Sunday's Waterfront Restaurant; Rivah Bistro 

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After a few wrong turns, I found Sunday's, tucked away in front of a gorgeous lake in Brandermill.

Despite the boardwalk and the "beach," the menu's blatant nod to the tropics seemed odd: Jamaican habanero wings. St. Martin burger. Aruba shrimp-salad sandwich.

Pizza ($8.55 to $10.95) is a popular starter and comes big enough to share. The house salads ($3.45) are fresh and generous, but the dressings seem prefab. Lunch entrees range from $6.95 to $15.95 and run the gamut: There are sandwiches, main-course salads, pasta, burgers and a selection of fresh fish dishes. On my visit, my Trinidad tuna ($13.95) was perfectly cooked and went beautifully with Asian-flavored soba noodles. The lunch special, seasoned grilled shrimp ($6.95), was dry, too salty, and the accompanying rice was bland and lacking in personality.

Do not miss dessert (all $4.45). The blueberry white-chocolate bread pudding sounds odd, but is utterly delicious. The Elizabeth cake — a chocolate roulade with cream-cheese filling — is pretty and festive and not too sweet. We left Sunday's full, content, and happy not to be dressed in skimpy resort clothing. — Sally Belk King

Sunday's Waterfront Restaurant
4602 Millridge Parkway
Lunch and dinner Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday, Saturday 11:30-10 p.m., Sunday
brunch 10 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner 3 p.m.-9 p.m.

Rivah Bistro is an everyday place, think Cafe Rick in "Casablanca" on casual Friday. The most interesting contributions to Richmond's culinary palate are the Moroccan dishes: merguez, a soft and warmly spiced Moroccan lamb sausage served with a smokey tomato coulis, and harissa — not always on the menu — an all-purpose puree of pepper, oil, garlic, coriander and cumin, that is transformed into a soup. Unfortunately, this is where Morocco ends.

They also make some delicious and fresh desserts ($4 - $7), like fresh sorbet shaped into a small pyramid and capped with a delicate chocolate shell, and a vanilla creme brulee that is absolutely a point.

The rest of the menu is a tour of comforts both French and Italian, comfortably priced from $10 to $18: onion soup, nicely gratineed; pork loin with baked apples; baked chicken (an occasional special) with mashed potatoes and jus deglaze; plus a range of scallopine-cut veal and chicken in a variety of styles and sauces — saltimbocca, Toscan, cognac and Marsala. — Patrick Getlein

Rivah Bistro
1417 E. Cary St.
Monday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday - Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.


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