What is eggs Benedict?
Riverrun has closed.
176 Franklin Street (Between Hudson and Greenwich Streets), New York, 10013 (Tribeca). (212) 966-3894. 1 to Franklin St.
Famous for lousy business lunches and fine lobster dinners, this old Tribeca bar cum bistro makes some of the best eggs Benedict in town. It's also comfortingly dark inside, letting you wake at your own pace.
The $8.50 eggs Benedict comes with one coffee or one tea or one juice or one bloody Mary or one screwdriver or one mimosa - or unlimited champagne. Is the all-you-can-drink champagne popular? "People don't drink that much," said the waiter. "No more than two or three." My mimosa tasted like turpentine; I was grateful for its diluting juice. The bloody Mary was rich in tomato juice, spicy peppers hiding at its bottom. Bread was strictly rationed to one per customer, but the hot, moist rolls, wrapped in foil, were superb.
Riverrun eggs Benedict, served with orange slices, is architecturally stable: neatly stacked without being intimidatingly vertical, it holds its shape even when cut. Hollandaise sauce was just lemony and firm enough, and was topped with chopped chives. The Canadian bacon was ordinary. Those who hate runny whites were very pleased, but some of my white was overcooked and even chewy. On our visit the eggs tended to be extra-runny inside and not hot, but plates were well cleaned by meal's end, more so than at Junior's, which had also been liked, but not quite as much.
Side dishes and other entrées were also praised. French toast with bacon was yummy and came in an impressive pile. Bar fries were fabulously crispy, and the home fries were also very fine, comprised of big, soft chunks of sliced taters. A side order of bacon was perfectly crispy with no extra grease. Steaks were cooked to order.
Service was a little ragged as a new waiter faced a dozen diners not all ordering eggs Benedict. Initial steak-and-eggs orders had the wrong side dishes, and seconds on our coffee were scarce to nonexistent. Syrup was late. Latecomers got their exact orders but were forgotten on the bill. Yet even when they were added the check for twelve was only $97, leaving room for a generous tip and some mad money back for all. Food coma was only moderate despite generous portions of delicious food. Riverrun was hailed, overall, as the best bang for the eggs Benedict buck.
Rest rooms: The dim rest room's cracked old tile walls and wooden stall
doors exude rich antique character or skanky decrepitude, depending on your point of
view. But they are clean, with the nice touch of ice cubes in the urinals.