28 September 2015

Riverview Wine Bar, Mpls., hits the right notes

Sunday of Labor Day weekend seems to be lucky for us. (Yes, I know. Labor Day was almost a month ago. But keep reading.)

We were just looking for a relaxing place to have a light bite and listen to some live music. Several years ago, that’s how we discovered Nikki’s. (Now sadly defunct.)

There aren’t a lot of places in Minneapolis that offer live jazz on a Sunday night. So it’s a wonder why we hadn’t discovered the Riverview sooner. It’s a cool and inviting locale in the Longfellow neighborhood. It was just what we were looking for.

The interior is warm and comfortable. Customers can choose to circle the bar or take a table. There is a fireplace which I can imagine would add a lot of ambiance on a cold evening. At about 7 p.m. on Sundays, the band sets up in a corner by the door. Looking at the Riverview’s online entertainment calendar, it appears that the Zacc Harris Trio plays nearly every Sunday. The trio’s music was very engaging and easy to listen to. RiverviewWineBar

Riverview’s menu offers a lot of variety. They have a nice selection of cheese and charcuterie and a lot of small plates. If you have a heartier appetite, they do offer 6-8 full-sized entrees. They also have salads, sandwiches, and flatbread/pizzas. Prices are very reasonable, ranging from $6-$15 for the small plates and $15-$25 for entrees. All of the pizzas appear to be $12. Their burger is $12 and three-cheese grilled cheese is $13 and comes with a choice of salad or soup.

We started with duck pate from the charcuterie menu. It was rich and smooth and delicious. It was served with bread, spicy mustard and cornichons.  Next we split a ‘Figaro’ pizza with figs, caramelized onions, almonds and chevre cheese. It was excellent. We tend to be light eaters, so that’s all we ordered. But I think most diners would probably order one or two more small plates. The menu offers a lot of intriguing choices including spinach and artichoke spread, caramelized Brussels sprouts, mussels, seared scallops, and mushrooms. Lots to consider for our next visit.

Of course, it is a wine bar, and it has a very extensive and interesting wine list. I felt the wines were pretty reasonably priced. Not inexpensive, but good value. Since we planned to spend the evening there, we ordered a bottle of wine to go along with the food and continue sipping while we listened to the music. I saw several interesting Italian wines, but unfortunately, they were out of most of them. Still, we ended up with a Valpolicella that we liked quite a lot.

So for us, the Riverview goes down as a place to definitely return to. Especially if we’re looking for music on a Sunday night.

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