Monday, February 28, 2011
It takes effort to eat at Riverpark, the newest restaurant by Tom Colicchio, but there's much there that will make the effort seem worth it. The restaurant sits far away on 29th Street just east of First Avenue inside the lobby of the Alexandria Center, a medical center, not exactly the sexiest location. And it's perched above the FDR, peering out onto the East River. (There's a nice view if you can manage to ignore the traffic whizzing by below.) You might find it more comfortable to sit away from the windows in the spacious dining room where tables are positioned far enough away from each other that you aren't bumping elbows with your neighbors as you have to do at so many Manhattan nooks. But the decorative string of lights did leave me a bit dizzy.
There were many choices on the Restaurant Week menu, which turned out to be different than the one posted online. Though there were more options, I was a little disappointed that the fried chicken wasn't offered. But the kitchen, led by chef Sisha Ortúzar, produced a solid meal nonetheless.
Perhaps because of its location, Riverpark drew a strange mix of people — maybe diehard foodies willing to trek all the way to the edge of the island for the promise of good food and people from the neighborhood glad to see a quality new restaurant nearby. But if the restaurant can manage to do that, then it should be able to thrive against all the odds against it.
Posted by kitchenette at 10:36 PM