I really wanted to make it to the “Blues and Brews Brunch” at River Roast yesterday but my plans were derailed by a very necessary shopping spree at Bed Bath & Beyond. Priorities, I guess. Ravenous, I decided to turn brunch into Sunday supper. I am nothing if not flexible. So, I hopped the CTA Green Line to Chicago’s River North neighborhood for a lovely solo supper.
River Roast is located just 1 block
north of the Clark/Lake ‘L’ stop on the Chicago River. It’s a stunning location for this latest venture by award winning chef, Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Bar Toma, Terzo Piano, Mangia Trattoria) and Executive Chef John Hogan (Everest, Keefers, Savarin). River Roast has been in business a few months now. Already, it has improved Chicago’s Riverwalk which continues to grow with new businesses and eateries.
River Roast offers a contemporary American menu with various meat, fish and veggie/vegan items. There are small plates, oysters flown in from both coasts and roasts that are carved tableside. This concept is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, as Chicago does not need another steakhouse. I was in the mood for some lighter fish fare. Here is how my supper went down:
While I had my sights set on the mussels, they had blown out by the end of brunch. I’ll be back for those another time 🙂 I love a huge bowl of mussels!
I began with River Roast’s complimentary bread and pot of brie with crispy onions. The bread was warm and airy and the cheese and onion spread was a nod to french onion soup topping. Very clever. Totally yummy.
Next up, I ordered the shrimp and crab meat toast with avocado. Again, the toast was buttery and the fish was incredibly fresh. It tasted just like the sea. This dish looks small but the flavors are extremely vibrant. It really hit the spot for me.
Last, but certainly not least, I feasted on the wonderful turnips au gratin with ricotta and gruyere cheeses. This dish arrived in a cast-iron dish. It was assembled like lasagna but without the heavy noodles. Brilliant!
I washed it all down with the Illegally Smuggling Ginger cocktail which is made with fresh ginger, Falernum, nutmeg and Prosecco. Perfectly shaved ice and a wedge of lime made this drink a real star. Loved it!
The space at River Roast is casual and elegant. It is a split-level venue with incredible views of the Chicago River and skyline. There are small and large party rooms on each level.
In one of those rooms, River Roast is trying out a comedy hour on the second Sunday of each month. Comedians from The Second City will be performing. What a cool way to top off a weekend! I hope it gains traction.
I will be back in the coming weeks to partake of the “Blues and Brews Brunch” which is offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-3pm. Live bands perform on the patio. Blues is my favorite musical genre, so pairing it with brunch seems like the perfect weekend afternoon!
River Roast is located at 315 N. Lasalle Street. For more information, visit http:www.riverroastchicago.com.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Green, Orange, Brown, Pink or Purple Lines to River Roast. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!