Prior to becoming River Roast, the prominent space at LaSalle and the Chicago River was a number of restaurants, most recently Fulton’s on the River and Bob Chinn’s. Since then, Levy Restaurants, with James Beard award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Cafe Spiaggia, Bar Toma) at the helm, revamped the large space, which includes two bars, a 100-seat dining room, an 80-seat patio overlooking the Loop and the Chicago River, in addition to numerous private events spaces. An added bonus – the Chicago Water Taxi stops right alongside the restaurant. Take a boat to or from dinner? Yes, please!
In addition to full lunch and dinner service, River Roast recently introduced weekend brunch, as well, and that is what I went to check out.
I began with what may be the World’s best mimosa. No seriously, it really is that good. The server said that the recipe is easy – make it heavy on the Champagne. Brunch was off to a perfect start.
I don’t often order biscuits, but I couldn’t pass up River Roast’s flaky and buttery version, served with a side of honey for a bit of sweetness. I would happily take this biscuit over a croissant any day.
For my entree, I enjoyed the shrimp & grits, featuring corn, chili, and scallions. The shrimp were plump and perfectly seasoned and cooked, and the grits were creamy, without being too heavy or filling. Luckily I had some of my biscuit remaining to wipe my plate clean.
I enjoyed some RR crispy potatoes on the side. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and served in a mini cast iron skillet, these potatoes were fantastic.
Other recommendations include sharing the plougman’s platter, made up of a Chef’s selection of charcuterie, a perfect soft boiled egg, greens, and toasted sourdough bread, as well as the savory tart, served in a cast iron skillet and featuring swiss chard, ham, and sheep’s milk cheese.
Brunch also featured a live band that played out on the patio – a nice touch to an already excellent meal.
To conclude an excellent afternoon, we then took advantage of River Roast’s prime location and hopped on the Chicago Water Taxi for an architecture tour! While the fog hampered pristine views of Chicago’s iconic buildings, it was still fun, a nice change of pace, and something unique that cannot be found at other restaurants.
Brunch at River Roast is excellent, and I look forward to returning to try more items, such as the shrimp & avocado toast, the smoked trout soft scramble, and the lobster terrine. River Roast’s brunch is definitely not for the faint of appetite or those looking to stick to their diet, but it is for those looking for delicious food and drinks, a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere, and possibly a nice tour of Chicago by boat after a wonderful meal.
315 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL
While my meal and boat tour were complimentary, all opinions expressed herein are my own.