The Riverview is a classic, upmarket bistro. Established in 1880, it admittedly has a reputation to maintain, but this modern, British gastro-pub has surely surpassed whatever goals it set 100 years ago. Nestled off the main drag of increasingly affluent Balmain, the Riverview spreads itself over a ground floor bar, a luxurious lounge area and a ripper dining room. Offered as an alternative to the good old Aussie boozer, the Riverview markets class and sophistication, but with all the benefits of a pub.
The wine list, for example, is more akin to something you'd find in a wine bar. With no less than 200 varieties available by the bottle, you can rest assured that even the most flagrant wine snobs will find something to amuse. The beers are reasonable too, particularly if you like imports and boutique brews. The cocktails are classics but done well. If you're just after a $5 chardy, though, chances are you'll find the Riverview a bit overwhelming.
Come here if you appreciate gastronomy at a bistro level, and only if you're prepared to pay for it. The Riverview doesn't do chicken parma, or bangers and mash, and they don't really do thongs. But it's the perfect place to take the parents for a nice Sunday lunch and some afternoon drinks.
Jessica Miller, November 2009