Hadley Hooper

If any executive chef can make the food at the River House (301 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-7661) worthy of the place's great location, it's Doug Riess. Like owners Tim Petrillo and Peter Boulukos, Riess worked with the king of the gastronomic diaspora 'round these parts, Mark Militello, at both Mark's Place and Mark's in the Grove; he then took over Mark's Coconut Grove location before Noble House bought it. Although his new menu at River House isn't quite as Caribbean as we're used to seeing from him, it still has that creative Riess touch. "I'm trying to get arctic char and items like skate in there," Riess says, "and I do everything from meat loaf to rack of lamb." Just don't expect much of the more popular meat-and-potatoes stuff to be available late in the evening. "We're getting a pretheater crowd, and we're just getting slammed," Riess admits.

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