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Dec 7, 2012 07:52 PM

Need a recommend for Kip's Bay, sophisticated American ?

Looking for quiet if possible. Vicinity of 31st and 3rd. New to NY. Need to bring this in for $120 or so.
Giorgio's of Grammercy looks about right but is a little far away, I think.
This is a third date, enough said.
Please help.

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  1. Good food and a great date place at Riverpark, Tom C.'s place with river views. Perfect for conversation.

    Check the web site, though, for pricing.

    17 Replies
    1. re: mitchleeny

      Second that. We had a wonderful meal there a few months ago. Portions were reasonable - something that we really appreciate. Quality over quantity. You could do $120 if you don't have wine.

      1. re: mitchleeny

        Riverpark? For a date? I tried that once, and if the strange medical facility setting doesn't kill the mood, the sterile corporate office building lobby for an entrance might finish the job. It's great if you want that "where are you taking me?" effect, I guess.

        I would suggest ilili on 5th instead.

        1. re: sugartoof

          IMO,the building and surroundings are irrelevant once you are in the restaurant. Riverpark has great ambience and delicious food. It could be a bit pricey, though, depending on whether the $120 figure includes drinks, tax and tip

          1. re: rrems

            I find most of the food lackluster, and pricey for the quality these days. It feels neglected.

            What about the ambience do you like? It reminds me of Perry, with it's hotel chain atmosphere, where nothing feels nail down. The place doesn't make much sense.

            I'm actually surprised it doesn't get recognized and ridiculed as one of the more laughable establishments in NYC.

            1. re: sugartoof

              sugartoof, there are lies, the truth, and then there's opinion. The fact that you express an opinion doesn't mean that the place is "described accurately for once." My girlfriend found the place charming; your date didn't. People are different, and that's what makes life fun.

              1. re: Pan

                Then why challenge my dissenting opinion rather than the person trying to discredit it because it's not what "everyone else" thinks?

                Point me to a review that accurately depicts the fact that this establishment sits in the back end of a ground floor sharing a lobby with a modern office building catering to medical industry, and bioscience research labs. Oh, and should we mention Bellevue psych ward vibe? Some people will like this, and that's fine, but let's not obscure it.

                1. re: sugartoof

                  I agree with you that "what everyone else thinks" is a silly argument. If popularity determined quality, McDonald's would be the greatest restaurant(s) in the US. And it's quite fair to describe the location the way you do, but that ignores the beautiful riverfront view, which is also part of the location.

                  1. re: Pan

                    I actually appreciated the riverfront view, though some people find will find the simultaneous view of the FDR distracting, especially at night.

                    The location inside the medical building is also offset from the street, which in theory is a plus, but it means there's no direct street entrance, or signage. On a first time visit, it's easy to feel as if you're wandering into private grounds, and on your way to getting lost. Great if you want a ghost hunter backdrop to your fine dining, but it doesn't really succeed in New York kitsch factor either, even if the mismatched interior of the dining area looks like something Leona Hemsley would have approved.

                    Again, we're discussing this place for the OP in need of a convenient location for a date. The disclaimers I'm offering are fair.

                    1. re: sugartoof

                      Yeah, I think you're being fair, too, in your descriptions of the location and such. The only thing I objected to was the idea that only your point of view is accurate, that's all.

              2. re: sugartoof

                I actually thought it was very attractive, comfortable. Nice design. Nothing obtrusive. Loved the views.

                Yes the building of the lobby is big and cold. So what? You don't eat in the lobby.

                Yes, I would consider it a good place for a date, though of course, you have to know something about the tastes and preferences of your date whenever you chose a restaurant.

                1. re: Just Visiting

                  "So what? You don't eat in the lobby."

                  Riverpark is lobby level, sectioned off at the far end.

                  When you enter, there's a large front desk for an office building lobby attendant serving the offices for Pfizer, and so on.

                  1. re: sugartoof

                    Yes, it's at the lobby level. But so does a ton of many other restaurant every else.

                    But once inside, I too find it very comfortable and a good date/intimate place with all the modern amenities of a nice modern restaurant. I also happen to like the food, but also wish that they'd change up the mnu more often.

                    As for the view, where exactly did you sit there to see the FDR? Everywhere I've sat in the restaurant before, I've never noticed seeing the FDR.

                    I've dined with many different people there and we all had similar 'where the hell are we?' first-time reactions. Once inside, nobody was thinking FDR or gated gate or the hospital or the Imclone building lobby.

            2. re: sugartoof

              It isn't a medical facility. It is the Alexandria Center:


              And it is all part of Riverpark Farm. Yes, they actually grow a lot of the food for the restaurant in those raised beds.

              1. re: sugartoof

                I'll be the first other person in this thread to admit that I have to get past the fact that the place is right near NYU Medical Center and Bellevue, both of which are places that have sad associations for me because immediate family members had to spend time in them. I like the place, anyway, but for people who don't already work in the area and who are a bit put off by the fact that it's right in the middle of a hospital district and look it, there is an issue. And from what I remember reading of quotes from the people involved in making the restaurant possible, they acknowledged that the hard-to-find location and surprising presence in a rather clinical-looking office complex in the middle of the hospital district would be a challenge for a general audience, and figured their first customers would be people who work in their own complex and doctors who work in nearby hospitals.

                1. re: Pan

                  Riverpark does make for an interesting date. I think the "obscure" location , kind of adds some intrigue to the place , especially for a date. There are many doctors and medical staff that frequent the place. But they don't wear scrubs or advertise such. The food , ahh yes the food, there are some very good dishes they serve.
                  I do wonder, since I was at NYU Medical Center the other day, and it is a mess. One parking lot totally wiped out, several service trailers outside etc If Riverpark is even open and how much damage they faced from Sandy.

                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                    I've been there very recently and there is no difficulty getting to it, nor was the restaurant damaged.

                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                      They've been open for some time. I'm on their mailing list and got the announcement. I haven't been there since last year, though, so I couldn't comment further.

            3. RiverPark is a good choice.
              COuld also try Artisinal or we just went to Duo and had an excellent meal

                1. re: RCC

                  I love Riverpark and think it's an excellent choice for the occasion. The space is very attractive, tables nicely spaced, great service and food. Lovely view! I find it reasonable for the quantity and quality and I don't find the building setting off-putting at all.

                  1. re: City Kid

                    Completely agree. I like being of the main streets and ave. I like the feeling of walking out of NYC to another area. In the summer the back porch area is great for drinks and the food is quite good. The fact that you walk through an office building lobby just adds to the overall serene feeling of walking into the restaurant.

                2. Wonder if the OP is even reading these replies....

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: rrems

                    He is.
                    In the event, we went to Artisanal. Couldn't get 7:00 at Riverpark or Giorgio's of Grammercy.
                    Here are some comments about Artisanal. I suppose many here have been recently but this was my experience.
                    Charming place although lighting is possibly a bit too bright and noise level is too high. Maybe it's the tile floors but conversation was difficult. I had raw oysters and a blue cheese burger. She had mushroom soup and Duck Bourguignon. Oysters were not that good. I think they were a bit dehydrated from sitting around. They had lost their shape and there was wasn't much to them. On the other hand, the burger with blue cheese was the best burger I've ever had. Highly recommended that. Frankly, I ordered it to keep the cost down but if I get back there I'll get another one. I tasted a bit of her duck and I would say it was a bit overcooked. Not sure exactly. She didn't seem to mind. Tab was $94 plus tip, right under my limit, which was great.
                    Table of four next to us was having fondue and I think that's a good date idea. They were having more fun than I was. For future reference.
                    Alas, the evening was not the great success that I had hoped for but I thank all of you for your helpful suggestions. Artisanal was fine and I gave it my best shot.

                    1. re: polydamas

                      Thanks for reporting. I was afraid you were put off by the arguing over Riverpark, which got way off-topic. Artisanal was pretty much as you describe it when I was there years ago. Decent food overall but ridiculously loud. Glad it worked out reasonably well.

                    2. re: rrems

                      Maybe this revised layout is just the stalking horse for a new site that fuses Chowhound and; who wants to be a millionaire?!

                      EDIT: I agree the Riverpark debate was a distraction.

                    3. No way you can go to union square park? SO many more options there. SD, Union Park, Tamarind, etc.

                      31st and 3rd should be saved for after midnight activities.