River House Restaurant & Raw Bar

4.6
1923 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 1923 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
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KP
Louisville
27 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience as always. Really appreciate the service from Carrie (not sure I spelled it correctly). Ordered from the specials menu and we enjoyed everything, especially the butterfish. Can’t wait to come back.

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2
Louisville
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE RIVER HOUSE! WILL BE BACK MANY MORE TIMES AND WILL RECOMMEND IT TO MY FRIENDS!

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C
Louisville
13 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the food and ambiance

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OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had the best experience! My wife and I were celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary and River House took care of us. Service was first class and they provided a complimentary cocktail and dessert for our anniversary. Everything was first class and the absolute best time! Thank you to everyone there and we can’t wait to go back!

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A
Charlotte
8 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was excellent but the food was very average and overpriced!!!

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BA
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The tomato artichoke soup was not good. Thank goodness your peel & eat shrimp was as good as ever. Of course we will return regularly as you are one of the best restaurants in town. Thank you. Bill Allison

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OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 5

Poor service with a clear incentive to upsell. Food varied widely by dish from meh to great, but price was too high for variation. Cocktails were just plain bad. Would not recommend for a nice evening out...especially since there are so many other places that are great in town.

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t
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the place have been twice and plan on plenty more outings there, the food, service every thing was just wonderful

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K
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 4ambience 5

We throughly enjoyed Fathers’s Day Dinner. The restaurant is beautiful, the staff pleasant and attentive. The food overall is delicious! The drinks are worth every penny... so good! We will definitely be back.

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LC
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was fantastic. My shrimp cocktail was fresh and I liked the extra sauce. My scallop entree was excellent. I got the french press coffee. It was good, but it could have been a little hotter. The free dessert for my friend's birthday was nice....though I did mention ahead of time to open table that it was her birthday. I feel like someone should have sent that information on to our server.
Our server was very attentive and made a great wine recommendation when asked. He didn't know an answer to my question so he immediately went to go find out the answer.

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OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Father’s Day

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S
Louisville
10 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

River House is one of my favorite places for all occasions. The food is exceptional add is the dining experience. Tyler was a wonderful server.

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MA
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere lovely outdoor seating good food and good service would totally recommend and go again

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KS
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and great food. We will definitely be back!

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OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

Overpriced

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TF
Louisville
7 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Always reliable. Had a beautiful night to sit outside. Tried to modify a menu item and the server botched it up and I was rushed out 2 mostly cooked scallops, but everyone else loved their food.
We try to come at least monthly. It's a nice setting. There was loud music coming from the neighbor Kingfish, but it was enjoyable.

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OT
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 4

Our server was so new she could not answer basic menu questions and wouldn’t even offer to find the information. Had to ask for refills and food was poorly seasoned. I would not return to this restaurant

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MG
Louisville
27 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

River House is my husband's favorite fine dining restaurant in Louisville. They kept true to their excellence in food, ambiance and service on this visit.

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MC
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Yes, I would recommend River House Restaurant. The Fish and Chips were some of the best I have every had. I would have given one more star, if the seating had been better. When I placed the reservation, I requested a table facing the river. The table given was on the side.

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F
Puerto Vallarta
37 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A little loud on the patio due to the live “rock”
Music next door. Otherwise a beautiful setting with great food, good service and reasonable prices.

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MM
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to River house for our anniversary, once we walked in and we told them our name they immediately were told by "Happy Anniversary" by several staff members. Staff was all pleasant and knowledgeable. Food was presented well and tasted amazing! Portion size was great, we both had leftovers. We had a great experience at River House for our anniversary and would not only go back but also recommend them.

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AS
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

love the outdoor area. The avocado salad was delicious

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RF
Louisville
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We sat on the patio as to enjoy the river view and cool weather. There were quite a few sparrows and other birds that kept a close watch on our food and deserted tables with food. While funny to watch, it was bothersome when the birds flew under our umbrella over our table. But not sure what could be done about that issue in a humane way.
Food was delicious (entire party of 9 raved about how good everything tasted). Will most definitely be returning.

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WW
Louisville
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

It was a bit of trouble for one party member because it was too cool inside the restaurant. So we asked to sit outside and were place right next to the door in the shade. That was still too cool so we moved 2 more times until we had a table on the lower level. I apologized because it apparently wrecked the waiters table assignments because three different ones tried to take orders.

The confusion delayed getting served but the food was good. We attributed part of it to the fact that we had moved so many times. However, as a former waiter they should have had better communication with each other to avoid that.

The one thing that I requested when I made the reservation for the friend's birthday was to have the chocolate pie (Derby Pie) to surprise her. When the dessert was served there was no mention the pie was not available. Instead, a nice size banana bread pudding was served without offering any alternative choices. I was embarassed even though my friend was okay with it.

We waited forever to get out checks and, because I used a credit card, it took even longer. The worst of it was the 2 charges I saw on my account and neither were the amount of the receipt I had signed. I called twice and left messages for a call back from the manager. Two days later I finally talked to Dan O'Connel who asked if they were pending charges and said they would not go through. He was even dismissive when I told him what the charge should have been.

Normally I would not be upset with the confusion of the wait staff and delayed service but he barely offered any apology for the unexplained charges or the dessert. At the very least he could have compensated something. He didn't. I hate that he has tainted the reputation of such a nice restaurant; especially one owned by restaurateur John Veranese.

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TT
Louisville
10 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Charred octopus dish was amazing along with the crab stuffed lobster salad. Everything was delicious!

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impeccable service and amazing food. Baked Brie appetizer was amazing. Two of the people in our party got the special for dinner. The beef short rib was the best thing at the table. The pasta with seafood was amazing. The sweet potato cobbler for dessert was the perfect finishing touch. Highly recommend!! One of the best places in Louisville.

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SG
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We made reservations for my birthday for Saturday, June 8 at 8:30 pm. We arrived a bit early and sat at the bar to have a few drinks. Our hostess sat us as soon as the table was cleared and immediately our waitress was there to offer drinks and appetizers. I ordered one dozen raw oysters, east and west coast mixed which I shared with my boyfriend, and our friends ordered the clams. Everything came quickly and was fresh and delicious. My boyfriend ordered the giant tower that had EVERYTHING on it!!! My friends ordered broiled salmon and baby back ribs. EVERYTHING was delicious.
I do wish they sold Blue Point oysters, those are consistent and delicious, our oysters were definitely on the smaller side. The lobster tail was a bit on the chewy side and the king crab leg was hard to open. Other than those few items the meal was very good and we will definitely come back for another visit!

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KW
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food, nice portions, reasonable prices, a little noisy. Overall very nice place.

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AL
Louisville
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a fantastic meal. Everything was perfect from the appetizers to the dessert. Outstanding experience.

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JS
Louisville
17 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Excellent service complimented a great meal. It was slightly compromised by our location adjacent to a door to the deck. Servers were going in and out throughout our meal and frequently seemed to be carrying trays over my head within a few inches. It was further problematic in that what was assumed to be air conditioning condensation was dripping on us infrequently. This is specific to the location of the table and not the whole restaurant. Have visited many times before without issue.

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A
Louisville
7 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Repeat customer.
River House serves fresh seafood that is hard to find anywhere else this area. My wife and I love the Raw seafood bar, especially the pacific coast oyster selection.
The smoked booker old fashioned is also a personal favorite. It’s like warmed butterscotch that sneaks up behind you with a kick.

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P
Louisville
15 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, wine, service, and ambiance is ALWAYS exceptional! We had another lovely time here.

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K
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful dining experience at this restaurant. Our server, Carrie, made the night so much fun! Every dish was wonderful! I would highly recommend the grilled octopus! Yum! All of us loved our entree choices. The food came quickly and everyone that stopped by our table to deliver something was funny and accommodating. It was my parents anniversary, and they had such a wonderful time. Carrie made the night so much fun! Highly recommend!

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AE
New Orleans
8 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating a birthday! Service and food were outstanding!!! Everyone enjoyed the grilled oysters! Wow!!!!!

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CG
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We had a work dinner with visiting fellow employees from our parent office that came there for dinner Tuesday night and had a reservation inside but was such a nice evening ask to sit on patio; very accommodating but sat them in the direct sunlight which became very uncomfortably hot and sun was right in their eyes; if they would have at least brought them an umbrella for shade would have resolved the problem. They did not ask so that is on them but just thought a good waitress would have picked up on that. Still love your place but thought you would like to know so they might be more aware of those situations. Thank you

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GH
Louisville
21 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I celebrated our 37th anniversary at Riverhouse. We were greeted by everyone with a happy anniversary throughout the evening. Our server, Corbett. Made drink and food recommendations that were right on. My wife had the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin and I had the beef tips with fried oysters. Both were outstanding. I must also mention the incredible grilled octopus which was the best I’ve ever had. Corbett even brogue is the most amazing cornbread in an iron skillet with bourbon flavored butter. We shamelessly devoured it all in minutes.

Great place for dinner right in the river. Nice feel, friendly staff and excellent food!

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CB
1 review
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Love this restaurant! Mine and my husbands favorite place to dine if we want an experience! The food is consistantly good as well as service. And the prices are fair for an upscale restaurant.

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CE
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Service was very poor - abrupt, slow and forgetful. That was the only downside to a terrific experience. The food and the view were excellent!

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P
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

High School Graduation dinner for my son. Service was really slow. Burger was not great but other two meals were excellent. Nice patio and views.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 2

We went for my sons High School graduation and were thrilled the weather was beautiful and we were able to eat outside! However when we arrived there was a lawn crew mowing and weed eating right near our table and it was loud and smelled of gasoline...the manager did apologize and said it was the restaurant next door, King Fish, who had the crew out on a busy dining day ...he went and talked to the crew and said he would call King Fish manager which was wonderful ...however I expected we would get a free dessert at least for the graduate but no gesture was made to offer a little something for the 45 mins of noise, smell and debris blown around. Just added a bit of disappointment to an otherwise great meal. We will return! Hopefully the restaurants can plan lawn care prior to openings or on down days. A busy Sat lunch after lots of local graduation customers was poorly planned.

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