Jump to content

Rivers, near the Kennedy Center in the Watergate


Recommended Posts

I had a depressing first and last trip to Rivers today before Wicked at the Kennedy Center. The place feels like a place that's barely treading water and the 30 minutes I was there were largely frustrating. I got a glass or Reisling from Alsace that simply wasn't very good (acidic and thin) and a cheese plate that was tiny for $14 and had clearly been pre-sliced and refrigerated at least all day, if not longer, until it was cemented to the plate and sweaty. To their credit, they comped the cheese, but I couldn't wait to get out of there and get a glass of nice bubbly at the Roof Terrace before the show (which has a good little bar with a great cheese plate, but a pricey one: $30 . . . though it's huge, easily enough for 4). At least the show was excellent, and I highly recommend it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a depressing first and last trip to Rivers today before Wicked at the Kennedy Center. The place feels like a place that's barely treading water and the 30 minutes I was there were largely frustrating. I got a glass or Reisling from Alsace that simply wasn't very good (acidic and thin) and a cheese plate that was tiny for $14 and had clearly been pre-sliced and refrigerated at least all day, if not longer, until it was cemented to the plate and sweaty. To their credit, they comped the cheese, but I couldn't wait to get out of there and get a glass of nice bubbly at the Roof Terrace before the show (which has a good little bar with a great cheese plate, but a pricey one: $30 . . . though it's huge, easily enough for 4). At least the show was excellent, and I highly recommend it.

I have spent many hours, as well as more brain and liver cells than I care or am able to remember, winding down from a show at the incarnations of that locale over the past fifteen years. There is nothing else close by that is open at that hour. As the "600" it was an establishment of almost dada-esque mediocrity, with incompetent and often downright rude bartenders. The food was institutional fare that you might get at a typical catered wedding. "Rivers" delighted us all when it opened, because it is a venture begun by some of the stagehands who work at KC and we all thought that just about anything would be an improvement, and overall, it is. But it is subject to the same pressures as before: a mostly elderly clientele, either residing in the Watergate or post-show suburbanites, whose standards in food and drink probably don't rise much beyond what they might get at their clubs. Both groups have few other options in the immediate area even if they were interested in finding them. The rest are sporadic seasonal visitors such as cast members and tourists, or foreign artists from a place like Spain, England, Italy, or France who end up there after a show and who valiantly but vainly try to contain their amazement at the lack of savoir vivre in the capital city of their guest country as they observe the scene around them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have spent many hours, as well as more brain and liver cells than I care or am able to remember, winding down from a show at the incarnations of that locale over the past fifteen years. There is nothing else close by that is open at that hour. As the "600" it was an establishment of almost dada-esque mediocrity, with incompetent and often downright rude bartenders. The food was institutional fare that you might get at a typical catered wedding. "Rivers" delighted us all when it opened, because it is a venture begun by some of the stagehands who work at KC and we all thought that just about anything would be an improvement, and overall, it is. But it is subject to the same pressures as before: a mostly elderly clientele, either residing in the Watergate or post-show suburbanites, whose standards in food and drink probably don't rise much beyond what they might get at their clubs. Both groups have few other options in the immediate area even if they were interested in finding them. The rest are sporadic seasonal visitors such as cast members and tourists, or foreign artists from a place like Spain, England, Italy, or France who end up there after a show and who valiantly but vainly try to contain their amazement at the lack of savoir vivre in the capital city of their guest country as they observe the scene around them.

I know some of the owners and investors, none of which have any connection to the Kennedy Center, yet work in the same building for a law firm. With the right combo, the right kitchen and PR the place could succeed where others have failed. It will struggle because those looking through the rose colored glasses don't see the water coming from the bottom of the boat. I know they did some renovations to spruce up the place which was needed, but they just didn;t do enough it seems like. A shame.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know some of the owners and investors, none of which have any connection to the Kennedy Center, yet work in the same building for a law firm. With the right combo, the right kitchen and PR the place could succeed where others have failed. It will struggle because those looking through the rose colored glasses don't see the water coming from the bottom of the boat. I know they did some renovations to spruce up the place which was needed, but they just didn;t do enough it seems like. A shame.

Your friends should get in touch with Gordon Ramsay and ask him to do a "Kitchen Nightmares" episode there. It would be the ideal venue for his schtick: a perfect location beset by awful management. Seriously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your friends should get in touch with Gordon Ramsay and ask him to do a "Kitchen Nightmares" episode there. It would be the ideal venue for his schtick: a perfect location beset by awful management. Seriously.

Why not just turn it over to Jeff Tunks? Maybe he can reprise Ten Penh there....although, the name derives from 10th and Pennsylvania, so that might have to change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why not just turn it over to Jeff Tunks? Maybe he can reprise Ten Penh there....although, the name derives from 10th and Pennsylvania, so that might have to change.

I told them to do simple food, no steakhouse, no huge portions. Just simple food that limits ingredients so as not to get flustered by the impact of pre- and post theater show. No one listens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I told them to do simple food, no steakhouse, no huge portions. Just simple food that limits ingredients so as not to get flustered by the impact of pre- and post theater show. No one listens.

But it has a great website. Perhaps "Waterloo" would be a better name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha!!! Guess who is casting for restaurants in the DC/Baltimore area for their show next season. Can you imagine if they could do a piece about a restaurant at the Watergate. It would be a hit! Information for Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmare casting is here

I'm telling you, Rivers would be perfect. Can you imagine what he would do with the whole atmosphere in which the restaurant must operate? The Kennedy Center, the opera, the social profile of the audience, the Watergate? It would be a cornucopia of material for his standard formula.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...