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River Bar

French flavor. Southern comfort.

Where classic dishes inspired by French and European style cooking, with a modern, creative touch, meet today’s desire for lighter, healthier food. All in a casual, fun, hotspot of The Cloister, with illuminated cases full of old and new world pairings and specialty cocktails that augment an already exceptional meal. Where sunlight flows during the day and sunsets offer spectacular views over the river from table, bar, or banquette seating. And where you’ll find something to delight your taste buds, thanks to local ingredients, flavors, and dishes from around the world, prepared with a French and European twist. Join us for a memorable cocktail or glass of wine, and a cozy supper in the comfort of your own home. And be sure to save room for the beignets!

European cuisine with a dash of Southern hospitality.

Bowl Culinary Dining at Cloister River Bar


Crispy Cauliflower

A simple dish with a more-than-simple taste!

Crispy Cauliflower
Makes 2 Servings
1 whole cauliflower head (about 2 pounds)
½ cup (or more) extra virgin olive oil or melted ghee
3 tablespoons Kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove the stem and any leaves from the cauliflower head.
  3. Cover cauliflower in olive oil or ghee, and rub in well.
  4. Season with salt.
  5. Place in a baking dish and cover with foil.
  6. Roast for 30 minutes with foil.
  7. Remove foil and continue to roast until golden brown and softened, about 45 minutes.
Culinary Dining at River Bar


Whole Roasted Cornish Hen and Mixed Greens Salad

A chef and guest favorite, especially when paired with panoramic views of the Black Banks River.

Whole Roasted Cornish Hen and Mixed Greens Salad
Serves 3
Dark Chicken Broth
6 chicken wings
1 large onion, quartered
3 medium carrots (roughly chopped)
2 stalks celery (roughly chopped)
5 sprigs thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
Cornish Hen

3 Cornish Hens (Spatchcocked)
6 quarts Water
6 quarts Ice
3 cups Salt
2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Lemons (Halved)
5 Bay Leaves
1 bunch Thyme
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons White Wine
1 cup Dark Chicken Broth
2 tablespoons Butter

Mixed Green Salad with Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette

½ cup Sherry Vinegar
¼ cup Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 cup Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Pickled Mustard Seed
Mixed Lettuce (Include Frissee, Radicchio, Arugula, and Water Cress)
¼ cup Pine Nuts (Toasted)
¼ cup Dates (Pitted and Sliced)
2 tablespoons Radish (Thinly Sliced)
2 tablespoons Chive (Minced)
2 tablespoons Dill (Minced)
Salt (To taste)

Dark Chicken Broth:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a roasting pan add chicken wings, vegetables, and thyme. Season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes until the wings are nice and brown.
  2. Remove from the oven and set over medium-high heat on the stove top. Add white wine to deglaze and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock and continue to simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid until about 1 cup remains. Remove from heat and strain through a thin strainer, pushing some of the vegetable pulp through the strainer with the back of a ladle – this will help thicken the jus slightly. Add the cold butter cubes to the jus and swirl until it melts. Season again with salt and pepper.

Cornish Hen:

  1. Bring all ingredients except ice to a boil. Cool with ice.
  2. Cut back bone out of hens with scissors and break breast bone so the bird lays flat.
  3. Add cut hens to cool brine for 6-8 hours.
  4. Let hens dry before cooking.
  5. In a cast iron pan heat olive oil to medium high heat. Season skin of hen with salt and pepper and season skin in oil.
  6. Cook till golden brown and transfer to oven.
  7. Bake flesh to 165 degrees.
  8. Remove hens from pan and let rest.
  9. For sauce add white wine and Dark Chicken Broth to pan and reduce. Add Butter to pan and season with salt and lemon to finish.
  10. To serve place sauce on a shallow plate with cooked hens on top. Serve with Mixed Green Salad with Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette

Mixed Greens Salad with Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette :

  1. Start in a cup with sherry, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. With an immersion blender, blend ingredients and slowly add olive oil until emulsified. Fold in seeds and let cool in fridge.
  2. Mix dry ingredients of salad together and herbs in a mixing bowl. Pour half of the dressing around the outside of the bowl. Slowly mix ingredients together and add salt to taste.
River Bar Dessert at Cloister



The beignets are guaranteed to go fast, so we recommend making extras.


Makes 6 Beignets

5 Whole White Eggs
1 1/3 cup Whole Milk
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
¾ cup Butter (Softened)
8 cups Bread Flour
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 tablespoon Iodized Salt
2 teaspoons Dry Yeast
1 cup Orange Blossom Water

  1. In a mixer bowl with dough hook attachment, combine all ingredients.
  2. Mix low speed for 5 minutes and medium speed for 15 minutes.
  3. Rest, cover the dough for 1 hour and fold, rest 15 minutes.
  4. Heavily flour a wooden cutting board and press dough out in a rectangle and let rest.
  5. Cut dough with pizza cutter into squares and separate on a floured board to allow room to proof.
  6. Proof at room temperature about 30 minutes.
  7. Fry at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar while still warm.

The perfect pairings.

Chipotle Mule Cocktail at River Bar


Chipotle Mule

Join Lead Resort Bartender Nic Wallace as he shakes up this best-selling crowd favorite!

Chipotle Mule


Serves 1


1.5 ounces St. George Green Chili Vodka
0.5 ounce Velvet Falernum
1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
3 ounces Fever Tree Ginger Beer
Garnish: Roasted Bell Peppers and Lime Wheel
Glass: Copper Mug
Ice: Standard

  1. Combine all ingredients in a copper mug, then fill with ice and stir gently to incorporate ingredients.
Wine Bottles

Wine Pairing

Elizabeth Chambers Cellar Winemaker's Cuvée Pinot Noir

Sea Island Head Sommelier Ryan McLoughlin tackles perhaps the toughest decision of the night – the wine. Hear his selection that will transport you to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Cheers!

Jazz notes to complete your French feast.

A jazz playlist to be paired with clinking glasses, laughs around the tables, and lively conversation around the room. Bring the charm of River Bar’s atmosphere home with you.


SeaIsland River Bar Ceiling

Setting the Table

Caroline Grogan, Associate Director of Event Design

River Bar welcomes you with warm masculine wood tones, delicate blue and white chinoiserie patterns, and beautiful orange sunsets over the Black Banks River. In considering these elements—we brought in coordinating patterns, layered manicured topiaries and candlelight, and finished with pop of orange in the clementine. Dinnertime set for sunset for two—this cozy table is the perfect place to unwind until your next stay at Sea Island.

Cloister River Bar food wine and dessert