After a performance at the Kennedy Center there are few places to head
late at night within walking distance for a bit to eat, and fewer with
worthwhile cuisine. For years across the street in the Watergate was a
mediocre, though reasonably price joint which recently was renovated
and reopened as RIVERS (http://riversdc.com). The name evoking the
Potomac just feet away.
I headed over there at 10:30pm on Saturday with some clients who had
just sung in the Concert Hall and the place was heaving. We would not
have gotten a table if we did not have an opera and Broadway star in
tow for sure. The staff was very courteous and asked to wait while
they made room, and it was indeed a very nice (and not noisy setting).
We perused the wine list which was quite short for a "fine dining
spot" and asked our server what year the various Cabernets were; he
had no clue. We ordered a delicious Freemark Abbey and he told us it
was 2008, but the bottle was the far superior 2007 when it arrived.
My $15 appetizer CHARCUTERIE Plate was as lame as it gets in the new
and wonderful world of charcuterie. There were two small squares
(about 1" square each) of some type of tasteless fish pate, a similar
sized piece of smooth tasty duck pate, a single piece of dried bland
bresaola and a small dollop of blue cheese. Two slices of oven-toasted
bread (room temp) accompanied this.
One of my guests ordered the $38 filet to find out they were all gone
and then chose the salmon which looked quite dry. His wife seemed to
enjoy the Caesar Salad but was repeatedly told there was gluten in
anything else she wanted. She opted for the steamed MUSSELS and ended
up getting sick that night. Need I say more. Our server was completely
lost with the gluten questions and insisted that certain dishes had
none when we tried to explain what gluten was to him.
Our Broadway person also enjoyed the Caesar and I tasted her FRIED
CALAMARI with Citrus Honey Dipping sauce which was pretty decent,
though it would win no prizes.
All told we left having had a great time chatting and hobnobbing with
the cast from Les Miz that closed the place with us around 1am...but I
really wish there was another option we could go to in this city
without driving after a KenCen performance!
PS- the name Rivers also alludes to a name of a river associated with
each main course. hence the Indian veggie dish is linked to the
Ganges...the filet to the Seine....the salmon (who knows)....a truly
lame attempt at what appeared to be a very overpriced menu for people
who are basically forced to head here after theater.