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DINING REVIEW #3: RIO STATION

After a recent day of visiting breweries, we found ourselves starving in Rio Grande, a town with very limited options for anything beyond fast food (and with only one bar!). As such we headed to the Rio Station for dinner and more drinks. I’ve previously enjoyed lunches there but can’t recall the last time I ate dinner in the establishment, and as such I was curious as to how it would be.

Upon entering we were promptly greeted and sat in a comfortable booth under a metal train station awning. The railroad themed décor gives the Rio Station a sense of fun without being overbearing or tacky and we all quite enjoyed it. The menu is designed like a newspaper, which we also thought was a cute touch, even if it initially confused us slightly (we had been drinking beer for a while prior to arrival after all). Our server, Jim, arrived shortly thereafter and got us our drinks in a timely manner. The selection of wines by the glass is a bit more robust than many fancier restaurants, with some impressive options and remarkably reasonable prices. The pinot noir our friend Deb ordered was very well-received, and I loved the pinot grigio.

We were all quite happy with our meals as well. I ordered the “Stuffed Under the Sea”, an assortment of shrimp, scallops, and flounder, all filled with their signature crab mix. Everything was well-cooked and nicely seasoned and their crab was tasty enough to be worthy of the praise they give it throughout the menu. Our friend Deb opted for the “Local Black’N Scallops” which were both plentiful and thoroughly enjoyed, while Patrick and our other guest, Ed, opted for choices from the “Small Plates” menu, neither of which seemed especially small on arrival. Ed started with the French Onion soup and was very happy with it, and then enjoyed the Chicken Francaise. Patrick was also very satisfied with his plate of “I’m Back Chicken Parm”. The only real complaint was that the baked potatoes that 3 of us ordered were not especially hot when received, though were still quite tasty.

The service was excellent. Jim was very attentive and quick to get us whatever we needed. His personality was charmingly quirky and won all of us over, and he rather impressively remembered Patrick and I from a lunch visit that had to have been nearly a year ago now. The food isn’t overly fancy and full of things you’ve never heard of or seen attempted before, but one doesn’t always need that. For a simple meal done well, in a fun, casual atmosphere, this is one of the better choices in the area. And I think our next visit will be sooner than another year from now.

GRADE: B+

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