Following Mike Sula and Laura Bianchi's takes on River Roast last week, Tribune critic Phil Vettel offers his opinion on Tony Mantuano and John Hogan's riverside roast emporium. And Vettel, while not fully sold on the experience, likes most of the food but experienced some service missteps in the massive former Fulton's on the River space.
The longtime Trib reviewer says that "an appealing array of smaller bites sets up the main courses nicely," particularly the "slow" ravioli, the "offbeat" Scotch egg, and the charcuterie board he terms a "must-have" starter. He talks about the signature roasts—describing the steak as "tender as butter" and the chicken as "dramatic"— as well as writing that the potatoes that come alongside are "insanely good." To finish, he says the soft serve are "cool creations" and the chocolate pot de creme is "very good."
But Vettel does take issue with the front of the house, which he opines "isn't yet cooking on all cylinders." Issues with wine service on two visits leads him to believe that "it's clear the beverage program needs more attention." All in all, he says that River Roast needs fine tuning before garnering three stars.