Riverview Restaurant makes its debut at former Burlington City landmark

Riverview Restaurant will open this weekend in Burlington City in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Gallery. It will feature a Philly chef and farm-to-fork cuisine.

On Friday, a stylish restaurant will open at a former landmark site in Burlington City and will feature a chef known for rustic farm-to-fork cuisine at two West Philadelphia locations.   

The Riverview Restaurant will serve its first customers Friday night, with both “familiar and uncommon” dishes cooked up by Ross Scofield, former chef and co-owner of Rx the Farmacy and the Bar(n), according to the new restaurant's owner,  Adrian Thomas. 

“He’s a young chef, and we have a dynamic team that will be focusing on seasonal, sustainable, locally sourced food,” said Thomas, an Australia native.  Scofield, whose family owned diners, also was a chef a decade ago at Birches, which briefly operated inside a former bank in Burlington.

Thomas, who purchased the popular Café Gallery for $750,000 with his partner, Phillip Stone, more than three years ago, said the new restaurant will feature unusual rustic dishes, including homemade charcuterie and chicken liver toast, as well as comfort foods and flatbreads.   Prices will be in the moderate range, Thomas said, from $12 for small plates to $17 to $25 for full entrées.

Also, Thomas said, there will be craft beer offerings, an extensive wine selection, and signature cocktails including the Burlington, a take on a Manhattan.

“We’ll have less common spirits and liquor, as well as some more well-known labels, and will offer our craft and an artisanal experience,” Thomas said. 

Thomas is also part-owner of an Australian vineyard and three bars outside of London.  He previously was a cardiologist.  He lives on a 12-acre farm in New Hope that he plans to use to provide some of the ingredients at the eatery.   

Scofield also became a chef through an untraditional path.  He had been a pharmacist, thus the name of Rx the Farmacy.  He learned culinary arts at the Restaurant School in Philadelphia. 

Riverview will hold an invitation-only event for Burlington City officials and the chamber of commerce early Friday evening and will then open to the public after 7 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday.  Thomas said that the restaurant will be open Thursdays through Sundays for the first few weeks. 

By April, he said, he hopes to be open seven days a week, and to then offer original artisanal coffee for wholesale and retail purchase.

When the weather turns warmer, the two-story restaurant on High Street, overlooking the Delaware River, will also offer patio dining.  It then will have seating for about 250 patrons, double the size of Cafe Gallery.

Thomas said he and his partner invested nearly $2 million in renovations, giving the restaurant a new look and atmosphere, including an upstairs and downstairs bar and special lighting.