's a cavalcade of delights. Cheeses are wondrous and the must-have dessert is still chocolate nemesis - closely followed by pannacotta with grappa and raspberries.
The Michelin-starred output of the kitchen is more than matched by a high-class, splendidly chauvinistic wine list that tours the Italian regions for classy little numbers and majestic heavyweights, with Tuscany taking the top prizes.
River Café is also featured in: Michelin Guide, Good Food Guide, Hardens, AA GuideRate this Restaurant
Restaurant Opening Times
Lunch: 12.30 - 3.00pm (12.00 - 3.30pm Sun)
Dinner: 7.00 - 9.30pm Mon-Sat
Accepted credit cards
Visa, Master Card, American Express