Beginning Sunday, January 19, The River Seafood & Oyster Bar will begin offering Sunday brunch from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. For the first time since opening in 2003, the popular downtown restaurant will welcome foodies for a fabulous a la carte brunch showcasing chef/owner David Bracha’s take on brunch classics as well as a number of creative dishes that reflect Bracha’s and the River’s signature culinary style. Diners who are settling in for the duration can choose from unlimited Bloody Marys or Mimosas for $30 each; or choose from tempting new cocktails especially created for brunch including the “Wake up Call,” a classic milk punch – bourbon, milk, and nut meg – enhanced with a double espresso; “What’s Up Doc” featuring Zacapa 23 rum, fresh carrot juice and ginger; or the Bloody Caesar, often known as the Canadian Bloody Mary with clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce and tabasco; among others.
Offers Bracha, “Customers have been asking for years for brunch at The River but I just wasn’t feeling it. Now that I see how well-received our brunch at Oak Tavern (Bracha’s year-old Design District eatery)i s, and how much people enjoy it, I realized its time to bring brunch to The River, but with a style that reflects our seafood-centric menu and the restaurant’s ambiance. I’m looking forward to people coming with lots of friends to explore the menu and kick back for some great food and cocktails.”
Perfect for sharing with friends or just ordering a composed dish, the menu covers the gamut. For groups who want to sample a lot of different things but have hard time picking and choosing, The River offers up the Smorgasbord ($90) a literal buffet at your table. Serving 4 to 6 people, the Smorgasbord arrives on a beautiful wooden tray and is bursting with a cornucopia of tastes including jamon Serrano, queso Manchego with carrot salad and honeycomb, marinated olives, rabbit pate with cornichons, whole grain mustard and pickled onion relish, crab salad ravigote, bacalao croquettes with saffron aioli, mussels escabeche tapenade, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon with heirloom tomatoes, scallion, cucumber, and whipped cream cheese, deviled eggs with paddlefish caviar, slab bacon, sausage and assorted breads.
For those who would rather work their way through the menu dish by dish, or just view the smorgasbord as a starting point, appetizers ($5-$18) include The River’s famed iced oysters and oyster shooters as well as the signature fire roasted oysters; fresh berries with homemade granola, Greek yogurt and local honey; and Smoked duck and Andouille gumbo, just to mention a few.
Entrees ($9-$25) begin with the basics and ascend from there – to mascarpone stuffed French toast with caramelized apples, maple butter and whipped cream or banana-pecan pancakes topped with vanilla butter, rum caramel and dark chocolate for those looking for something on the sweet side of the menu. Those looking for savory entrées will enjoy the cheddar cheese omelet topped with crawfish étouffée or a lobster omelet stuffed with chanterelles, goat cheese, and chives ; or perhaps a sandwich like the River’s updated “BLT” – pancetta, burrata, arugula and tomatoes on brioche or the egg sandwich – a decadent mess of pork belly, fried eggs, romesco and Manchego, served with pickled fresnos on house baked brioche. Other can’t miss choices include fried mahi mahi tacos, “fish and grits” featuring braised snapper in a spicy tomato-lime broth served with creamy grits or for the truly hungry steak & eggs, featuring grass fed rib eye, a wild mushroom hash, fried egg, truffle butter and toast.
A wide variety of freshly baked breads ($4) from raisin-walnut to ciabatta to cornbread are served with house made jams; while desserts ($7) like sticky toffee pudding cake, guava cheesecake and chocolate mousse cake offer a great accompaniment for that final mimosa of the afternoon.
The River Seafood & Oyster Bar opens for brunch on Sunday, January 19 and will be open every Sunday for brunch from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday and for dinner seven nights a week. Reservations suggested; valet parking available. The River is located at 650 South Miami Avenue. Telephone: (305) 530-1915; www.therivermiami.com.