The Riverview Restaurant Review in Cold Spring: American Food and Dining in Putnam County

A family affair: A longtime Putnam County restaurant delights diners with affordable and inventive cuisine and scenic views



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riverview restaurant viewWindow Seat: Riverview lives up to its name, with vistas of the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain

During our visit, we passed around a bowl of creamless mushroom soup that challenged my competitive soup streak, and a gorgeous plate of mozzarella with roasted peppers. Next summer, Lori’s gardens will produce up to 15 varieties of tomatoes (including many heirlooms), as well as radishes, potatoes, beets, lettuce, some asparagus, and virtually all of the herbs they need.

The busiest weeknight is always Wednesday. While it is still called Family Pizza Night, the main draw these days is actually the $15.95 prix-fixe menu. “At first, Pizza Night started because our cook needed a night off, so we only offered things that the rest of the staff could cook and serve. Today, it’s more about keeping the audience’s attention, and introducing new dishes. It has become a very creative menu,” says Jim.

Pizza is always available. Roberto the pizza man has been running the gas-fired brick pizza oven for 23 years, garnering pages and pages of Yelp reviews about the authenticity and consistency of his pies. At two for $14.95, you can also get your choice of nine classic versions as take-out. And you needn’t step out of your car to pick them up: Just press the buzzer in the back of the restaurant and they’ll bring the pies right to your window.

We sampled the Pomodoro Pizza, Bronx style, which has just three ingredients: dough, Sicilian Pomodoro tomatoes, and Romano cheese. The nuttiness of the toasted crust mixing with the sweetness of the tomatoes was truly feng shui for my nostrils. At first, we didn’t want to eat the eggplant roulade in marinara because it was just too pretty, but we’re glad we did; it had a nice zip from the pepper and basil and a touch of citrus.

The noise level on the Wednesday we visited was less than on an airport tarmac, but more than at a large, loud family reunion. The tall ceilings and two adjacent dining rooms created an odd acoustic situation. I couldn’t hear my friends (although I did overhear some juicy gossip from a neighboring table). Nonetheless, it didn’t upstage the dessert finales.

We greatly enjoyed a semisweet chocolate mousse, served with hazelnut praline and whipped cream; the coconut panna cotta served with kiwi and local berries; and the passion fruit and blackberry Cabernet sorbet, whose yin and yang of colors and flavors was intense, but not intimidating. But as a chocolate lover, the clear standout was the gianduia. It is a dense, four-chocolate torte with hazelnuts and vanilla ice cream. “We got the recipe from Lori’s grandmother’s cookbook,” says Jim. “We didn’t change much, still mixing four types of chocolate: dark semisweet, milk chocolate, cocoa powder, and Nutella.”   

I’m always prepared, so the no-credit-cards policy didn’t phase me, but many guests do have to make a quick trip to the in-house ATM. Aside from this policy, the fact that Jim gives away his recipes and hopes you have equal success with them also adds an old-fashioned charm to the place. And in the summer, your waitress may invite you to the patio to watch the sun set over the Hudson River and beautiful Storm King Mountain — just like any good friend would.

The Riverview Restaurant
Lunch and Dinner Tues.–Sun. Appetizers $9-$13; 
entrées $14.75-$24.50; desserts $7.00; 
Wed. prix-fixe $15.95 without desser

» Get directions to The Riverview Restaurant in Cold Spring, NY
» Go to www.riverdining.com
» Go to the Hudson Valley Restaurants Guide
» Go to the Hudson Valley Food & Drink Guide

 

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