Mediterranean sea bass at River Roast

River Roast: Trendy Al Fresco Chicago Riverside Dining

The River Roast concept is a new American spin on British food served in an upscale restaurant featuring two interior bars and riverfront views. I discovered River Roast while enjoying a Chicago Architectural boat tour and wanted to take a closer look. The River Roast sits inside the historic Reid Murdoch building which offers a huge interior space featuring rustic wine barrels, 150–seat dining room with seven private spaces and hardwood flooring.

Location:  315 N. LaSalle Drive Chicago, Illinois

Menu: The kitchen’s focus is on roasting. The menu offers four entrees: Fish (Mediterranean Sea bass), Roast Beef (Prime NY strip, slow roasted overnight), Whole Chicken (served upright roasted in a steam injected oven), and Rack of Pork, all carved tableside.

What’s particularly interesting about the food is not the four main entrees, but the diversity of the small plates and sides, such as a seared Wagyu “Chicago-style sashimi” or the charred and curried cauliflower, tandoor-roasted and served over harissa sauce.

Thoughts: My boyfriend and I had to wait twenty minutes for a table with reservations, however, we were able to dine outside on the patio, and were seated adjacent to the Chicago River which provides tremendous al fresco views of the city.  The wine list is short and ordering wine was problematic.  I initially ordered a selection that wasn’t available at all.  A manager suggested another bottle which took a long time to arrive however was an excellent choice with our meal.  I noticed that two of the four entrees were served with crispy fried potatoes without an option to substitute which could be a problem if you are watching your carbs. I am a big fan of vegetables and the menu provides an interesting and wide array of choices.  The restaurant noise level inside is noisy; however, the patio dining experience is more peaceful.

My Favorite Dishes:  My friend and I shared the mouthwatering and tender Mediterranean Sea bass, carrots and dirt (pumpernickel crumbs and goat cheese), artichokes barigoule (braised with an herb-rich broth), and smoke trout served with roe-topped blinis.  It was a decadent meal with a nice presentation.

James Beard award winning Chef Tony Mantuaro has created a contemporary yet welcoming menu of soul warming meat, fish, and veggies.  The After Work set on Thursday 5:30-8:30 pm is a great time to kick back and enjoy live performances and get your groove on before the weekend begins. The Brew & Blues Brunch on Weekends features Chicago’s finest musicians performing live from noon-3 pm.

Hours are  11:30 am-10 pm daily.

You can find Chicago hotel reviews here; do some price comparison and book here.

Price Range:  Main entrees run $39-$64

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The River Roast concept is a new American spin on British food served in an upscale restaurant featuring two interior bars and riverfront views.

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Tracey Ingram
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