The River Café (London)

The River Café (London)

The River Café is a restaurant in Fulham, London, England, specializing in Italian cuisine. It is owned and run by chefs Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers.

Located on the north bank of the Thames in Hammersmith (nearest railway station is Hammersmith tube station), in the former Duckhams oil storage facility modified by architect Lord Rogers, the husband of Ruth Rogers. Opened in 1987 as the employee café of the architectural partnership, there is a garden with views of the River Thames.

River Café brought to London the flavours of Italian home cooking with an emphasis on the finest ingredients, and an all-Italian wine list. The restaurant also brought to London a modern, open-plan kitchen and dining room with a buzzy atmosphere. "Sourcing, sourcing, sourcing" is the mantra of Rogers and Gray. Menus are tweaked constantly (sometimes twice a day) to respond to the seasons and what is best in the market, with simplicity the key. Signature dishes include: wild mushroom risotto; Dover sole and John Dory smoked in the restaurant's own wood stove; and rich Italian desserts including lemon almond cake or the chocolate "Nemesis" cake.

The restaurant earned a Michelin star in 1998 and is critically acclaimed, although sometimes criticised for aggressive pricing [http://www.squaremeal.co.uk/restaurants/london/view/81457/The_River_Cafe] .

Gray and Rogers have written six highly successful cookbooks, including "Italian Easy" and "The London River Café Cook Book". Their first book, "Italian Country Cookbook" won both the Glenfiddich Award for Food Book of the Year and the BCA Illustrated Book of the Year Awards. Rogers and Gray have since presented a 12-part series for Channel 4, "The Italian Kitchen".

The River Cafe is also notable for the number of successful chefs that have trained in its kitchens. These include Sam and Sam Clark of Moro, Ed Baines of Randall & Aubin, April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig (in New York) and celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

As of 19 April, 2008, the following notice appears on the River Café website: "The River Cafe is temporarily closed following a fire in the kitchen on Saturday 5th April. Repairs are now taking place." According to the Sunday Mirror's web site, the fire began around 7:30 in the evening and took two hours to bring under control. The article says that around 10% of the ground floor was gutted and that the restaurant was due to close in August for refurbishment.

Update from the River Cafe website: "Our apologies, The River Cafe is currently closed for renovations and will be re-opening in early September. We are currently not taking any reservations. Please watch this space for updates. (7 August 2008)"

Further reading

* Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers - "The River Café Cook Book" (Ebury Press, 1996) ISBN 0091812550

External links

* [http://www.rivercafe.co.uk/ The River Café website]


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