With wonderful views of the St John’s River, the rooftop lounge of River & Post is a nice, serene place to enjoy happy hour after a long day at the office. Recently, Chef Steve Thurston was hired on from the German Schnitzel Haus, where he worked for the past 5 years. Chef Steve has been at River & Post for less than a year, but he has already accomplished quite a feat, opening a brand new kitchen to serve the rooftop bar. Before this, any food ordered would have to come from the first floor kitchen, which as you can imagine, caused the food to get cold as it traveled up nine floors. The addition of this new kitchen not only fixed that issue, but also gave Chef Steve a chance to build a brand new menu exclusively for the rooftop patrons.
The rooftop menu has a nice variety of items for everyone. They have salads, flatbreads, charcuterie, and even sushi. Many of the items are able to be made Vegan, which is something Chef Steve has a lot of experience with. We stopped by to taste some of the new items and as expected, were blown away. We started our meal with a few of the cold appetizers, House Smoked Fish Dip and Chipotle Hummus. The first thing we noticed were the plates. I asked the Chef about it and he told me that they are using biodegradable, recyclable palm plates on the rooftop. This helps to save water since the silverware is the only thing headed down to the dishwashers. I can see these appetizers being perfect for groups as they are easily sharable and equally delicious.
We were only able to get a few bites of the cold apps before the flatbreads started rolling out. We chose Brooklyn’s Finest and Muffaletta. Even thought the ingredients sound simple, the Brooklyn’s Finest has a very complex flavor profile. This is a perfect comfort food for those days when you almost quit your job at lunch. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. I was surprised to learn that this flatbread, along with the Spinach & Roasted Garlic are able to be made Vegan by request, using a few modifications.
Our next round consisted of a couple hot appetizers, BBQ Bacon Shrimp and #PretzelKingofJax Pretzel. There is a reason Chef Steve is called The Pretzel King, he knows how to make a fantastic pretzel (it is plant based, so Vegans can also enjoy them). On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the BBQ Bacon Shrimp. Each order comes with quite a few local shrimp, wrapped in bacon, and brushed with BBQ sauce. These were definitely a table favorite and quite indulgent
I was pretty surprised to see sushi on the new menu, so we definitely wanted to give it a try. We got a California Roll and a Spicy Tuna Roll. I wasn’t sure what to expect but both rolls were really good. The presentation was lovely and the rolls were rather large. Even though both were great, I preferred the Spicy Tuna Roll. It had a drizzle of Sriracha over the top and we all know Sriracha makes everything better.
While the rooftop lounge has been a popular cocktail spot for quite some time, Chef Steve has managed to transform it into a must-visit food destination as well. With a rather diverse menu, it is really easy to find something you will enjoy. Even though these items are designed to be more like appetizers, the portions are generous and and could easily be eaten as a meal. Nothing is stopping you from ordering a few different things, grabbing a few drinks, and calling it a night. Between the skyline views and the super comfortable couch-like seats, you would be hard pressed to find a better spot to sit and watch the sun set over the horizon.