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Pete Wells Gives the Restored River Cafe Two Stars

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Pete Wells visits the recently reopened River Café this week, where he finds that owner Buzzy O'Keefe has given the 36 year-old floating restaurant a "museum-quality restoration" following its destruction in Hurricane Sandy. Chef Brad Steelman hasn't changed much since William Grimes first reviewed it 12 years ago, but that's not necessarily a bad thing:

His main ingredients are almost always good enough to be their own special effects. For his shrimp Oscar, he sets hollandaise boosted with blood-orange juice against beautifully sweet Pacific blue shrimp and meaty white lumps of crab. In another appetizer called Three Shells, strips of abalone dunked in a yuzu-kaffir bath and firm little kumamoto oysters in a classic mignonette had the shining immediacy of great seafood, too, even if the third shell, Taylor Bay scallops ceviche, didn't quite keep up.

Though there's far more romance than innovation, Wells gives the restaurant two stars.
· An Old Flame Reignited [NYT]
· All Coverage of the River Café [~ENY~]