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River House Fort Lauderdale - brief update

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River House Fort Lauderdale - brief update

janetofreno | Mar 15, 2008 04:55 PM

OK, lets start with the less pleasant aspects: This is the restaurant I discussed in the following post: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/497328

So obiously if you've read that you know I had service issues. But as some hounds pointed out, that could be related to the size of the room, or even the fact that we were in a private room and maybe not as visible, or maybe an off night. (There was a private wedding being catered there that night, and it occurred to me that they could have been short-staffed).

Nonetheless, for the price point one expects better, or at least I do.

However, I must say that the food was wonderful. The mussels (served as an appetizer, but a portion big enough for a main) were plump, tasty, and in a delicious broth. That broth was so good I resorted to using one of the shells to spoon it up...after all no spoons had been offered with the dish nor were there any on the table....We also shared vegetable dumplings, crab cakes (if I recall...) and calamari. The calamari was another standout..beautifully tender. Someone commented it was the best calamari he had eaten in years. I couldn't argue with that.

For my main I had the pork loin and spareribs in a tamarind barbque sauce. Again, a huge portion. The loin was tender and the sauce delicious...the ribs were good but very awkward to eat...especially without a sharp knife. I left most of them on my plate. Again, better service (ie proper flatware and maybe an extra napkin?) might have helped me to enjoy the dish. Many in the group had the Florida grouper with a crusted crab-cake like topping...and they all raved about it (I was fighting a cold and didn't want to sample anyone else's food and risk spreading germs...so I didn't try it).

I didn't pick the wine but we drank mostly South Australian Shiraz and that's always good to me. I wish we had had time for desert. Maybe if the service had been a little prompter I would have been able to try some...they had a key lime souffle on the menu that sounded pretty darn delicious.

I would definitely go back for a special occasion..and if the weather was right I might even enjoy sitting outside along the river (the wedding party had taken up all the garden tables, but it was a little cold out anyway...). But I would definitely plan on really slow service and be a little more agressive about asking for help when the service lagged.....

The house is beautiful and the location perfect. And the food delicious. Too bad the service left a bad taste in my mouth.

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