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River Grille scallops
This dish, scallops with asparagus, appeared on the spring menu which is being replaced today.
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River Grille baked brie
Colorful baked brie.
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River Brasserie salad
Pretty salad with white French dressing.
One of the most spectacular dining views in the area is on the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga Falls. At one time known as the Powerhouse, this location spent the last several years as LeFever's River Grille. About a year ago, David Slaght and Chef Michael Fiala took over the space, and renamed it the River Brasserie & Bar. For the most part the change has been for the better.
Speaking of change, when we had dinner there last night, it turned out to be the last night for the spring menu. The summer menu, which can be seen on their web site today, becomes effective with tonight's dinner service. I don't think anyone will be disappointed with the new offerings; fact is, I'm planning on going back as soon as possible.
We started last night with baked puff pastry wrapped brie. This is a very colorful appetizer, served with some cocktail shrimp and sauce, plenty of fruit, and an orange marmalade. However, the summer version of this dish replaces the marmalade with a mixed berry jam. My salad was dressed with a wonderful white French, which happens to be my favorite. We tried both the caramelized scallops and the grilled Canadian salmon. The salmon remains on the summer menu, although a delightful potato cake seasoned with tarragon (and perhaps a touch of fennel?) has been replaced by peppercorn spaetzel and a plum reduction.
Sadly, the scallops are gone. However, there are several new entrees on the summer menu I can't wait to try, including panko crusted Walleye, stuffed buckwheat crepes, and char-grilled rainbow trout stuffed with oyster mushrooms.
The River also boasts one of the longest wine-by-the-glass lists in the area, with at least two different offerings of each main type of wine at reasonable prices. To me, it appears to be a list assembled through staff tasting, too. You can usually tell when a wine-by-the-glass list is driven the distributors, but this list looks to be much more selective, with the choices a bit unique.
Of course, in addition to the food, you get the views. The building sits right on top of a small dam that diverted water into the powerhouse. This creates a small falls just outside the walls, which are virtually all glass in the main dining room. There is another side dining room that runs 90 degrees to the main room, and it offers a full view of the falls. But, you can also go outside on a patio on the south side of the main dining, or on a larger patio on the north side running off the bar. The bar patio also offers a lighter menu.
The River Brasserie is located at 2291 Riverfront Parkway, which is that little stub street that runs between the plaza and the river. There is a free parking garage just across the street, or they offer valet parking most of the time. If you would like to keep up with the menu, here is a link to the web site: