River Road American Bistro

4.1
51 reviews
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$30 and under
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American


"This latest venture is an American-style bistro, with a handsome bar at its center, and appointments ranging from a stylized fleur-de-lis to an evocative painting of a countryside .
The emphases are local and creative. River Road is rooted in a devotion to local farms, and seafood caught close by; to an easygoing mood and accessible food." Newsday, 2019



The kitchen is helmed by Chef Michael Meehan, founding chef of the Mill River Inn. The Dining room manager is Veronica Meehan. Partner Kevin Galligan has designed and built a striking, comfortable setting for our guests.
What 51 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.2
food
3.9
service
4.0
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MP
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

A small and lovely find in Oyster Bay -- farm-to-table at its finest. Loved the creative cocktails and the intimate atmosphere. Hope they will have outdoor seating when it's warmer! Highly recommended.

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CS
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

We will definitely be returning!!!! I like the ambience and decorating. The staff is very friendly and attentive. This was my second visit here. The soups (seafood corn chowder & butternut squash) were excellent. We ordered the ahi Tuna entree which was excellent quality, however the mild seasoning of the seared tuna left me wanting some wasabi sauce or ponzu to give it a little more zest. The quail was also delicious and mildly spiced. The vegetarian burger (beans and sweet potato) was excellent and season so well, it was actually spicey! We also had the roasted potatoes, mushroom and carrot sides, all terrific choices! The menu is different and we liked it very much. The two things I would like to see added, are bread for the table and an additional hearty salad option with either a chicken, steak or salmon on top.

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FF
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

New place, hope the community gives them support. Excellent food with attention to detail, service was excellent and the place is small, quaint and charming. Prices very reasonable for the type of food

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Excellent evening. Food was outstanding. Very very loud however. We were happy we had a table in the corner. Will definitely return.

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OT
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Roast chicken was absolutely delicious!

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G
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were very pleased to discover a new restaurant that is not only local, but had excellent food, service, and ambiance.

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TS
Miami
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service!

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RM
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

The food was excellent- the old mill river in quality and preparation that we loved from this chef
A different take on baked oysters with a corn meal stuffing-unique and delicious
Short ribs were excellent as well as the pork chop which was order in place of the Black Sea bass that the house ran out of-the disappointment was made up for
The negative aspect of this restaurant- which weighed heavily on our enjoyment of the evening was the excessive noise level
The noise level was loud enough to make conversation difficult- the waiter had to be asked to repeat the specials twice due to the noise
Some sound baffling would make this a 4 star review!!!
Chef- it's nice to have you back- we just can't hear ourselves think!!!!

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r
New York Area
52 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food

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j
New York Area
57 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

Loved Mill River Inn and Tupelo Honey, so had high expectations. So very disappointed. A chef/owner of this caliber and experience should do better. Service was pleasant but amateurish. How bout some training? Dropped wine all over table, unfamiliar with dishes and desserts mixed up. Food way under seasoned and mostly tasteless. Barely noticed salad dressing or Chimichurri. Menu uninspired. Wine list limited but at least a number of North Fork suggestions. Noise level even well away from bar intolerable. If nothing changes I predict this place will go the way of the other restaurants at this location. I won’t be back.

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Q
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The noise level made it totally unable to have a conversation without screaming above the decibels of other table and the unnecessary music you could not hear anyway. The service was adequate but inexperienced but tried their best. The manager Roni spoke with us and indicated she would speak with the owners and consider why could be done. The preparation and presentation of the dishes were outstanding. We will return hopefully the will find a way to make this wonderful farm to table restaurant even better.

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c
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 1

Like many others, I had high hopes, but overall, it fell way short. The Bad: We waited to be checked in an uncomfortably long time. Not a good first impression. The second bad was the dirty dishes and glasses on tables scattered throughout the dining room. It's clear they are way understaffed and no one seems to be managing the room. Next downer was the dated decor and china which just gave a "Friends" era vibe- almost like they pulled it all out of storage from the late 90's. To make matters worse, the halogen track lighting gave the room a cold cast and who even uses neon blue lights under bars anymore? Not a good look for an otherwise traditional room with a fireplace. It's really too bad because the space has a lot of potential. The Mediocre: Unfortunately, the food was lackluster. The seafood salad, while fresh, had no flavor. My salmon was well cooked and seasoned but it was literally just thrown on a plate of kale. Not a lot of thought or care given. The Good: Our server was very pleasant. The wine list is very interesting and has a lot of Long Island representation which makes perfect sense. The cocktail we had was great - their take on an Old Fashioned. The streaming music selection was also very good. And lastly, that painting of the river on the wall is great. Unfortunately, the goods are probably not enough of a draw to get me back in there. On a hopeful note, with a little more attention to detail and focused management maybe they can turn it around. Maybe. I'll keep checking reviews.

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JM
Indiana
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

They opened recently. We had a Valentine’s Day dinner. Food was good, servers were overworked. They need more wait staff.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was excellent and would definitely return but it is a small place and tables are very close together. We also waited a while to be seated.

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H
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Let me first say, if you are expecting this as Mill River Inn revisited, this will disappoint.
However, it is a bistro, and that said, the white table clothes and more formal service are gone, as is the atmosphere (except for the fireplace). The decor is modernized (not bad) and the bar quite nice.
We were there on Valentines Day and the disappointment was the under staffing-no bus help and clearly an overworked wait staff that was inadequate for a day when not only would the place be booked-but booked with a predominance of tables for two. I don't blame our server for the situation, she was on the run the whole time we were there (e.g the second round of drinks ordered after the appetizer came to us after we had finished our entrees-not exactly enjoyable).
As for the food, yes, it still shines- the steak frites was well presented as was the scallops my fellow diner had ordered. In the end-yes-very good-but not what i would say is a stand out or a "go to" for me compared to other options ( like Mill River was)

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CC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love River Road Bistro. It is our new, favorite, restaurant in Oyster Bay. Great food, wine and beer selection, and service! Totally worth a visit.

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LP
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A welcoming staff and cozy room complete with fireplace. Great bar and pre dinner cocktails. The specials - sweet potato soup and the black bass entree were outstanding. The primo blend burger was delicious.

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M
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere, service and menu. Food could use a bit more flavor.

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y
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We went on a Sunday evening during the Superbowl so the restaurant was not crowded. Our waitress was pleasant knowledgeable. We selected the 3 course prix-fix dinner which was quite enjoyable. Only negatives were that service was a little bit slow and the room which is nicely decorated could use some sound attenuation. We would go back again. Nice to have a new small restaurant in Oyster Bay

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MS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Chef Michael Meehan never disappoints. Dinner was fabulous!!

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K
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 2

Took almost a hr for the appetizer. Service needs to improvement..

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a quaint place for a delicious night out with good friends. The NY steak Frite was cooked to perfection and my fish was lightly seasoned to bring out the fresh flavors. The wine selection and beer on tap complimented our meals. Of course, what’s a good meal without good service. We were greeted with a smile when we entered this cozy place and the waitress was very friendly. We will be back as regulars for sure.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The ambiance and food were wonderful! Everything on our plates was prepared so well. We will be back very soon!

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R
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Let me begin by saying, it was Restaurant Week so very busy! You can tell there was a new wait staff as they had a lot to iron out. The waiter was inexperienced, it was slow and not very attentive. The food was EXCELLENT so we will be back!

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K
New York Area
34 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The restaurant's atmosphere is very homey & the food was creative & very good. We would definitely to back.

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A
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Similar to other reviews the noise level is extremely high but that is really a function of the size of the venue. I think if you plan to not be ther during peak bar hours you would be fine. The food and the service was excellent. I would definitely return.

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M
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

The fish was delicious but the grains served with it were under cooked, and inedible. The cobbler was tasteless and no distinguishable fruit, mostly whipped cream

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NS
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Happy to have Chef Meehan back in the neighborhood!! Loved Mill River Inn and will now frequent this new incarnation. We had a delicious late Sunday Lunch and look forward to our next visit.

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SC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Our waitress never mentioned the specials, the only way we heard was that she mentioned them to the table next to us. Restaurant was cold inside, saw many patrons with their jackets on. Otherwise food was great, prices are fair for the level of food. I was a fan of Mill River and glad this was re-opened.

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MB
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

We all liked the food. Lovely decor. Pleasant service. Will come again. We are neighbors. Live 5 houses away.

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T
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fabulous, our waitress was a doll... food, wine fantastic... it was a little noisy, but even the staff thought that was unusual... it wouldn't stop me from revisiting. Lovely meal, attentive staff, did NOT feel rushed... thank you

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OT
Vancouver
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

The renovation is lovely and the crackling fireplace a definite plus on a cold winter night. It is a lovely ambiance, but the noise level is beyond what we expected, even after having read some of the previous reviews. Even if the food and service had been amazing, good conversation is part of the dining experience. And it really is LOUD in this room! Hopefully,they do something to help the acoustics.

Service was slow, we waited almost an hour for the appetizer, and the requested wine only arrived after following up with both the waiter and the hostess. Hopefully this improves as they become more established.

The farm to table and local sourcing approach is evident in the carefully planned menu. Execution was a bit uneven. The Peconic scallops were delicious and the perfect texture, but the accompanying grains and vegetables a bit undercooked. The winning dish was the grilled chicken, and our party all loved the mason jar deserts. Tiny treasures that are delicious!

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H
New York Area
65 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 2

Very disappointing! The short ribs wasnt even good. It was dry and meat wasn't tender nor tasty as short ribs should be. My friend returned her meal extremely salty. I thought it would be a good place but no such luck.

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w
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We visited River Road again and this time tried the special of the day, short ribs with butternut squash ravioli and roasted winter vegetables - in a word, yummy! For dessert, tried another special, the pecan pie crumble with ice cream and caramel sauce - heaven in a jar! The past several times we have gone, it has been Sunday and I have to say, it's the perfect time to go!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Had early reservation in saturday night
Got seated by hostess
Restaurant mainly empty
After no greeting by server hostess had to give us menus
We had to after long time to attract servers attention to order drinks
After long wait in excessively noisy atmosphere where we could not even hear each other talk when the server did not come over to take order we left
Very disappointing!!

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L
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

The food was delicious. Three-for-three - appetizer, entree, and dessert were all great. Service was very slow, but maybe they were just short-handed that night. I would definitely go back.

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J
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

I want to love this place as I live close by. Very good food.
High noise level could be reduced by cloth table cloth which would also make the atmosphere warmer and more inviting. Candle light on tables would also be of tremendous value in warming up the the ambiance. I have now been there 3 times and always feel rushed by the wait staff. Especially uncomfortable when you are trying to enjoy a relaxed meal with friends. Also the cold overhead lighting doesn't help.
I believe it would benefit there business to make these changes.

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E
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding.
What a pleasant surprise, our meals were delicious, service was professional and friendly, and while somewhat noisy, the restaurant has a great vibe. From the mussels and butternut squash soup (best ever), to the chicken and crab cakes, everything was cooked and seasoned perfectly. I don’t often rave, but River Road Bistro deserves it. We’ll be back, with friends. Bravo.

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ED
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The facility was was nice, comfortable and loud. High expectations Michael Meehan and former Mill River but was big let down; food average or below and delivery slow

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OT
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great overall experience. Definitely going to be a regular stop.

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