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Riverdale Garden in the Bronx

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Riverdale Garden in the Bronx

Striver | May 10, 2004 09:56 AM

Ate at Riverdale Garden Saturday night (early seating - it was booked until 9:30). The recent opening of Zuppa in Yonkers, and now this restaurant, is an upward trend for the area. Riverdale Garden is an American-Continental style place, with some high pretensions (and priced appropriately).

Four of us ate a very pleasant meal. Nothing to swoon over, but all well put together and tasty. Service was friendly and attentive. The room is not too large but not crowded, and has an informal feeling. There's an outdoor patio in the back (the garden!) for warmer weather.

An amuse consisting of a small piece of foie gras surmounted by a pistachio, served on a piece of toasted brioche and drizzled with balsamic vinegar started the meal. For my appetizer, I had aspargus risotto with toasted garlic chips - it was the best part of the meal, and very good. My wife had a salad of cremini mushrooms and radishes, which she found OK but unsurprising.

For main courses, she had the duck two ways (roasted breast, leg confit) with a mango chutney, served with wild rice and broccoli rabe (very good). I had "spice braised" venison served with fingerling potatoes and snap peas. The venison itself was a good piece of meat, but underflavored (not much perceptible "spice"); the accompaniments were pleasant - but again, unimaginative.

For dessert, my wife pre-ordered the chocolate souffle/molten cake served with homemade mint ice cream. This was very good, as was my dessert of mascarpone cheesecake (creamy, New York style - not Italian).

For the four of us, having individual appetizers and entrees, 3 desserts, 1 coffee, 1 shared bottle of wine (the wine list is not large, but well-chosen for this type of restaurant, with good selections in the $35-50 range, and a few splurges), and 3 additional glasses of wine, dinner came to about $65 per person.

All in all, good. We'll go back again, I'm sure - it's good and it's convenient - but for food of this type in this price range, there are restaurants a bit farther away which we prefer. That said, if I'd had the risotto, the duck, and either dessert mentioned, I would have had more praise for the meal.

p.s. As someone noted, parking can definitely be a problem. We found a spot on Broadway.

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