With a restaurant perched high atop a prominent Riverside building, the team behind River &Post took a commanding view of Jacksonville’s landscape and entered the city’s culinary scene with a delectable seafood-forward menu and easily the best rooftop view in town. While the 450-seat restaurant offers great food, atmosphere and cocktails, some growing pains are evident — namely slow but improving ticket times and a rooftop lounge that currently offers drinks only.
On a recent evening visit we claimed a view from the patio and eagerly dug into the menu. We began with three seafood-based starters. The avocado-topped scallop ceviche ($8) was bright and flavorful, with the right amount of tang from the lime juice. Salty, crunchy plantain chips were the perfect sturdy accompaniment for scooping. The fried calamari ($11), with copious pieces of tender breaded squid, was a winner, but our blue crab beignets ($8) would have benefited from more crab vs. the abundance of filler. Not even the sriracha citrus crema could save the beignets.
Seafood fans will enjoy the seared sea scallop entree ($28) — a trio of plump scallops served atop a lemony arugula risotto. For the meat-and-potatoes crowd, there’s hangar steak au poivre, buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes and country gravy, a half-pound cheeseburger, double-cut pork chop, filet mignon and grilled black angus ribeye with fries.
I enjoyed my local Manifest vodka “Destiny” ($8), a refreshing, light mix of Giffard Peach, champagne, lemon and lavender simple syrup. In addition to wines by the glass ($6-$20) and bottle ($27-$215), River &Post offers two local beer selections on draft from Aardwolf Brewing Company and Bold City Brewing, plus cans from Intuition Ale Works and Veterans United Brewing.
If you’re in for lunch, don’t miss the fried shrimp po’boy ($12) served on a toasted baguette. Complete with sliced tomato, shredded iceberg, crispy shallots and mayo, the bread was commendably pliable and not too dense or crunchy like baguettes can be. The blackened mahi tacos ($9) deserve a nod with their colorful tomatillo pico de gallo, cabbage slaw and crème fraiche. Sharing a fried seafood combo platter ($18) was a grand idea — a generous heap of fried clams and scallops, and red cabbage coleslaw meet French fries and a pair of perfectly cooked hushpuppies, paired with tartar sauce.
We didn’t partake in dessert, but Key lime cheesecake, banana split, bread pudding and a chocolate mousse torte are available.
Caron Streibich is an avid food-lover who reviews restaurants every other week in the Life section. Follow her dining adventures at facebook.com/caroneats and #caroneats on Instagram.