With its quaint, small- town- feeling Main Street and gorgeous red mill, Clinton, New Jersey is stunning and there are many wonderful places to eat. Today I decided to try The River View Restaurant. Tucked behind the coffee shop and located by the river, it’s the most picturesque restaurant in town. Even in November, patrons can be found sitting outside on the patio watching the river with the birds chirping in the trees. I was hoping that the food matched the view!
I was greeted by a friendly maître’d and my waiter was very upbeat and pleasant. I started to get excited as I checked out the wonderful menu and since it’s the week before Thanksgiving, I decided on the holiday inspired turkey burger with stuffing. My eating companion asked the waiter for suggestions and after telling us he was a “vegetarian so he hasn’t tried too much on the menu,” I’m not sure how she ended up with Fish and Chips. Maybe this restaurant made him vegetarian? All I know is that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table.
Our drinks arrived promptly and the food that was being served around us looked beautiful. The salads looked delicious – fresh and crisp—and I was getting hungry! 30 minutes after receiving our drinks (that’s 40 minutes total) we finally got our entrees. Now I’m all for slow food eating but it was lunch time and I think 40 minutes for a turkey burger and fish and chips is a little long…
Just like the entrees served to the tables around us, the turkey burger was beautifully presented with stuffing, cranberry mayo, fruit and pickles. The cranberry mayo was colorful and bright and it was the highlight of the meal as I found the Turkey Burger to be deeply unlovable and stifled in salt while the stuffing reminded me of the days of overcooked food in the school cafeteria…was it microwaved? The fish and Chips looked more like frozen fish sticks and didn’t taste much better. So disappointing. The waiter came over with a big smile to see how we “were doing” and I wanted to shake him and scream, “There is so much potential here!!!!”
At best the entrée was average and the thought of being disappointed by dessert drove me to ask for the check. I’m so sad to report that The River View Restaurant, with its ideal location, nicely decorated inside and amazing patio is where the atmosphere outshines the menu. Thumbs down.