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#1 oakapple

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:25 PM

On the "Do you care about location" thread, there was a long discussion about Tom Colicchio's Riverpark when it was announced in June.

I was of the opinion then, and still am, that it's tough to open a fine dining restaurant in a location where such places have no historical track record of succeeding (or frankly, even existing). Others argued that "this'll be one helluva cash cow for upscale lunch business. Bellevue, NYU Med Ctr and the VA all have a lot of very high paid administrators, Doctors and Pharm. reps. who need a place."

Well, it's open now, and we'll all find out. The good news is that the food is much better than it was at Colicchio & Sons, when that place was new. Those who never bought into Colicchio's style of cooking won't suddenly be enchanted, but the food is well done -- exactly what I would assume the food at the earlier place was supposed to be, only done right this time. It is also less expensive, and the East River views are exactly as promised.

The bad news is that it's even more remote and inaccessible than I expected. There's an unmarked gate at 29th & First. Then, you walk up a long, unmarked driveway. Then, you enter a door into an unmarked lobby, follow a corridor having all the charm of an auto dealership, and finally get to the restaurant. If they wanted to ensure that no one would find the place serendipitously, they could not have done a better job. If you are coming from outside the neighborhood, it's at least a half-mile walk from the nearest subway station.

The other bit of bad news is that they'll have to wait seven months to make use of the outdoor terrace, where dining at Riverpark will be at its most charming. There is nothing wrong with the dining room, where anyone who likes Craft will feel right at home, but there is nothing special about it either.

As I noted on the blog, this might be the best deal among Colicchio's restaurants, as it is quite a bit less expensive than Craft or Colicchio & Sons. It might even be better than Colicchio & Sons (that place might have improved since most of us panned it), but you'll hike a long way to get there.
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#2 Sneakeater

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:30 PM

They should play the theme from Get Smart along that walk.
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#3 Suzanne F

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 09:58 PM

Fried chicken ($17) and cheeseburger ($14) on the bar menu. :)

I expect a report from Dr. J, who has bemoaned the lack of decent places in his work neighborhood. It's still a hike for him, but is anyone else closer?

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#4 nuxvomica

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 10:38 PM

ha, my husband flat out refused to go there because it's "in the middle of nowhere"
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#5 Rich

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 01:56 PM

Well at least Peggy works just one floor below the restaurant - she gets there easy.

#6 Stone

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 02:07 PM

ha, my husband flat out refused to go there because it's "in the middle of nowhere"

It's the Montrachet or USC of East Nowheresville.

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#7 Suzanne F

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:28 PM

Fried chicken ($17) and cheeseburger ($14) on the bar menu. :)

I expect a report from Dr. J, who has bemoaned the lack of decent places in his work neighborhood. It's still a hike for him, but is anyone else closer?



Well at least Peggy works just one floor below the restaurant - she gets there easy.


Peggy wins!

So now I expect a review from Rich. Assuming he meets Peggy at work sometime.

Butter is a little like money and alcohol. It doesn't solve any problems but may help smooth over a few. -- voyager, 13 October 2017 - 9:49 AM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#8 g.johnson

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:37 PM

Others argued that "this'll be one helluva cash cow for upscale lunch business. Bellevue, NYU Med Ctr and the VA all have a lot of very high paid administrators, Doctors and Pharm. reps. who need a place."

And, more to the point, executives from the biotech companies that are expected to occupy that building and the three others that are planned.
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#9 g.johnson

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 01:14 PM

Well, I don't know where they come from but it was nearly full last night between 7:30 and 9:30.

Nice room. Horribly uncomfortable bar stools. Kitchen still a WIP. Or at least I hope so. If that snapper was meant to be cooked that much it'll be a disaster.

With a 20% discount for the first few weeks, $85 all in for three courses, two glasses of wine and a calvados.
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#10 irnscrabblechf52

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 08:15 PM

I went to Riverpark, though under an assumed identity for purposes of objectivity (and not getting the boot). Overall, an enjoyable meal, though the restaurant's logic/business concept continue to baffle me.
Here are my (rather lengthy) thoughts:

http://thecollegecri...r-at-riverpark/
Immortal space traveler.

#11 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:23 PM

Thanks for the link. After craftsteak and Colicchio & Sons - and despite Craft - I need to read several positive reports before risking it. Not like it's convenient for anywhere I am likely to be going either.

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#12 Miguel Gierbolini

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:33 AM

Thanks for the link. After craftsteak and Colicchio & Sons - and despite Craft - I need to read several positive reports before risking it. Not like it's convenient for anywhere I am likely to be going either.

You guys talk about this place as if it were somewhere in Peoria rather than on the farthest east side of Manhattan.
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#13 g.johnson

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:46 AM


Thanks for the link. After craftsteak and Colicchio & Sons - and despite Craft - I need to read several positive reports before risking it. Not like it's convenient for anywhere I am likely to be going either.

You guys talk about this place as if it were somewhere in Peoria rather than on the farthest east side of Manhattan.

It really is a trek by public transport. The nearest subway is over half a mile so a visit by public transport involves [shudder]busses[/shudder].
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#14 Miguel Gierbolini

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:48 AM

Taxi from the East Village would be $10-12?
"I mispoke."

#15 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:53 AM

But why would you take a taxi to Riverpark when there are so many places at least as good where you can just hop in the subway or walk?

(I'd walk to Riverpark myself. But then I walked something like two miles to eat at Korzo last night.)

And also, when you finish dinner and walk out of the restaurant, you're like nowhere. I tend to think that's a problem for many people, just psychologically (or whatever the right word is) -- even those who don't admit it. It's certainly a problem for me. Just puts a gloomy end on the evening.
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