Valentines at RiverHouse
Updated: Mar 2, 2019
This is the first blog post written just for, and on, our new blog and website! So Hurray! And Welcome! We hope to do lots more in the future and expose (in a good way) all the bestest eats around New Braunfels, Texas!
We thought it would be fitting to start things off on an epic note. One to grab your attention, and kiiiinda kick you in the gut with how much you would like to eat the edibles we wrote about. So, we thought a dinner at The River House, would be the AbsoLuTely perfect place to start. We took it even a step further though and managed to get a table to one of their amazingly creative, curated, multi-course dinners that they put on once a month.
River House hosts set course dinners and also wine dinners with pre-set multi-courses, each carefully selected to go with a wine that a sommelier waxes eloquent on as you sip (so that the noobs among us can know what "notes" to muse to our neighbor on while carefully swirling and sipping). There is no spitting though at this "tasting". Oh no. The wine dinner we attended quickly became a room full of incredibly happy, loud, slightly tipsy diners, sharing smiles and laughs.
Each of River House's set dinners is different and depends on the season and whim of the chef (with owner approval). The Valentine's set dinner was no different in that way but beautiful in its own.
For the appetizer, we chose the Smoked Duck Spring Rolls. They actually surprised us by splitting, once disturbed, into four individual pieces that had been positioned vertically into a beautiful, clover shape covered with fresh watercress. It had a very full-feeling, fatty bite with a bit of crisp crunch from the fried outside and the clementine mustard, drizzled oh, so artfully, cut through the fattiness with its acid, vinagery-sour note.
The second course we chose was the saffron tomato bisque. It had a tangy intense tomato flavor and the savory parmesan on top lent a bit of umami. We tasted hints of it being cooked with some sort of seafood, adding to the complex flavors. It was delicious, very creamy but bright, we could have very easily eaten it as our main course (and then some).
The Cocoa Black Peppercorn Filet had some intense spice (which we are all about) and we adored the smoked black cherry hollandaise sauce.
The star of the show in our opinion was the Coconut Sweet CORN Creme Brûlée with Rasberry Mint Jam though! As you can see, we weren't even able to get a picture before finishing almost half. Or more than half. Whatever. The point is it was fantastic.
More interesting than a classic Creme Brûlée, the coconut blended subtly and wasn't overpowering, which (in my opinion), happens very easily. I would have liked there to be a bit more of a caramelized shell on top, but what it lacked there, it more than made up for with the Raspberry Mint Jam.
OMIGOSH that JAM!! Our family bakes thumbprint cookies every Christmas, and we stuff each tiny thumbprint with jam, so that after baking we will have as much of that ridiculously condensed sweetness, with it's slight caramelization and chewy texture as is humanly possible. It's heaven.
That chewy jam happened on the Brulee! I guess when they blow torched the granulated sugar on top (or put it under the broiler), it also affected the jam the same way. It was to die for and the chewiness added something I didn't even know was missing from the original firm custard and crunch bite of Brulees. All Brulees need a dollop of Rasberry Mint Jam, or whatever your favorite jam is, from now on.
We loved our dinner and the atmosphere at River House. While the dinner was great, the service and staff were amazing as well. Even when we accidentally made a lightbulb explode. Didn't bat an eye. We sure did, but they were continually THE sweetest, and most professional.
We'll be sure to come back soon.