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“Very nice dinner” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of River Street Cafe

River Street Cafe
Ranked #73 of 206 Restaurants in Troy
Price range: $0 - $30
Cuisines: American, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very nice dinner”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2011

We went to dinner with another couple and feared it because I am a picky eater.

I got the chicken and it was a home runs! My gf got two apps for dinner and the other couple got a steak special and the pork.

All our dinners were awesome and we had an enjoyable time.

We will be back.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank dennis_ragu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    23
    9
    3
    5
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Troy, New York
1 review
“Don't believe one disgruntled review... excellent!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2010

We were just at the RSC, and had a memorable meal. I like the exotic sauces. The salads and pasta (free extras) were very good. excellent wine, too. And we were attended by a very personable server. All while we were looking out over the Hudson river.

ChezPiggy seemed annoyed about the wait. Would nothing have satisfied after the wait? If you want fast food, go to a fast food place. If you want it cooked for you, RSC is excellent.

You missed out, swaite16.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank troyresident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saratoga County, NY
Level Contributor
72 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A Great Little Restaurant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2010

I've just returned from dinner at the River Street Cafe and found the food to be very good, and the ambiance just right. Some of the other reviewers seem to have focused on the the people visiting other establishments in the neighborhood, the open kitchen or what they thought was the "quirky" chef. I appreciated the fact that the restaurant was not glitz and flash, but a small, sophisticated, quiet place to have dinner and enjoy good conversation. The food choices were all interesting. Not the "same old," "same old" that you find a chain restaurants. Yes, the service is a bit slow, but that gave us more time to talk.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank highcountrytraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upstate NY
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Ditto Chezpiggy-Tripadvisor had it wrong.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2010

When we read the review done by Chezpiggy all we could do is laugh. We did not get to the food. My wife and I were in town for the weekend to visit my son who is a Sr. at Albany Law and lives in Troy. We went onto tripadvisor and the River Street Cafe was rated #3 so we decided to try it. We called and made reservations. We were to meet my son and his girlfriend at the Cafe at 6 PM on Friday. Both my son and his girlfriend live in Troy but had never heard of the place.
When we parked on River Street we could not believe the place was even open. Looked like a unoccupied storefront. When were went in we were not so nicely greated by the chef. We were told setting was upstairs. When we made it upstairs there was only one other small group. After we were seated we asked if we could sit by the window but were told that was their only place for 5 and we only had 4. When my wife and I looked at the menu it was not close to what we expected based one the write up.
We discussed leaving right there or waiting until my son and his girlfriend arrived. We decided to wait but when they looked at the menu we all decided it was not what we expected and left.
We felt bad as I don't know if I have ever done that before. We walked a down to Brown's ale house and had a 30 minute wait but had a great meal.
The rest you can get from Chezpiggy's review.

    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank swaite16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth County MA
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Tripadvisor steers me wrong again: Please send Gordon Ramsey!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2009

I have not had much luck with Tripadvisor, have you? This place is not a 4+ star restaurant but the potential is definitely there. Maybe it was a bad night but judge for yourself.

We were visiting RPI as a potential school for our son next year and knew nothing about Troy NY so a Google search led us to the River Street Cafe and the glowing 5-star reviews on Tripadvisor. It sounded like a gem, representing the best dining experience in the Albany area run by a creative but temperamental chef who suffers for his art and has a focus on local ingredients. I also kind of liked the fact that they were too devoted to their craft to create a website but loyal customers had left a legacy of positive reviews.

We called ahead to make reservations for a Friday night but when we got there it was clear that reservations were not needed, a sad state of the economic downturn, perhaps. It was a little tricky to find the entrance that seemed to be next to a very busy enterprise (Revolution Hall?) with a crowd of very scruffy young men; perhaps an employment office or a strip club. We scampered in and entered by the open kitchen that had a little more of a US Army or Boy Scouting feel than that of a fine dining establishment. One of the "cooks" waved us upstairs to the dining room. We had a nice table by a window looking out over an alley with parking along a river. The river is definitely taken for granted and I am not sure if the view would have been nicer during the daylight but still it was nice to settle into a prime table at 7:30 on a Friday night in the best restaurant in Troy.

We quickly placed orders after being updated on the menu by a pleasant server who explained the few items that were missing that evening. Between us we ordered the Italian wedding soup, a Korean style pork, a gourmet twist on Buffalo chicken and a BLT salad with dressing on the side. We also ordered some glasses of wine and settled in for a relaxing evening.

About 15 to 30 minutes into our wait the pleasant server came by to inform us that the "chef" could not prepare the BLT salad with dressing on the side. It was not entirely clear why this was a show-stopper but it had something to do with the croutons being too crunchy without the dressing. I had already read a few reviews that painted the "chef" (now "cook") as quirky so our expectations were being met and it was a matter of some amusement. My daughter obligingly cancelled her order and changed to the spring rolls and we resumed our wait. There were probably four tables of customers and the evening was winding down.

As the wait continued we could not help but notice that the "cooks" downstairs were using a traffic-cop whistle to signal to the wait staff that food was ready to be retrieved. It probably happened every 5-10 minutes or so and certainly diminished the image of a fine dining establishment a bit further. At one point a "cook" stomped up the stairs with a few plates and clunked them down at the servers table, perhaps in protest of their inattentiveness. Again we had been forewarned about the tormented artist in the kitchen and so it was a continuing matter of amusement.

About an hour into our visit we began to get assurances of the impending arrival of our food that eventually came at 9 pm, 1.5 hours after our arrival into a restaurant that was much less than half full. We were given a very nice chilled spaghetti-based amuse-bouche after about 45 minutes and wolfed it down hungrily.

The food was an unexpected disappointment and the source of my displeasure with Tripadvisor. The spring rolls were mushy and lying in a sauce of some sort but tasted ok. The "Buffalo Chicken" was a complete surprise that came in a heavy cream sauce with a very slight hint of Frank's hot sauce, just enough to tint the sauce color but not quite enough to alter its taste. This wasn't terrible, just a bit bland, overly sauced and really not fitting the menu name of "Buffalo Chicken". A house salad did arrive and it used very nice greens but was sodden with dressing! For a "chef" that seemed to know better than his diners what to do with the dressing on a salad, this was another reason to demote the "chef" to "cook". The Italian wedding soup was unexpectedly pureed with no sign of meatballs and was quite brown-black in appearance. The look of the soup while unexpected was not the problem. The cardinal sin of over-salting the soup was committed to the point where it was nearly inedible. The Korean pork arrived in 1/4 inch slices lying in an equally deep puddle of thin, purple, sweet-sour sauce. The pork itself seemed to have been boiled and so was limp, fatty and not that great. It was after 9 pm and we were hungry and dared not ask for improvements to be made. What would you have done?

I am amazed that the reviews in Tripadvisor were so good but I can understand that many of the right ingredients for success are there: An independent-minded chef-owner, open kitchen, focus on local ingredients, pleasant staff, decent location and space, and a community that wants a good place to eat. What we need is a chef who is open to change and lavishes attention on his customers and staff. A combination of Gordon Ramsey and the Dog Whisperer should do the trick.

Helpful?
3 Thank ChezPiggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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