Located in the DoubleTree Hotel in Downtown Binghamton, River Bistro is a chic and swanky place to grab dinner in a sleek setting with a lovely view of the Chenango River. Specializing in contemporary American cuisine, River Bistro offers numerous options ranging from traditional American dishes such as chicken tenders, burgers and steak to modern twists like Korean barbecue yellowfin tuna, Irish nachos (nachos with corned beef, Swiss cheese, scallions and a horseradish-dijon sauce) and chickpea burgers. For Restaurant Week, River Bistro’s menu featured exciting new limited-time-only dishes that I had the privilege of trying out with my photographer. The restaurant offers a $15 lunch menu as well as a dinner menu, and we opted for the reasonably priced $20 dinner.
For appetizers, I ordered a roasted apple, gorgonzola and pistachio flatbread while Khaled, my photographer, had the grilled Mexican street corn. The corn was served whole on a skewer with the toppings piled on top of the ear of corn. While the presentation was aesthetically very pleasing and appetizing, it was a little difficult to eat. However, the smoky yet juicy flavor of the corn was worth it. The flatbread was a delightful blend of nutty and fruity flavors served on a toasted, crunchy flatbread. The sweetness from the apple balanced the savory nuts and gorgonzola.
For the next course, the main entree, I ordered the pasta while Khaled ordered the ribs. The half rack South Carolina ribs were rubbed with wine and served with a delicious IPA-infused coleslaw. The pappardelle pasta — which usually comes with roasted chicken, but I ordered mine without — was house-made with lemon and sun-dried tomato pesto sauce. The lemon in the sauce made for an interesting twist to a classic and beloved dish. It added an unexpected element of zest that was delicious and kept me coming back for another bite. Every dish served to us was aesthetically pleasing and the staff was accommodating and attentive.
Finally, for dessert, I asked for a grilled bourbon peach crostata. My photographer got the limoncello creme brulee. The crostata was like a mini pie with a peach filling in the center. It was served with whipped cream on the side. The crostata was a scrumptious treat. Without being too sweet or overpowering, the dish was warm, homey and seemed to melt in my mouth. The tart itself was flaky and highly enjoyable. I would have ordered the dessert just for the tart, even without the peach filling. However, the combination of peach filling, crust and whipped cream worked very well together. I devoured my dessert in minutes. According to my photographer, the creme brulee also had a pleasant zesty flavor. The dessert’s rich, silky texture led him to comment, “The world needs more creme brulee.”
Overall, River Bistro has a relaxed environment. The modern instrumental music playing on the speakers creates a calm atmosphere for guests to sit back, relax and enjoy good food and company. River Bistro makes a great location for a romantic date, a celebratory dinner or a place to treat yourself after a week’s worth of hard work.