Another very good meal at Riverpark
Our first dinner at Riverpark, about a month-and-a-half ago, was an experience that yielded tremendous promise for the restaurant with very good food, but also with spotty-at-times opening month jittery service. Our dinner last night fulfilled the then promising promise. Service was polished and very efficient, not stuffy, and with just the right amount of being casual and certainly very cordial. This time, we wanted to try the lower cost bar menu and we were glad that we did. My Caesar salad was beyond any regular bar salad that I’ve had anywhere, as it was enhanced by pieces of anchovies that appeared to be swimming in a body of fresh greens with just the perfect amount of dressing. My entrée was the good steak frites, with both my dining companion, my wife and wife’s nephew, being as satisfied as I was, as they happily chowed on the generous amount of the accompanying delicious fries.
I also had tastes of the excellent clam bruschetta appetizer, as well as the fried chicken dish that I would say to be, at the very least, above average,
Our bottle of a good 2009 Beaujolais was served with the right stemware and was served at the appropriate cool temperature.
We’re definitely looking forward to going back.
450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016
Four of us had Christmas Eve dinner at Riverpark, and it was close to excellent overall. In addition to the a la carte menu, there were two prix fixes, a feast of seven fishes and a special Christmas menu. Both looked terrific, but both were available only for the entire table, so we went the regular menu route. Portions are quite generous, and my appetizer, shared plate of hamachi, half order of pasta and dessert proved to be plenty of food. Slightly more than plenty, actually, but only because I went overboard with the damn bread (as usual).
The room is attractive, and I was impressed by how much space there is between tables (I've lived in Manhattan a long time, and the extra real estate was a treat). Service was efficient and professional, if not especially warm. Some of our servers seemed very nervous, and we are not an intimidating bunch.
I had a taste of the octopus appetizer, which was very nice: one big ol' tentacle, perfectly cooked. I was less thrilled with my mushroom consomme, because it turned out to be more of an upside-down French onion soup. There was a big hunk of parmesan lurking at the bottom, along with some sweated onions and - somewhat bizarrely - frisee. All this was listed on the menu, but somehow I failed to predict what this dish would actually be like. Too busy, that's what.
I was much happier with my pasta, a squid ink chitarra with octopus and squid, in a spicy sauce. This was pretty much faultless in every way. Exactly enough sauce, beautifully balanced, and with the taste of the seafood coming through strongly despite the sliced hot peppers scattered throughout. My dessert, a chestnut pudding with eggnog ice cream, was also very satisfying, although it wasn't a pudding, it was a cake. Yes, yes, cake is called pudding in some countries, but in *this* one... Sadly, I did not get enough of the ice cream, what with three other spoons stabbing at it. Possibly this was payback for my helping myself to a few too many hen-of-the-woods mushrooms (and some uni! and scallops!) from plates that were not my own.
All in all, a lovely meal, and I'd certainly recommend the place. I thought the cost was extremely reasonable for the quality of the food. It's also worth mentioning that the beer and by-the-glass wines are very gently priced.