Monday, May 3, 2010

Dinner with the fam: The River Falls Edition.

Last night, the Husband and I decided to use a gift certificate to River Falls and go out to eat. It was Family Scribble Sunday, so kids eat free. Score! If you're not familiar, it is on the Blackstone River in Woonsocket. Claims to have beautiful river views while dining. It is in a pretty cool building, so we were excited.

We got in and were seated right away. First thing I notice: you cannot enjoy "beautiful river views of the historic Blackstone" while dining. The windows are set way too high for the tables, and across the back of the restaurant, the only windows have the fire escape directly on the other side of the glass. Now, I'm no expert, but they totally redid this building. Could they not have planned this better? Picture glass windows across the back, maybe? Or relocate the fire escape to not spit you out on the river rock?

The Husband chose to go with his old-school favorite, a fried seafood platter. Back when we were first together and lived in Virginia Beach, he used to constantly brag about New England seafood and how a platter up here "is piled high with food for about three meals" and how the shrimp "were so fresh they snapped in your mouth." Now, I'm a seafood girl, so I like to think I'm a pretty good judge of seafood. I chose a baked stuffed shrimp platter for $17.99. The menu boasts "Maryland lump crab stuffed jumbo shrimp broiled with lemon and butter." I chose a carmel glazed sweet potato and veggie of the day, which I forgot to ask what the day would bring. Veggie was butternut squash. Had I known that, I would have ordered something else. They are too similar, I think. Anywho, mouth watering, right?

So after more than 30 minutes, our meal arrives. Which I thought was quite a long time for the meals we ordered. The kidlets got chicken fingers and fries, so I thought it was about 10 minutes too long for an empty restaurant. Now, there was a function going on upstairs, but people had been coming downstairs with to-go boxes, so I'm pretty sure the kitchen wasn't backed up from that.

Imagine my surprise when my meal consisted of four medium/large sized shrimp. Yes. Four. Not the usual six. Shrimp that are sized like they would come in a 31-40 count pound. For $17.99. Still, I figured, hey, this could still be really good, right? I don't know who these New England people think they are, but lump crab means no filler, hence the name "lump." (p.s., crabcakes have filler, unless they are lump crabcakes) This was minced crab among bread stuffing. There was nothing lump about it. And I am not sure that it was Maryland blue crab, because that is much sweeter than this tasted. I didn't eat the other 3 shrimp's stuffing. It was gross. And I cannot explain to you how much I L.O.V.E. crab meat. Not just crab legs, like most people are accustomed to. This girl used to sit at the table with her neighbor as a little girl and shuck fresh blue crabs, eat them on wheat crackers with cream cheese.

The Husband's meal was okay, not overflowing as he used to claim. But edible. The scallops are usually sea scallops (the larger variety), and these were bay scallops, which are much smaller. But the shrimp did not taste very fresh, I must say.

There were a few other small things that I noticed, of our four plates, which were square and pretty cool, two of them were cracked and very chipped on the corners. Why are you serving cracked/chipped plates? Big no-no. Also, the bread was cold. It was fresh crusty italian, but cold. I don't see a reason for cold bread. Every restaurant I've worked in had bread warmers.

So overall, I was not at all pleased with this place. At all. Apparently their nightlife is supposed to be fun, but I was not impressed when we went a few weeks ago. Especially at their drink prices. $6 for a glass of wine (which was about 4 oz) that is the cheap stuff? $9 for a martini? We aren't in New York city, we're in Woonsocket, people. There's no reason for this. I've had friends say their food is decent, but the service is atrocious. But now I'm having a hard time deciding if it's the servers or the actual kitchen--which many people tend to blame slow kitchen service on the actual waiters and waitresses. I still left the waitress 20%, because she actually did fine. But I don't at all recommend this place. Save your $$ and go elsewhere, we would not have gone if we didn't have a gift card.

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