Every Friday, Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series I like to call Foodie Friday.
This is the forth restaurant to occupy this space in a two year stretch. If you’re keeping score at home, that’ll be Forster’s Grill, O’Keefe’s Gastropub, Mike’s 57 Grille and now River Tavern. I’m going out on a limb here, but I think the Tavern probably has what it takes to last. I’ve been impressed on my two visits.
River Tavern has been open for just eight days now. I guess you could call it a soft opening. They still don’t have a liquor license, so the “tavern” part is a work in progress. If you’re familiar with this space from one of the previous restaurants, you’ll see that they’ve made a few changes. The bar has moved and the restaurant is more open. The floor plan is simple but not very comfortable. I’m not sure if they are going for a minimalist type of decor or if a more inviting space is in the works.
The menu is like that of a gastropub. On the appetizer list you’ll find stuff like shrimp and grits, fried mac and cheese and even beef carpaccio. Their list of sandwiches includes a monte cristo and a shortrib sandwich. Entrees vary from meatloaf to trout and even a few steaks.
On my first visit I picked the grilled meatloaf. They use a combination of beef, pork and veal and lightly grill prior to serving. The portion size was generous when combined with the mashed potatoes and seasonal veggie. I wasn’t real hungry on this day but still managed to make it disappear. Very delicious stuff.
I’ve also tried a roast beef panini they offered as a lunch special. The beef was cut thick yet still tender and juicy. The mayo was advertised as having horseradish but didn’t taste of it. Overall it was a decent sandwich and was a better value for lunch.
The prices are a little steep and will probably keep me from visiting too frequently. They make up for that with an inventive menu from a talented young chef. This guy clearly knows what he’s doing. He also looks kinda like Kevin Gillespie.
I’m impressed with what I’ve seen at the River Tavern. As I said at the start, I think they’ve got what it takes to be successful. It will be interesting to see where they take this concept. Best of luck, guys!