We kicked off our Stay & Play series last week and we're commencing with a recent stay that we won't soon forget. The Riverhouse on the Deschutes is located on the north end of Bend on Highway 97. However, you'd never know that the recently-renovated hotel sits along this main stretch in town. We arrived before our room was ready, so we decided to talk a walk around the property.
The Riverhouse expands across multiple properties; the main building sits at the base of the main entrance and includes the lobby, Currents Restaurant and Bar, and a game area with bar tops and pool tables. There are two buildings which house all of the rooms and suites. We were able to secure a larger suite with a river view, which was located on the property behind the main building. A sheltered bridge connects these two buildings, crossing over the rapidly-flowing Deschutes river.
Our home for the next 36 hours included an indoor wood-burning fireplace, a balcony looking out over the river, and nothing but trees and fallen leaves below us. In fact, all rooms have an outdoor balcony, with half of all rooms overlooking the river. There's no sight of the city or adjoining rooms, only flowing water and the changing of the leaves.
We decided to venture Downtown for Happy Hour before making our way back for dinner. San Simón, located in Tin Pan Alley off of Minnesota ave., is a new cocktail lounge with a speakeasy feel. The absence of televisions, screens, and neon lights creates a loungey vibe and welcoming energy. Cocktails are made with a respect and love for the craft without pomposity or pretension. We enjoyed a customizable charcuterie board with smoked meats, such as black garlic sausage, and soft cheeses, rosemary almonds, and fresh bread. As your eyes begin to adjust to the light emerging only from a side window and scattered tea lights, you'll begin to settle into an atmospherical calm, allowing your taste senses to heighten.
Find us sipping on:
The Shorewood Greyhound; Locally-distilled Gomper's gin, fresh grapefruit, and elderflower. We also loved The "What's Going Down" Episode of That's My Mama; cucumber-infused vodka, fresh ginger, rosemary, lime, and float of champagne.
Can't wait to try:
The Painkiller; Cruzan rum, pineapple and orange juices, coconut creme, and fresh nutmeg. We’ve searched high and low for a bar in Bend who has the means to make a classic painkiller.
Or Try Nearby:
Boneyard Brewing is a 15-minute walk from the Riverhouse and serves several home-brewed options, as well as an extensive food menu including fares such as pistachio-chipotle beet salad, jackfruit bowl, and fried pickles.
Currents at the Riverhouse has made significant upgrades to its facility as well as to its menu. We enjoyed both the Surf & Turf and the New York strip (we are on vacation). The surf and turf, a petite filet mignon and lobster tail, is beautifully cooked and stacked over mashed potatoes, baby carrots, and lacinato kale, all drizzled in a Pinot Noir reduction. For a melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon, choose this entree cooked medium-rare.
We also enjoyed the Steak Frites, a Double-R Ranch NY strip, topped with a peppercorn sauce and served with shoestring fries. We chose the broccolini side, served a la carte, which left us wanting more. The grilled cruciferous side was laid upon a hazelnut and red pepper romesco sauce and, quite frankly, my favorite dish of the entire meal. For dessert, we chose the lighter fare of warm creme brulee topped with fresh seasonal berries.
Or Try Nearby:
Craft Kitchen & Brewery, which recently relocated from the Mill Quarter to Northeast Bend, serves high-end pub fare like oyster tacos and fried chicken paired with honey-jalapeño cornbread. They are closed on Mondays and offer limited evening hours on Tuesdays.
It was almost too convenient to pass through the Bar at Currents on our way back to our room, so we had to stop for a nightcap… or two. First up, the Nudge on the River. I had the pleasure of sharing this chilled cocktail for Bend Magazine’s Fall/Winter cocktail feature. However, this time I would be enjoying the cold brew martini, rather than dissecting it. It’s made using Crater Lake’s Hazelnut Espresso vodka and Stumptown’s cold brew coffee. Think about the hybrid of an espresso martini and a classic coffee nudge. The second and final round brought a split of Domaine Chandon sparkling wine for each of us.
Find us sipping on:
A Ginger Paloma in-hand—try substituting the tequila reposado for smoky mezcal—on the river-front patio. Curl up on their outdoor furniture and warm-up in front of their many glass fire pits.
Even after the melt-in-your-mouth steaks, juicy lobster tail, french desserts, champagne, and dessert cocktails, the most indulgent event of the evening was retreating back to our room and cozying up in front of the fireplace. Rooms are equipped with a Duraflame log, matches, and additional chunky blankets (by request). The white noise coming from the river rapidly passing just outside of our room, paired with the crackling glow of a midnight fire, made for an evening permeated with content and fulfillment.
It’s almost impossible to sleep in, as the opportunity to sip coffee on our river-front balcony, inhaling the crisp morning air, left me nearly as giddy as a child opening their eyes on a white Christmas morning. After a quick call to the front desk, a new fire log and more blankets arrived at our room. For the next ninety minutes, I savored every hot sip of organic coffee, breathed deep into my chest, and allowed myself the moments to appreciate the beauty surrounding me. Even though I was a mere 10-minute drive from my house, I had escaped to a mindful retreat where laundry, junk mail, and dirty dishes ceased to exist.
We took the short stroll across the bridge from our room to the Currents Restaurant to indulge in their Sunday brunch offerings. I’m a firm believer in the sweet-and-savory balance, so we ordered accordingly.
Now, in my humble food-writing opinion, one must always have an order of pancakes “for the table”.
There’s no better way to offer some reprieve from a savory breakfast than with the meal-ending prompt of fluffy buttermilk pancakes. After savoring a classic Currents breakfast (you know—eggs, bacon, biscuits, the works) and eggs benedict with a heaping serving of Dungeness crab, we sat back and dug into griddle cakes with berries.
Find us sipping on:
Mimosas. Try your own blend with half-and-half pineapple and blood orange juices.
Or Try Nearby:
McKay’s Cottage is a three-or-so-minute drive from The Riverhouse. On sunnier days, sit outside and enjoy plates such as lemon-ricotta blueberry pancakes, chicken hash stacked benedict, and the Farmer’s omelette. Plan to eat on the earlier side of the morning, as wait times can be lengthy.
We recommend Riverhouse on the Deschutes for anyone looking to get away without really going away. Staycations can spread across nearly 100-miles; if you’re local to Bend or simply looking for a way to enjoy Central Oregon with the conveniences of a central location, yet hidden from the city views, Riverhouse will meet all of your expectations… and then some. Their hospitality is uncompromising and I am sincerely humbled by their high standards (and not-so-high prices).
Book Your Room, with Complimentary Breakfast at Currents, Here: Rates during the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring start at $105/night.