The River Café

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80 Good

Four decades in, this New York institution is as elegant as ever.

1 Water St., Brooklyn, NY, 11201

718-522-5200

http://rivercafe.com

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The lowdown

In its 40th year, the River Café maintains a kind of upscale elegance that’s become extremely uncommon in the city. The attention to detail is stunning — fresh flowers at every turn; crisp white tablecloths with tiny lamps atop them; a jackets-required, ties-preferred dress code; a grand piano; a dessert topped by a chocolate replica of the Brooklyn Bridge, so you can eat the bridge while you gaze out the windows at it. The prices are high: Try to have dinner here when someone else is paying, or when you can truly afford it. It’s a special-occasion restaurant, and having to worry about about whether you can swing the $20 supplement for a Madeira pairing with dessert would kill the experience.

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar