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The River Seafood & Oyster Bar Still a Great Catch; 2.5 Stars for Egg & Dart

Lee Klein revisits neighborhood fave The River Seafood & Oyster Bar, "where everybody doesn't know your name, but you're treated as if they do." When it comes to the food, Klein has a slight issue in the best possible way: "The only problem with these eclectic global bar snacks is that each one sounds more alluring than the next." No problems at all with the chef, though--"Chef/owner David Bracha has been the River's constant," Klein says. Going back, he also does say that "Our original review of the River in 2003 bemoaned a tendency to overload fish with too many distracting ingredients that masked rather than magnified the freshness of product. This still rings true with a few of the composed entrées." Klein prefers simpler stuff, saying "straightforward fish preparations allow both the flavor of the seafood and the kitchen's deftness to shine." Service was top notch too. Bottom line: "This professionalism, along with a convivial spirit and fresh seafood, makes the River Seafood & Oyster Bar a great catch for the neighborhood."[MNT]

Victoria Pesce Elliott visits Egg & Dart in the Design District, whose brother-in-law owners are "Tall, dark and hospitable," and "born to be hosts." What worked: "innovative cocktails," "warm, rustic bread," "velvety hummus," "fresh & clean classic horiatiki salad," "exquisite lamb chops," and more. What didn't? "A stiff & acidic paper-thin sheet of swordfish," "A pair of salty, "grilled to death" beef and lamb sausages," "A funny & sweet server who insisted he didn’t need to write down our orders, then forgot our octopus," and cold, watery and unsweetened coffee.Bottom line: 2.5 stars. []

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