Riverpark: American, With A View


IMG_5628 

The first sign that the newest Tom Colicchio restaurant in New York City is going to be a little different pops up the moment we step out of the cab at 29th and First.

The desolate street is so brightly lit it feels like we've dropped into an oddly quiet lull in a tense Cold War movie. It is discombobulating, to be sure — especially when we spy a sentry eying us suspiciously. He points, indicating that we should just keep walking down the road. And soon enough, signs of life appear when another uniformed guard toddles out of a tall metal building. The man is frantic, waving his hands and saying over and over, "NO pictures allowed."

This is a science park, after all, and Alexandria Building, the structure we've been snapping, houses a host of biotech tenants such as ImClone, the subsidiary of pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly that handles cancer research. The tenseness and growing paranoia persist until you walk across the stark silver lobby and come upon the warm glow of a sign that says "Riverpark."

And that's when you start to feel relieved. You're in the right place after all. Your camera hasn't been ripped from your hands and stomped on. Scully and Mulder haven't appeared. (Not that Mulder would be an unwelcome presence.) You've not been grabbed, shoved into a black sedan and spirited away.

You step into the restaurant and quintessential Colicchio starts to take over…

Continue reading

Bar Artisanal: A Big Brunch on a Budget


BA

Two things in life that I adore: A good brunch and a good deal.

And I like them all the better if I’m able to combine the two. 

Bar Artisanal in Tribeca? It delivers on both fronts.

The restaurant has gotten some mixed reviews since Terrance Brennan (of Artisanal and Picholine) opened the place in late April — Serious Eats raved about the lamb chops and lamb burger (“a flavor knockout punch”) while the New York Times’ Frank Bruni picked apart the “overpopulated” duck pissaladi√®re (a French pizza) featuring duck liver, gizzard, confit and a duck egg.

But when it comes to brunch, the verdict is a little clearer – the menu is simpler, the food is perfectly decent. And the prices, well, they just can’t be beat, considering what you’re getting.

At $21 for two courses (which could include two main courses) and dessert, you could make off with a $40 meal for about half the price.

Which, suffice to say, is a pretty darn good deal in Manhattan.

Continue reading