River House Restaurant & Raw Bar

4.6
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2203 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
River House Restaurant and Raw Bar is Louisville’s premiere riverfront dining destination. It is the vision of award-winning chef and restaurateur John Varanese and seats 330 in its main dining room, raw bar, and patio. Guests experience a charming “home like” atmosphere as they enter the restaurant from the front porch garden area. Enter through a 20-foot tall by 40-foot wide water wall, and enjoy intimate decor, and a floor-to-ceiling glass wall overlooking the back courtyard and river, River House is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. The menu features regional cuisine with a Southern flair and an emphasis on fresh seafood including Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell, BBQ Braised Beef Short Rib, and the Maker’s Mark Bourbon Barrel Smoked Salmon. Our 15 foot raw bar features assorted raw oysters, king crab, and jumbo shrimp. Reservations are recommended. We look forward to serving you!
What 2203 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful time. My girlfriends and I had a great time

GF
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2food1service5ambience4

I am shocked by all of the good reviews which is why I decided to have dinner here. Riverhouse does not know how to do seafood. The herb grilled oysters were horrible and the grouper cheeks and shrimp were salty with a tasteless remoulade sauce that should have been on a plate to dip fried shrimp in, not as a sauce drenching grilled shrimp and grouper. I would rate Red Lobster higher than this place and that’s sad!

SF
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server was amazing and the food was excellent. Very warm atmosphere.

VR
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first visit. We loved it all. - from the moment we walked in right through to the valet parking when we were leaving. The food was EXCELLENT. The service and the ambiance, equally so. We will definitely be returning.

SI
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Our party of four enjoyed two different salads and 4 different entrees. Every dish was very good. Our server understood we were not in a rush and allowed us to enjoy ourselves. He was attentive without being intrusive. As always, the beverages were great. I was a bit disappointed with the chocolate, peanut butter & banana pie. While the flavor of the filling was good, the crust was very hard, which made it difficult to eat.
Overall, we had a great time and will return soon River House.

KC
Louisville
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our food was delicious and our server was wonderful. We couldn’t have had a better experience.

P
Dallas
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good service. The baby greens salad was very good. The beef tenderloin and shrimp scampi was delicious. The complimentary skillet cornbread was very tasty as well.

I had a beautiful view of the sunset & river outside. I thank my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ for an excellent meal!

OT
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and service! Our waiter was the best and the food was fabulous!

OT
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Enjoyed it very much but there ought to be some less rich options.

JS
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent!!!! Do not leave there without a bowl of lobster bisque and a small cast iron skillet of yummy cornbread!!! It’s an unbeatable combination.

JN
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service! Worth every penny! Highly recommend the squash blossom appetizer!

N
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oh my, this is a gem. Beef, chicken or especially seafood, they have it all. And the service, friendly and attentive without being intrusive. Tiffany was our server and exceptional. Prices are in line with restaurants with a star less, making this a good value. Vistas are nice, outdoor seating, fire pits. Just a nice place.

HH
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I really had a great time. We were celebrating our 41st anniversary , great food and service.

OT
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fresh seafood whether raw or cooked, it tasted delicious...it was prepared fresh. Presentation of the food was beautiful as well. I had the seared scallops, wonderful portions.

AS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great menu, great food, great service, great location, great views!

B
Louisville
11 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Service was great after we figured out who was our server! Food was ok. One of the specials was disappointing but another was great. The view is amazing

s
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Crab tower was delicious

OT
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience2

The ambiance looked fun, engaging and inviting! There were a number of open tables, each with a great view or surrounded by action. We looked forward to getting a great seat in the mix because ther didn't appear to be a bad spot. Then the hostess kept walking.....passed them all......passed the bar.....down the hallway towards the bathroom...?!?!...and sat us in a quiet side room void of character, background music, or color. There were other tables sat here, as well - but, it certainly was a stark contrast to the rest of the restaurant and it was not the vibe we were expecting when we chose to have a nice dinner on the River. I have to assume this was the private party room, not booked for the evening, so they used it for additional seating..? However, there were no less than 15 open tables both when we walked in and when we left. I'm not certain why that room would need to be used in such a manner. The food was still great and the server was nice and attentive. In hind sight, we should have been "that table" that asked to sit elsewhere because the experience truly was lack luster as a result. It felt comparable to being at the kids table during the holidays when Mom put a table cloth and a candle on the coffee table to make it "feel like" you were actually having a similar meal to the grown ups. Let's be honest - the food was the same, the dinner was not. All said - I would try it again - I would just ensure Baby doesn't get sat in the corner again.

TJ
Nashville
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is an amazing restaurant! The food is very unique and they always seem to have specials that are fun to try. The view is one of the best in Louisville. I highly recommend it.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere, service and food. Love going there. Will always return!

L
Kansas City
18 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent food, great view of the river and the snapper was phenomenal.

RS
Louisville
12 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Fabulous dinner at the River House. Food was excellent. The bourbon bread pudding was the best dessert ever! The only thing that went wrong was we ordered a particular wine and without paying attention (our fault) our server gave us the more expensive wine. Did not notice till we got the bill! Overall we had a great night. Highly recommend.

CS
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

I am rating this on one experience, my first and only one.I will be eating at your restaurant again in the next few days and hope for a better experience. Wednesday was not horrible but pretty mediocre in general. The clam chowder was really a clam stew, not really New England as the waitress indicated when ask. The bass cheeks were dry and the coating on them was extremely pasty.I wondered if they had been frozen. The waitress was kind but responses were almost robotic, as if she had a script to recite. Service was quick and food was hot. The location is phenomenal. It was fun to eat and enjoy the river. I understand the excessive noise level as due to the decor. Just took the hearing aids out and that helped.

Looking forward to a better experience. I will recommend to friends if tomorrow's experience is better. I would not give credence to my comments as based on one visit, but I was under awed after all I had heard from friends.

SS
Louisville
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for a business dinner. The food was delicious! Crispy grouper cheeks were awesome. Jumbo lump crab tower was phenomenal. The brie appetizer was also delicious. Lava cake was amazing. Tasty cocktails as well. Excellent service! Our server was very knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive. We sat at an inside table that overlooked the river and the outdoor seating area where they had a firepit lit - made for a great view.

DD
Louisville
54 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience2

Okay but not great. We were seated right at the entrance though many tables for 2 that were nicer were available. “Jumbo” shrimp cocktail had the smallest jumbos I’ve ever seen and they charged $3 per shrimp. Crab cak s and seafood platter were Okay but not much better than than Kingfish next door, and they were more than double the price.

This was the second time we were disappointed here so we have to try and find a better high end seafood place here.

R
Greensboro
12 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were five in our group visiting here in Louisville, KY. What a great meal. Everyone was very happy with the food and the personnel. Beat time on our trip. We spent two hours there. What a great place.

A
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious, the server was so great at introducing us to the menu since it was our first time. It was very intimate and had a warm feel.

LM
Louisville
19 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent outdoor dining with fabulous service. The brunch menu was great and we enjoyed the bloody Mary’s.

MZ
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were in Louisville for 3 days for the Bourbon Trail. We decided to go to a restaurant that offered some nice fish options and randomly chose this place on Saturday. I have to tell you that we were treated like royalty from the minute we walked in the door! Drinks were tasty, our server was so attentive and nice and went out of his way to give us exceptional service. The food was prepared as described and was way over our expectations! I can't say enough great things about this restaurant. We sat on the outside patio and there was a band playing next door and the whole experience was fantastic including the Bread Pudding!! Treat yourself and go to this place, you will be glad you did!!!

LB
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit to the River House as we are new to town. Joey was our server. He was so kind and helpful. We had lots of questions and he had good recommendations. We sat on the patio, listened to music from next door, and walked down by the River after we were done.
The Tower of seafood, avocado salad, Ribeye, Filet were so very good. I can’t decide what I liked best. We ended with French press coffee and the best bread pudding I have ever had. We will be back and will ask for Joey’s section!

TG
Louisville
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday celebration.

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We had 6 o'clock reservations and were seated promptly. Our waiter Tyler was wonderful. The food was delicious and they even gave us a complimentary dessert in celebration of our anniversary. They even placed a "happy anniversary" sign on our table. The other staff were friendly and even wished us happy anniversary in passing. The atmosphere on the patio was perfect. It was our first visit and I'd definitely go back.

BN
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

First time at River House and will definitely be back! Very friendly staff! Made us feel important— we chose outside seating which was perfect! Great view, not too close to other tables, great server. Food was very good!

D
Naples
25 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My brother and sister in law came to Louisville wanting to eat oysters, so I recommended River House. Food great .. server great. We had a very nice evening.
Thanks River House for coming through once again

BE
Nashville
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

The server was very helpful and attentive without hovering. The food was wonderful with enough variety to have something for everyone age 7 to 43. I love the location by the river and always enjoy walking down to the water and enjoying the quite movement.

CC
Louisville
15 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

River House doesn’t disappoint. We love entertaining out of town guests, business acquaintances and family here. The menu has something for everyone, cocktails are spot on and service is exceptional.

OT
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun ambiance on the river. The service was excellent and the lunch we had was great.

BG
Louisville
11 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Food was sub par priced too high
Service was excellent

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience3

It was a bit too loud for conversation. We struggled all evening. My tuna appeared to have sat for a while waiting on the other meals.

JW
Atlanta
9 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and server was tremendously knowledgeable and friendly. Fantastic experience and worth the (short) drive outside of downtown. Our server really made the entire evening for us. Only negative was differences in the Old Fashions depending on how you order or which bartender. But even that was quickly fixed.

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