DUMBO's famous River Café reopened more than a year after Hurricane Sandy closed its doors. Zagat editor Maureen Giannone visited the popular café and filed the following report.
In recent years, DUMBO has become a much sought after New York City waterfront neighborhood, thriving with arts and culture under the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.
But the real gem of this area is one restaurant, that has now defied the odds twice -- once with its chance-y opening in 1977 and most recently after being devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Not completely surprised by their ability to reopen, Owner Michael "Buzzy" O'Keeffe did admit that "you never know what's going to happen."
"Food above a certain level, you know, you can be very happy with it...but the River Cafe is more than that," tells O'Keeffe of the 40 years presence of his restaurant in New York City.
He continued, "I came here because [I wanted] to create an oasis in this hard-edge city which is all concrete and steel. It's an escape when you come here."
The charm of this place has remained the same - with thoughtful design and decor elements, like its abundant daily display of fresh flowers. But Chef Brad Steelman took upon the recess to reimagine old favorites and deliver a menu that's sure to welcome back patrons, both old and new.
"There are a lot of new dishes, a lot of new ideas..." says the chef of dishes he's most excited about, like the black sea bass with lobster brown butter, artichoke ravioli, and fresh artichoke and the duck breast with crispy lavender and spice crusted skin, tender braised cabbage, sweet potato spaetzle.
And you can't leave without trying the famous Brooklyn Bridge dessert from their new chocolate room. "I'm just excited to get back and get working...it's a fun time," notes Chef Steelman.
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