River House Grille
195 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport
Ten years ago, the River House Grille was transformed from a dessert café into a full-service restaurant. Smack in the heart of Freeport’s Nautical Mile, it now offers every option imaginable, starting with where to sit. Weather permitting, watch boats pass by on their rear waterfront deck, people-watch while dining on their 80-ft. front patio, feast indoors in a cozy atmosphere, or enjoy a craft beer or cocktail at the bar. But, wherever you settle in, the main event is impressive cuisine.
There are picks for every palate – pastas, salads, meat and poultry – but the pride of River House Grille is fresh seafood, which is offered (even the any-size 2-for-1 lobsters on Thursdays) all year long. Lobsters are exclusively from Maine, clams from Long Island, snapper from Florida, and they serve only Blue Point oysters.
From the dinner menu, raw bar items, starters and salads range from $8 to $21. Pastas are $18 to $34, and land and sea entrees are $24 to $36. Lobsters are 1.5 lbs/$52, 2 lb./$66, and 3 lb./$84. Desserts are $7 to $9. Check the website for their breakfast, brunch and lunch menus. Kid-friendly items are available, as they are family-oriented. There’s an extensive wine list, and about a dozen different Mojitos and Margaritas.
We began with fresh bread and herb-infused olive oil. River House Oysters, served in half shells, were baked with spinach and bacon and topped with creamy melted Gorgonzola…so delicious. Char-grilled Octopus in Lemoncello vinaigrette was tender, flavorful and beautifully presented over fava bean salad. Another work of art, Lobster Spring Roll, arrived over greens and scallion duck sauce. Eggplant Rollatini was right on target.
River House Pasta – fettuccini, asparagus, shrimp, tomatoes and leeks – was tossed in Alfredo sauce. Pan-seared sea scallops were served on a bed of asparagus and corn risotto with truffle cream sauce – a special that night.
Desserts are homemade. With frothy cappuccino we enjoyed chocolate covered Tiramisu. Pistachio cake was amazing, with layers of vanilla and pistachio cream, dotted with nuts. Both desserts were garnished with whipped cream, a strawberry, raspberry sauce drizzle…and were light as a feather.
Special offers don’t stop at the end of summer. “Triple M Monday’” means 2-for-1 Margaritas, Mojitos and Mussels. Tuesday is 2-for-1 Steamers. “Surf ‘n Turf Wednesday” has a prix fixe menu. On Thursdays, enjoy 2-for-1 Lobsters, Oysters and Clams. And Sunday offers Family Brunch with free kid’s activities.
River House Grille is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours are Monday through Wednesday, and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 to 1 a.m. Brunch is Saturday and Sunday until 2 p.m. Reservations are suggested. Private parties for groups up to 85 can be accommodated. Take-out and delivery (from Oceanside to North Bellmore) is offered. They are open for all holidays.
■ River House Oysters
■ Lobster Spring Rolls
■ Eggplant Rollatini
■ Char-Grilled Octopus
■ River House Pasta
■ Sea Scallops Special
■ Pistachio Cake