The River Café

John Gregory-Smith ON Jun 29, 2009 AT 2:36 pm

The River Cafe

The River Cafe

By John Gregory-Smith

I was so over excited about eating at the River Café that I told everyone we were going for the full dinner experience antipasti, primi, secondi, dolci and formaggi. I also cunningly positioned myself next to my very pregnant friend Amy who said she got full easily!! For my antipasti I had Calamari con Piselli – chargrilled squid with peas. It was so tender and tasted amazingly fresh. I would defy anyone who does not like squid to give this a go. Most others went for the fresh crab which was delicious but the real surprise was the tomato and mozzarella salad; I mean we have all eaten this so what’s the fuss. Well it was one of the nicest things I have ever put into my mouth. The tomato had been slow roasted and exploded with an intense sweet flavour and the mozzarella was so creamy, just amazing.

For my secondi I had sheets of fresh pasta with pesto. Again not a very complicated dish but the very essence of Italian cooking; a few of the finest ingredients, full of flavour, that don’t need anything added. For my primi I had Tinco di Vitello – a slow cooked veal shin with swiss chard, roast plum tomatoes, summer carrots, basil and gremolata. This winter dish was beautiful cooked for the summer with lemon and thyme and summer vegetables to keep it light it worked really well. My pregnant neighbour had a beautifully baked piece of salmon served pink in the middle with lentils which I am happy to say I got to eat almost half of!

The River Café

The River Café

My main memory of the river café when I went for lunch 3 years ago was eating one of the best chocolate puddings in the world, their chocolate nemesis cake. It did not disappoint. A huge slice of soft set, dark brown, glossy, chocolate glory arrived and it was worth the 3 year wait.  I have found the recipe in one of their cook books so will be trying to re-create at homeThe River Café is a treat. It is light and buzzy inside with a beautiful garden and river views. The prices are high but the standard is higher. We stuck to house wine and the whole meal was just over £100 a head. I would recommend it to anyone!
visit: www.rivercafe.co.uk

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