A few days ago we went to taste some delicious meals to the River Bank Restaurant, prepared by the Head Chef Igor Čehy, a person that was taught his culinary skills by French masters in Casablanca, has over 20 years of experience in gastronomy, has founded one cooking school for professional chefs as well as one for the general public and was named the Chef of the Year in 2014 and 2007 by the Gurman Award in Slovakia. With all these information on mind, we were not expecting anything less than perfection on a plate. And perfection it was indeed!
The occasion of our visit was the upcoming Goût de France/Good France event that annually celebrates French gastronomy in various locations worldwide and will be held on 21st March 2016. Over 1500 chefs on all five continents are expected to join the event on the day of Spring and River Bank Restaurant is one of those in Bratislava that are included among the participants, too. That means there will be a special tasting menu prepared for those who will decide to have dinner on that date in the restaurant – which showcases some of the best dishes on the menu – and now you can see what that dinner looks and tastes like – we had a pre-tasting! Bon appétit :)
For the entrée you will be served a cured salmon trout with blini, lime scented Crème Fraiche and trout caviar. As we were told, the fish is marinated in salt for 6 hours. The dish had a very delicate flavor, was very light and refreshing and for us the combination of the ingredients resulted in an exquisite taste experience.
As the first main course you will be served a grilled duck foie gras, curd cheese tagliatelle with caramelized shallot and thyme sauce. Now this is a matter of luxury. The duck liver originates from Hungary and the meal is served in a Slovak, still a little bit exotic-looking style. „The inspiration of adding the sweet tagliatelle comes from the traditional Slovak vintage festivals,“ says the Head Chef. It is indeed an unusal combination to see but the result will surprise you in a very luscious way – the curd cheese tagliatelle superbly enhance the flavor of the liver and you will surely enjoy this dish to the fullest.
The main course number two is pan fried pigeon breast roasted on raspberry vinegar marinated onion and potato gnocchi. This piece of meat comes from Austria. Now while pigeon is very likely seen on most menus in France, it is not the case of restaurants in Slovakia so this is again a very interesting conjunction with the potato-based side dish and the lentil porridge flavored with Balsamico vinegar which on the other hand are very popular in our country.
After your meat side is satisfied, comes the time for a dessert. And not just an ordinary one. The traditional French dessert Ile flottante with Crème Anglaise and salted caramel is something that will never leave the restaurant’s menu according to Igor. This „floating island“ consists of two parts: the meringue which is prepared from whipped egg whites, sugar and vanilla extract; and the Crème Anglaise which is a mixture of egg yolks, vanilla and hot milk. It sounds simple but tastes indescribably. You will agree once you try it.
Last but not least, you’ll be served „fromage“ – a selection of local cheese with onion chutney.
Our final note: All the courses made us woo and tasted splendidly. If you’re looking for top-end classical French fare with a bit off ooh la la, River Bank Restaurant is definitely one of the best spots you can pick in our capital. Not having to mention the venue itself looks fabulous!
In case of interest to attend the dinner on 21.3.2016, you need to reserve your seats in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org.