Elite Event: Romp At The River House

Local Flavour

Review Highlights

Location & Hours


8 Mission Ave

St. Albert, AB T8N 1H4


  • Closed


  • Closed


  • Closed


  • 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM


  • Closed


  • Closed

Closed now


  • Closed

Amenities and More

About the Business

Business owner information

Photo of Jennie M.

Jennie M.

Yelp Elite parties are invite only events for members of the Yelp Elite Squad and our guests. It's our chance to mix and mingle with one another for some in-real-life face to face time while we sip and sample some eats and bevvie from cool local businesses. Want to know more about the Yelp Elite Squad? Visit yelp.ca/elite

Recommended Reviews

Photo of Username
  • 1 star rating
    Not good
  • 2 star rating
    Could’ve been better
  • 3 star rating
  • 4 star rating
  • 5 star rating
Start your review of Elite Event: Romp At The River House.

Overall rating

13 reviews

5 stars

4 stars

3 stars

2 stars

1 star

  • Photo of Amanda F.
    Amanda F.
    Sherwood Park, AB

    This event turned out to be more than we could have ever expected!  A HUGE shout out to the River House for welcoming the Yelp community and for treating us to some of your fabulous creations.

    The dishes were visually stunning, the wine parings were phenomenal (although, for tiny little me who rarely drinks, I had a tough time keeping up), and the atmosphere was welcoming and fun (doesn't look like I need to go into detail about the food and drink since my fellow Yelpers seem to have this 100% covered)!!  Some of the headpieces people adorned were masterpieces in themselves!

    I tried some things here that I had never tried before which makes it a huge success for me.  Some great conversation, and getting to meet some great new people was just icing on the cake.

    As always, Miss Jennie outdid herself making this truly a night to remember!  Thanks for everything, Jennie!

  • Photo of Kristin K.
    First to Review

    Wow... Just got home from our 4 hour elite dinner and it was amazing!

    First of all, the atmosphere at the River House Grill is absolutely picturesque - nestled up against the Sturgeon River running through St. Albert.

    We were greeted by the fabulous Jennie and her hostesses with the mostess all dolled up to the 9's!  They had fabulous mad hatter headpieces for those of us who came with naked heads to the Mad Hatter's Romp at the River House.

    We dined in the bar area set up with themed tables: Queen of Hearts, King of Diamonds, and the Mad Hatter's Table complete with flamingos.

    Curtis Bawden, from Pacific Wine & Spirits, was our sommelier for the evening and he did not disappoint!  He brought an amazing array of liquid refreshments - my favorite was the Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawn Port from Portugal!  Oh. Em. Gee.  Simply divine paired with dessert, but I digress...

    Our menu was created by Chef Steve Brochu from the River House and what a treat it was!

    We started out the night with Croft Pink Port, from Portugal, made into a Pink mojito with tonic water and muttled mint served with dry ice for a smoky effect!

    1st course was house marinated olives with Miguel Torres "Celeste" Crianza 2009 from Spain.  The black olives paired with the wine were fantabulous - a perfect pair, indeed!  The olives were infused with smoke from a hickory chip (I think) and served in glass jars that released the smoke when you opened them!  

    2nd course was a Charcuterie board with house smoked meats, sauerkraut, rabbit liver pate, and organic Canadian cheese, accompanied by a peach spread.  I loved the pairing of the Luigi Bosca Chardonnay 2012, from Argentina, with the pear notes... Mmm... Mmm... Charcuterie heaven!

    3rd course was Baked Halibut in a smoked tomato broth with prosciutto and goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, basil, and fire roasted sun dried tomato house made ravioli.  These ravioli were the stand out item of the night for me that would keep me coming back again and again and again.  The dough texture was incredibly delicate and cooked to perfection and they were simply bursting with flavour from the perfectly paired filling.  

    4th course was Crispy Rabbit in a tomato fennel gastrique that blew my mind with salted roasted carrots.  The rabbit was incredibly moist and beyond tender - definitely the best rabbit I have ever had!  I've always thought of rabbit as a dry meat and somewhat tough but this was perpared perfectly.  It was definitely the sleeper surprise at my table!

    5th course (my husband's favourite) was Soy Lime Beef Short Rib prepared on a bed of garlic mash potato with green apple jalapeno puree, horeradish, and snap peas.  This delectable carnivore's dream was also spot on paired with Luigi Bosca Malbec 2010, from Argentina.  The blackberry notes were divine, simply divine and complemented the beef short rib perfectly.

    And drumroll... For dessert!  A Orange & Vanilla Pot de Creme (think Creamsicle) served with house made orange granite paired with the best port I have ever had!  Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port, from Portugal, gave the Pot de Creme entirely new flavours and amplified the spice in the accompanying fresh gingersnap cookie.  

    I would come back AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN for the housemade ravioli and housemade Pot de Creme.

    Ooh... and I almost forgot, nestled in between our main courses was an amuse-bouche of housemade Earl Grey Tea sorbet with honey.  

    The kitchen staff saved the remains of one of our bunnies and dressed him up as our mascot (Yes, I posted a pic!).

    Be sure to check out their website: riverhousedining.com

    They have both a Brunch and Sunday menu that has me anticipating my next visit already!

    To find out what local retailer carries any of Pacific Wines & Spirits portfolio, check out their webiste: pacificwineandspirits.com and you can also follow them on twitter and check them out on facebook!

    Jennie totally outdid herself tonight - great food, amazing pairings, and the best of company all around us!

    Thank you Yelp for another fantastic night out!  

    Thank you for spoiling us River House Grill & Pacific Wine & Spirits!

  • Photo of George H.

    As I entered the stately mansion on the banks of the Sturgeon river I didn't realize I was falling into a whimsical wonderland that would fill every sense and satisfy every gastronomical wish over the next 4 hours.

    As a St Albert resident I frequent The Riverhouse and have gotten to know and appreciate the head chef Steve Brochu. Him and his tireless staff outdid themselves for this event and I'm a better man for it. They pulled out all the stops, challenged themselves and their diners, pushed the envelope and yet showed finesse and restraint to ensure that everyone was appropriately satiated.

    Cocktails letting off a lazy dry ice smoke and assorted olives enveloped in a hickory smoke whisked us off into a dreamy adventure that none will not soon forget. Each of the next six unique courses lent itself to the Madhatter theme as well as stood out on it's own. The charcuterie plate had 3 cured proteins (sausage, pancetta, and proscuitto) and a rabbit liver pate that were all made on location. Not only is this a difficult task but it also takes patience, planning and foresight to execute properly. It was paried with house made dinner rolls, a fruit jam, sauerkraut and a sharp 2 year old organic cheese from Ontario, Louis D'Or.

    Falling even deeper into the rabbit hole we found 3 main protein courses. Appropriately one was a Rabbit shoulder that was suveed for 16 hours then breaded and fried. This brilliant dish was plated exquisitely on a base of tomato fennel gastrique with salt roasted carrots. Salt roasting added seasoning while at the same time slightly dehydrating the carrot which intensifies and concentrates the natural sugars to make a unique flavor.

    The tantalizing finish to our evening was a Orange Pot de Creme. I'm not normally a dessert person but I finished every last spoonful. It was complimented with a soft ginger snap and paired perfectly with a 20 yr Taylor Fladgate Port.

    To achieve an event like the Romp it takes more then just delicious food and our CM, Jennie M. took it to the next level. Her and her beautiful mad mavens set the theme with corsets and crazy headdresses. The decor, swag, low lighting and never ending wine and spirits put us in a warm comfortable haze which led to smiles, laughter and complete contentment.

    There are many people to thank for this intimate, awe inspiring, glutinous affair of never ending courses, libations, and culinary adventure. Our Community Manager Jennie Marshall, her mad mavens, Curtis from Pacific Wine & Spirits, The Riverhouse, Head Chef Steve Brochu and his staff, our tireless server Emily, Jay the GM and all my fellow diners. Together we shared a once in a lifetime spread that will live in our memories and grow in grandeur and lore.

    Photo of Elite Event: Romp At The River House - St. Albert, AB, Canada. The port used in the cocktail to start the evening off!
  • Photo of Laurel B.

    Another fun-filled elite event brought to you by our fabulous community manager Jennie M.!

    After hearing people rave about the River House, I knew I had to check it out and I was very excited to see that Yelp would be hosting an event here. The venue itself is an older house in the St. Albert area. I love how cozy it feels. I could see it having a real romantic vibe on a regular night. The decorations for the evening added some additional whimsy. You could definitely tell there was a "Mad Hatter" theme afoot.

    As always, I love the inclusion of a Yelp-style photo booth. While I'd brought my own fascinator, there were plenty of hats to choose from if you wanted to be silly.

    Sometimes I feel uncomfortable going to set-meal events knowing full well that I have to make a special request for vegetarian food. However, the experience here was incredible. Chef Steve made a special point to come out and talk to me before the meal and make sure he knew what kind of vegetarian I am and reassured me that I would have something to eat for every course. He completely went above and beyond for me. It was such a nice gesture.

    The food itself was amazing. My favourite course would have to be the vegan gnocchi that he prepared especially for me. I'm usually wary of gnocchi because when it's bad, it's REALLY bad. However, this was some of the best I've ever had. It was the perfect balance between soft and firm and the sauce was delicious. I'd come back here just for the gnocchi! Most of the other dishes I had were modified versions of the set courses (e.g. I got extra raviolis rather than ravioli and fish). All fantastic.

    I was also really impressed by the wine pairings from Pacific Wine and Spirits. Everything was expertly chosen to complement the different courses.

    All in all this was an amazing night. I can't wait to go back to the River House and see what it's like on a normal evening. A big thanks to Jennie for putting together such a great yelp event! You're a superstar.

    Photo of Elite Event: Romp At The River House - St. Albert, AB, Canada
    Photo of Elite Event: Romp At The River House - St. Albert, AB, Canada
    Photo of Elite Event: Romp At The River House - St. Albert, AB, Canada
  • Photo of Aditya R.
    Aditya R.
    Edmonton, AB

    Definitely the best Elite Event I've ever been to. I feel so honoured to be treated this well for just being a Yelper.  Thanks a lot Jennie and the guys at River House.

    Firstly, Jennie did a great job with all the props and planning that went into this event. I certainly felt like royalty being treated to so much nice food, wine and company.  Jennie - you ROCK.  The Mad hatter party was very well received by all yelpers... I was wearing the least quirky hat but I hope we got some good photos!

    River House is a beautiful house by the Sturgeon river. The place is so well restored and what better than having a really talented kitchen staff behind the scenes for it.  I thought all the courses they served us were great.  I'm all into using local food sources and doing things from scratch. For me, that was the best part about this restaurant:
    house cured meats
    housemade jams
    housemade pickles (sauerkraut at our table)
    house smoked olives
    housemade rabbit liver terrine/pate

    locally sourced meat (via D'Arcy meats)
    as local as possible with veggies.
    interesting molecular gastronomy tricks

    I look for these things in a restaurant and River House seems to have a lot going for it. So many cool tricks too. The smoked olives were smoked with a smoker gun and pieces of dry ice were dropped in it before they closed the jar tight. Hence, on opening the jar there was this beautiful aroma of hickory and appearance of white, dry-ice vapours. Lovely presentation.

    All the food was good. The fish may have been overpowered by the sauce, but it was still delicious and flaky.

    The wines: great selection of wines via Curtis. He paired them really well with the food.  Some really expensive wines too.  I can't wait to go back and have dinner here. I am SO IMPRESSED WITH THIS PLACE.

    Thanks Jennie and the wonderful hosts at River House as well as the beautifully pairing thanks to Curtis.

    Photo of Elite Event: Romp At The River House - St. Albert, AB, Canada. Aperitif cocktail
    Photo of Elite Event: Romp At The River House - St. Albert, AB, Canada. Smoked olives in a jar with dry ice smoke coming out!
  • Photo of Kris B.
    Kris B.
    Edmonton, AB

    The food here is incredible.  No question.  I can go into more detail, but out of all the things I've tried, it's clear that the quality / taste of the food is not a question.

    I don't want to judge the service by this experience, however.  I felt as though the service was lacking for what seems to be an upscale restaurant.  It was the small stuff -- like re-use of glassware for different wines, servers consciously removing dirty cutlery from plates and placing it on the table prior to removing the plate so it could be used on the next course... serving from the right (sometimes) and clearing from the left (sometimes).

    Yes, this sounds picky.  But if you were paying $50+ per person for a meal (w/o alcohol), you would expect this sort of attention to detail.

    Finally -- props to the kitchen staff and chefs for being able to prepare ~30 identical portions and serve them at the same time for each of our six course sampler.  I didn't receive any that were cold, nor did anyone else that I spoke with.

  • Photo of Andrew H.
    Andrew H.
    Edmonton, AB

    I always drive by The River House when I go to my friend's house in St. Albert. It has a southern charm which reminds me of Forrest Gump for some reason. I always wondered what goes on at this River House? Dental office? Restaurant? Bed and Breakfast which fronts for an underground casino or alcohol bootlegging? I had to know!

    Fortunately for us, our talented CM, Jennie decided to answer my question.

    My immediate thought when going through the doors with my rice paddy hat was, "It seems the River House is a cabaret."
    I was greeted by two lovely women wearing lacy corsets and all done up. The interior reminded me of Leonardo DiCaprio's estate house in Django Unchained: red interiors with antique lights and wooden floor boards.

    Unfortunately, it is not a cabaret house. It's a restaurant. An incredible restaurant.
    An incredible restaurant which I need to take my next date to because it was simply amazing.

    Jennie's like a sculptor. She continually molds these Yelp events and making each one better and better.

    She managed to appeal to all sorts of interests: she introduced us to delectable food, thoughtful alcohol, and great conversations.

    I'm just going to put it out there that the thought behind piecing the six course meal sampler was brilliant. She had a representative from the wine distributor to help her and Chef Steve to assemble dishes that cannot truly be described. You just have to taste the incredible

    1. Charcuterie (I heart the paté or whatever it was)
    2. Halibut danced on so many flavors
    3. I've never had rabbit before and the design of it was very elegant.
    4. By the time I get to the short ribs, my stomach is being punished by joy.
    5. Dessert was cruel. Because the creme was saying, "You really enjoy this, you do." and my stomach is saying "He's right, but you're this close to having food up your esophogus young man".

    The fine touches of décor (decks of cards, the Alice in Wonderland themed table settings), the design of the food dishes tying into the classic fairy tale, and of course, the wonderful conversations (and conversation starters) makes this, quite possibly, the best Yelp Elite Event I had ever been to.

  • Photo of Carla N.
    Carla N.
    Sherwood Park, AB

    The Yelp Elite evening at the River House in St. Albert was like a well-orchestrated seduction.

    The evening began with a pre-dinner cocktail of Croft Pink Port from Portugal. It had just the right amount of sweetness and the dry ice added to the drink created a lazy, smoky aura that appealed to the visual senses. This drink set the tone for the evening, causing tensions and inhibitions to begin melting away.

    The first course was marinated olives; these small delicious morsels were like nibbles to the neck - a promise of treats to follow. Presented in a glass sealed jar that let off a small puff of cedar chip smoke when opened caused 'ooohs' and 'awwwws' of delight. The wine, a Miguel Torres "Celeste" Criabza, 2009 was from Spain and paired exquisitely with the olives.

    Next up, was the Charcuterie. This plate of smoked meat, spicy sausage, sharp cheese, pate and chutney was served with a Luigi Bosca Chardonnay 2012 (Argentina). This course left us panting for more and our imaginations were stirred by the promise of what was to come.

    The baked halibut with prosciutto, tomato basil ravioli was served with a Joseph Drouhin Bourgogne Pinot Noir, 2010 and silence fell over our table. After a few bites, a swell of appreciation could be heard rising from the crowd.

    The ravioli is made in-house and has dough so thin that the goat's cheese and sundried tomato flavour was able to dominate. There was some discussion at our table about whether the ravioli was a good match with the Halibut as the ravioli was definitely the dominant partner. Maybe a more submissive partner would have let the Halibut shine more?

    The appetizers had built us up to such a delicious peak with the ravioli, could this be the end? No, the seduction had only just begun.

    We were served an Earl Grey sorbet, designed to provide a much needed rest for our over stimulated taste buds. The delicate flavour of the sorbet washed over the tongue and cleansed the palate. We sat back in our chairs, ready to languish in the afterglow of our first three courses.

    We were given plenty of time to chat and get to know our tablemates as we waited for the sensual onslaught to continue. We sipped our wine and enjoyed the intimacy of the quaint period River House.

    The next course pushed our inhibitions just a bit, exposing us to new culinary delights that some had never considered before. Crispy rabbit was served with tomato fennel gastrique and salt roasted carrots. Senses tingled at the idea of the usually forbidden, - or at least unspoken - delicacy that was to be placed before us. And it did not let us down. The sweet, moist meat was encased in a crispy coating that complimented the rabbit.  The carrots were small nuggets of blissful flavour.

    We could feel the heat rising as we realized our evening of pleasure was still not over.

    The fifth course was a soy lime beef short rib, snap peas, roasted garlic mashed potato with green apple puree and paired with Luigi Bosca Malbec, 2010. For many, this was the climax of the evening. The tender morsels of meat melted in our mouths as the tang of the horseradish roasted snap peas brought up the rear. The potatoes were light and fluffy, soothing stimulated senses.

    Leaning back in our chairs, we were overcome with delight. We had been to the culinary peak and experienced the thrill of the climb and the exhilaration of the climax. But wait, was there more?

    The final course was an orange and vanilla pot de crème with orange granite, served alongside an amazing Taylor Fladgate 20 year tawny port from Portugal. This crème-brulee-orange-creamsicle-in-a-cup was the perfect end to our evening. As it slid over our tongues, it seemed to promise that there would be many more culinary encounters to be had at the River House.

    And yes, I did call today to say what a great evening I had. I also booked another date.

  • Photo of Lacey F.
    Lacey F.
    Nashville, United States

    Oh, what a lovely evening! The situation turned rather racy over at the Queen of Hearts table, but we had lots of fun getting there, fuelled by excellent food and libations.

    I was beaten to the blow-by-blow by my tablemates last night, so I'll just touch on my absolute favourites: the olives, the tomato ravioli, the rabbit, and the orange and vanilla pot de crème. I would eat in a single sitting an entire gallon of the Earl Grey sorbet, palate cleanser be damned. And the first and last pairings of the evening, Croft Pink and Taylor Fladgate 20 Year, made me suspect I might be a port lover after all ...

    My only regret is that I didn't think to wear a corset with a really cute fascinator. Many, many thanks to Jennie, Curtis of Pacific Wine and Spirits, and the chefs and staff of the River House for showing us a fantastic time!

  • Photo of Myrna H.
    Myrna H.
    Edmonton, AB

    How do I begin to explain this event? It was unbelievable from start to finish, from the decor Jennie had, as well as the check in to get a Yelp goodie; a deck of cards of course, absolutely every detail was covered. The chef, his staff, our amazing server, and the wine representative worked in perfect unison to present us with course after course of delectable flavours.. each with a reference to compliment the Mad Hatter theme.

    The venue was amazing, I had always been intrigued as to what the interior of this grand structure held in store for me, it did not disappoint, I'm anxiously awaiting the chance to head back to Riverhouse to try other menu items as well as to re-visit a couple of the items from the event.

    The questions on the charger plates we passed around were a very entertaining and fun way to get to know your table partners, again compliments to Jennie for thinking outside the box and making all of those attending to feel welcomed and included! The photo booth area to show off our Mad Hats and smiles was also a nice touch. Fabulous night all around, thanks to my fellow guests at this event for making it so delightful.

0 other reviews that are not currently recommended

Collections Including Elite Event: Romp At The River House