A brunch fit for a king is what executive chef Andres Alcivar is offering at River Cove Restaurant in Secaucus.
Located on the first floor of the luxurious Crowne Plaza Meadowlands Hotel on Two Harmon Plaza, the new Sunday brunch menu features a lavish buffet of cold appetizers, salads and desserts with an innovative selection of entrees.
"It's a unique way to combine the variety of a buffet with the personally prepared entrée, done to the diner's specifications and freshly presented," Alcivar said during a recent interview.
Alcivar's entrees include: lobster ravioli with spinach saffron cream sauce; filet mignon with sauce charon and potatoes, Gremolata lamb chops with polenta and asparagus, and parmesan-crusted chicken with capellini pasta and garden vegetables.
The dining room seats approximately 70 patrons and the bar area is next door to the buffet. The servers at River Cove are attentive and knowledgeable of the menu and Alcivar walks around the spacious dining room greeting patrons during their meals.
"We offer excellent food and our service is very important. We treat our customers like kings every time they eat here," Alcivar said.
I began my meal with a tall glass of Chardonnay and a bowl of Caesar salad from the buffet table. I also enjoyed smoked salmon and trout, white fish and plum tomatoes with fresh smoked mozzarella salad. The salmon was fresh and served with a little bit of olive oil to bring out its flavor. Other appetizers include mixed grilled vegetables; sweet fennel and pomegranate salad; chopped egg, tomato, onion and capers; and domestic caviar with traditional garnishes.
For the entrée I enjoyed the chef's flavors celebration trio, recommended by Alcivar. The combo included balsamic glazed filet mignon, sea bass fried in sage oil, and seared scallops over creamy asparagus risotto with garlic spinach. This delicious entrée was delicately presented and was enough for two. The juicy steak was prepared medium well. The sea bass was fried and served dry, not oily. And the scallops with the risotto was a tasty mixture ideal for seafood lovers.
After the entrée I enjoyed several desserts from the buffet. I devoured the New York-style thick and creamy cheesecake with a side of coconut cake. I also tried the fruit pie, cannoli, and tarts fruit breads.
The brunch buffet, which includes an appetizer, salad and dessert, is $19.95. Brunch with an entrée is $24.95 and the chef's flavor celebration trio is $27.85. All brunch entrees are accompanied by cold brunch buffet with homemade salads, freshly baked bagels, muffins and coffee, tea or orange juice.
River Cove Restaurant is located at the Crowne Plaza Meadowlands Hotel at Two Harmon Plaza in Secaucus. They are open seven days a week. Sunday brunch is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The hotel also caters private parties and banquets. For more information call (201) 348-6900. q