Have you been to Silver Cow Eatery in Riverside? We hadn’t until recently – and we were missing out. We had walked by Silver Cow many times, but always just assumed it was simply a bar. We recently stopped in for a quick bite and were impressed with the quality of the food Silver Cow had to offer.
Regina and Whit opened Silver Cow not quite two years ago. It had long been a dream of Regina’s, and by all accounts they have built something special. The space has a vintage-goth, yet fun feel to it, with exposed brick, twinkle lights hanging on a statue, massive old lamps on the bar, and Regina’s mom looking lovingly over the restaurant in her graduation picture from the 1950s.
One of the first people you could and should meet at Silver Cow is Kyle. Kyle is the house bartender/beer aficionado. He will expertly steer you to just the right beer for your palate. With 79 beers on tap and four pages of beers on the menu, Kyle believes that if they don’t have a beer you like, then you just don’t like beer. Which is fine, because Silver Cow also offers a variety of fun and festive champagne cocktails. They are also in the process of implementing a new system where they will be able to access wine without uncorking it, allowing them to greatly expand their wine served by the glass. I enjoyed “The Lady Boy”, which is a Thai chili infused peach bellini. The drink itself showed as a beautiful ombre from orange to red in the glass. It wasn’t spicy, but had a great flavor.
The focus at Silver Cow is on their extensive beer offerings, but they have in no way neglected the food. They could probably get by with basic bar bites and deep fry some stuff, but they take the care to offer more gourmet noshes. We started with the antipasto (a mix of spicy olives, peppers, gorgonzola, Genoa salami, Chorizo Cantimpola, Prosciutto and oil and vinegar, $7.95). It came with freshly grilled French bread. They are not joking about the olives being spicy. It was a touch spicier than we can handle. If you’re into spicy fare it’s a great starter for you. This was a delicious sharable plate with a multitude of complementing flavors.
Next we tried the Sweet Onion and Bacon Compote (a sweet saute of fresh onions rendered with a blend of light brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider and apple cider vinegar (served cold) $6.95). Wowza. This is a don’t miss menu item. It was savory and hearty and earthy. It reminded me of a roast. Kyle recommends a stout to go with this delicious compote.
We also tried three sandwiches, the first being Pig and Goat Say Cheese (sliced, smoked bacon cheddar cheese, goat cheese, and bacon on Texas Toast $9.95). At Silver Cow, all of the sandwiches are pressed like a panini rather than being slathered in butter and grilled on a flat top. Even so, the Pig and Goat Say Cheese is a decadent sandwich. It is loaded with so much cheddar, goat cheese, and bacon that the cheese spills over the sides of the sandwich.
The next sandwich we tried was the Decatur & St. Peters (slices of Genoa salami, chorizo cantimpola, prosciutto, mortadella with pistachios, provolone, swiss, chopped olives and peppers, olive oil and red wine vinegar on ciabatta bread, $7.95). First of all, this thing is stuffed with meat and cheese. Talk about getting your money’s worth! It has a ton of flavor and even a bit of spice with those olives and peppers. If cured meats are your thing (and seriously why wouldn’t they be) then the Decatur & St. Peters is your sandwich. The last sandwich we tried was the Grilled Pancetta and Havarti (Grilled, seasoned pancetta with roasted garlic, topped with melted dill havarti and basil, $9.95). This sandwich was less stuffed than the other two we tried. It was a bit more delicate. The dill Havarti is beautiful. It’s a little basil heavy. And because it’s pressed and not fried with butter, it will not overwhelm your stomach.
We ended our meal with the daily dessert special, which was a raspberry brownie with ice cream, topped with beer. Who doesn’t love beer? It was quite tasty and great for sharing. It would make a great permanent dessert option. The other desserts offered everyday are a Not Your Father’s Root Beer float and a Beer Ice Cream Float. Have you ever imagined such things? Can you even wait to try them?
All in all we had an enjoyable time at Silver Cow. It’s a fantastic environment with friendly, fun people. They’ve got beer options and a bite for every palate. I’m sure we’ll be stopping in again sometime soon and we hope you will be too.