River Deli is one of the many places along the streets of Brooklyn that if you blink, you're going to miss it. Amongst the picturesque lines of brownstones that many of us dream to reside in (or at least I do), is the corner of Joralemon and Columbia Place, which perfectly nestles the home of River Deli. The blackboard alone listing the hours of operation is an invitation of enough for either those merely passing by or for those just around the corner.
Once inside, a smile is quickly drawn to ones face as the turquoise and white-checkered floor come through the dim light. This tells you that you are in for an intimate evening with family, friends, or special companion and that the ambiance won't be that of stuffy. There are three people on the floor: the manager, the server, and the bartender. Their titles go unannounced but their ultimate responsibility and goal is equivalent, make the guest feel comfortable and at home. They succeed.
I ordered the Papardelle ai Funghi (a homemade pasta ribbon with mushrooms) and the Bruschetta MIsta (tomatoes & mozzarella, tomato & garlic, olive pate & dried sausage, and ricotta & eggplant) which honestly for one person is a meal in itself, and is a delicious one at that.
While dining on the meal I have selected for the evening, I could only wish that I had a companion or partner alongside of me. The only reason for this is so that I could have ordered more to taste. The menu is small and rustic, yet truly filled with simple dishes that are set out to satisfy. Thank goodness the tables are close enough together so that I could see which of these menu items I was missing out on (Note to self, homemade lasagna).
When it comes to dessert, I seem to be quite picky when looking at a dessert menu. Something has to jump into my face, and how surprised I was when the words, “Panna cotta” came out of my mouth. I usually despise any kind of custard. I seriously hate the texture. THIS however, had an unctuous mouth-feel and a strawberry puree that I was happy with.
Though I am not a Brooklyn Heights resident, or know if I will ever be, luckily I have River Deli to add to my list of neighborhood dining establishments where I know will be an all-round genuine experience.
Also, this is a cash only establishment. Forgot your cash? No worries, the Laundromat next door has an ATM.