Bites Nearby: The River Grille
This downtown Easton eatery offers a contemporary setting, gourmet dining and... pierogies?
Since June of 2003, the River Grille has been serving downtown Easton with gourmet cuisine in its three stylish, contemporary dining rooms. To regular patrons, the River Grille is known as a hip, modern spot with a genial staff and a casual atmosphere.
The River Grille’s website describes the restaurant as cosmopolitan, meaning “at ease with many different cultures.” This is best displayed by the regional mélange of their menu, seemingly inspired by French, Italian and American dishes.
“Our signature dish for dinner would be the Chilean sea bass, on the menu for eight years, [and] we also have a wide selection of steaks, from ribeye to filet mignon,” said Arti Kambreraj, a manager at the River Grille who has been with the restaurant for nearly two years.
“Our menu changes seasonally, so every season you’re going to see different things,” added Kambreraj. “We’re known for big portions and family-style dining. No one leaves hungry.”
And with that seasonal change comes something you might not expect at the River Grille: pierogies.
But these aren't your grandmother's pierogies. More to the point, they're not sous chef Al Stubbmann's grandmother's pierogies. A recent -- as in this week -- addition to the Grille kitchen, he's the one who'll be introducing pierogies to the menu.
At a prep table, Stubbmann rolled out dough to make the pierogies, which would be filled with three varieties of mushroom: oyster, maitake and shiitake.
"I don't know how my grandmother would feel," he said, recalling his Croation/Slovakian heritage, where the key ingredient for a pierogie is "potato, and that's it."
Lunch and dinner menus are separate affairs at the restaurant; lunch primarily consists of soups, salads, sandwiches and a variety of gourmet pizzas.
The dinner menu includes a combination of pasta, seafood and steak entrees. The Mahi Mahi is a known hit, made with a chili rub and served with coconut rice.
The River Grille was awarded “Best Restaurant in Easton” four years running, from 2003 to 2006, by Lehigh Valley Magazine.
Expect to spend $10 to $15 per person for lunch and up to $30 per person for dinner at the River Grille, not including drinks.
And speaking of drinks, the wine list is made up of more than 60 wines by the bottle and 18 by the glass. The full bar offers around 20 different specialty cocktails.
The restaurant is divided into three distinct dining rooms: a booth area sits parallel to the full bar near the entrance, while the indoor patio section, flanked by tall storefront windows, faces Northampton Street. The rearmost, and largest area is the main dining room, which gives patrons an intimate experience and proffers a view of the open-facing kitchen.
Each dining area matches the next in the dark natural wood scheme, marble columns and high ceilings. The diversity of the dining areas make the River Grille an ideal place for a quick downtown meal with friends, a business lunch, or, after dusk with the soft ambient lighting, a romantic dinner.
The restaurant can accommodate private parties of up to 160 people. The Grille also does off-premise catering with a separate banquet menu for large parties, weddings and events.
The River Grille is located at 243 Northampton St. in historic downtown Easton, less than one block from Centre Square. The Grille is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner hours are Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
See the full menu at www.therivergrille.com, where you can also find reviews, awards and even make online reservations.