Riverpark - a new Tom Colicchio restaurant is in a random NYC location, but well worth the venture out.
I visited this gem during its soft open, again during a major blizzard, another time for the lunch crowd and yet again with baby-in-tow for a family night out. 4 out of 4 times, we had a great meal and service was also just as commendable.
Even their Restaurant Week menu didn't disappoint -like so many do during this "get 'em in and out" promotion. Talk about a pleasant surprise.
For starters, (and I say that with a quirky smirk since that's really not pun-ny!) -the appetizers are terrific. Even their potato chips... yes, potato chips! They are served with a Gorgonzola-based dip that is so yummy, I am salivating like a rabid dog thinking about them!
The seasonal butternut squash soup is also approachable and has been a welcome addition to the table on a cold winter's day/night. (We've had a lot of those in the city this year!)
I've made a point of working my way through all of the pasta dishes on the menu. 3 out of the 4 times they were perfect. Only the last time when I ordered the short rib ravioli, they were a tad too al dente. In fact, I'd say they were undercooked... but they still (yes! still!) had flavor.
I've also sampled the duck. That was really perfection. It was very delicate and simply delicious; the trumpet mushrooms were paired well with the dish.
The atmosphere is inviting -once you're indoors. First, you have to FIND the restaurant. Then you walk into a convention-center-looking abode before getting to the entrance. The lighting behind the bar area does really funky things to my optical lenses -and I do not wear glasses, contact lenses or a moniker. I just get a little dizzy when looking at the lights too often. So the cure: don't look too long and maybe get a table that faces away from the light show.
Don't misunderstand, as the interior is welcoming and has a bit of cool funkiness to it -but for me, personally, it makes my eyes go wild when I am staring into the space for too long. Just sayin'.
Wait staff and front of the house personnel are also very good and attentive. They smile and act like they really care.
I'm going back soon to try the Rack of Lamb or maybe they'll have another pasta special to sample (because pasta always wins out in my book!), but first, the potato chips must be served.
You won't be disappointed to check out Riverpark. It's a big win for Tom Colicchio and the surrounding neighborhood.You know, as Charlie Sheen would say, "Winning!"
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