I read about River Barrel (160 Franklin Ave. at Kent St., 718-389-8881) on Greenpointers when it first opened about a year ago and have had it on my list ever since. I finally made it over there recently for Brunch. It's in a great corner space with huge windows that drench the place in sunlight during Brunch. There's a cool chandelier in the center of the ceiling made up of what looks like water glasses, nice exposed brick walls and a tin ceiling that should be a nicer shade (copper or reddish instead of matte brown). Scanning the comments about the place, I saw a lot of complaints about the service, however our server was quite attentive & friendly, and the food came out in good time. The music was fun too - sort of an 80's mix, but with songs rarely heard (Billy Ocean & Bonnie Raitt anyone?).
I chose the River Barrel Sardou, poached eggs on an English Muffin with shaved artichokes and creamed spinach. It looks kind of intense, but was marvelous with the flavors of the artichokes and the sweet spinach mingling. The eggs were expertly poached and runny. The side of potatoes was ok - I prefer mine crispier.
My boyfriend got the Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon. The salmon was very smoky tasting which kind of overpowered the dish. The Hollandaise Sauce was good though - often where this dish goes wrong.
We also got a side of the Applewood Smoked Bacon - three thick strips of meat nicely done.
I liked River Barrel a lot, and would like to go back for dinner and drinks sometime. It seems like it'd be a cozy spot in the evening.