Riverpark Farm

I am on a farm roll this week.  Last year our friends came with me to a farm to table event at Sothebys to support the Sylvia Center.  Our friends bid and won a dinner for 10 at the Riverpark Farm.  They called in their chips for a dinner in late May and it was an absolutely amazing evening

Far over on east 29th street, on the river, is the restaurant Riverpark.  It happened to be a glorious night for our dinner.  We were seated in the farm, yes the farm.  The farmer, Zack Pickens, is overseeing one of the largest urban farms in NYC.  They grow everything in milk carts and the place is gorgeous.  During the height of the season, 80% of the vegetables on their menu come from the farm.  Tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, radishes, carrots, etc.  The picture above is of the lettuce.

I felt like we were somewhere so unique and special…and we were.  The chef, Sisha Ortuzar, who is also a partner in the restaurant is amazing, and so was the food.  We began drinking wines and champagne as we strolled around the farm.  We dined on incredible oysters from both the east and west coasts.

Scallop and tuna ceviche which is perfect for a warm summer night.

A variety of house made charcuterie including a few tiny radishes from the garden.  On this plate was also the slow cooked lamb ribs that fell off the bone.  I am a huge fan of lamb ribs.

We sat under a huge blue umbrella and ate family style.

Our first course was a mixture of four different items.  A large salad of farm greens, radishes, pickled beets and bronze fennel.  Light and delicious.

Sweet pea panzanella with white anchovies, fresno chiles tossed with a ramp vinaigrette.  This was such a winner.  Tiny peas that exploded in your mouth with small crispy flat croutons and thin slices of red chilis for a spot of heat and a zippy dressing.

Hamachi with farm flowers and lemon verbena.  The lemon verbena was probably picked 30 minutes before we ate it.  Simple delicious fish.

Grilled prawns with a salsa verde.  I could have eaten the entire plate of these.  Along side this course are a few wines.  Capture, "Les Pionniers," 2010, Sonoma and Fountain-Gagnard, "Les Vergers," 2007 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru, Burgundy.  The wines were particularly amazing.

Our main course included two entrees, two vegetables and a grain salad.  Grilled asparagus with fresh lemons and parmesan.  Yum.  Had to start using the flash at this point.

Charred spring onions with a hazelnut romesco.  This was probably my least favorite dish but I do love how beautiful the onions were.

Freeka (which is like farro) salad with fava beans, english peas and fine herbs.  I love this kind of salad for the summer.  Light with simple crisp summer veggies.

Smoked pork back with ribs.  This was killer.  It has been smoked all day.  Juicy and flavorful.  The pork came from Glenmalure Farm and I can tell you that the difference in flavor when you get meat from a farm is huge.  I would have liked to bring these leftovers home.

Whole sea bass from Long Island with a mixture of artichokes, black olives and lemons over the top.  Perfectly cooked.  Wines here were Scarecrowd, "Monsieur Etain," 2009, Rutherford, Napa Valley and Heitz Cellar, "Trailside Vineyard," 1994, Rutherford, Napa Valley.

Of course an option of cheese and pie or if you are so inclined, both.  Rhubarb pie with a really delicious crust and two ice creams, vanilla and orange.  I couldn't stop dipping my spoon back into the ice creams just for another little bite.

Cheese plate was delicious.  I am a sucker for thinly sliced toasted bread with nuts and cranberries.  One of my favorites.

An amazing night.  Great fun with really good friends, really good food and the perfect weather for an evening meal.  The flavors in every dish were powerful yet subtle at the same time.  It was like having dinner in Napa where there tends to be a bend towards more healthy light eating.  Wow.  Keep in mind you can book a table at the Farm.  I highly recommend it.  A really special thing to do.  Just loved it. 

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Comments (Archived):

  1. ellen

    This really looked like a wonderful meal. Fresh and clean without gooey sauces.  Perfect for the warm weather.

  2. awaldstein

    Great share.Huge fan of in garden restaurants. Made me think of this amazing dinner I had a few years ago outside Sienna in a town called Castelnuovo Berardenga. Everything from wine to meat to olive oil was grown/made within a half mile of the restaurant.Back to your meal…interesting choice of wine as well.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      I had a meal like that when we lived near this little town outside of Sienna called Iesa.

      1. awaldstein

        I love Italy…I’m kicking myself for launching a new product and not vacationing in Italy this summer.

      2. Gotham Gal

        the whole experience was very european and napa valleyesque.

  3. Guest

    “I felt like we were somewhere so unique and special…and we were.”  This is what I truly love and miss about NYC.  One summer night in Brooklyn last year I convinced a friend of mine to go rollerblading with me.  We were on the promenade and ended up in a skate park that seemed weirdly placed on the east river in Brooklyn Heights.  This must be the most expensive real estate to put a skate park, but the views were magical especially at night.  It was locked and a group of kids from Crown Heights arrived a few minutes later with keys.  Great timing.  We all skated for an hour together that night and had one of those magical NYC nights.  Unexpected, unique, and special.     

    1. Gotham Gal

      great story. urban areas allow us to have unique experiences everyday. so many people, so much to see and the ability to uncover a new discovery everyday…it could be something around the block that you have walked by hundreds of times and one particular moment you see something that you didn’t even know existed. it is pretty special.

  4. William Mougayar

    That’s my kind of food: light, grilled and not overly manipulated. We typically love farro and the freekeh is new to me (I just researched it & it’s apparently popular in the middle east and northern africa). I’ll be looking for it.Have you tried Chia? See this: http://www.oprah.com/health…

    1. Gotham Gal

      have not done chia but freeko was new to me too.

      1. William Mougayar

        One grain leads to anotheryeah yeah yeah…

  5. Jack Schilz

    Don’t do this to me! That all looks amazing and I am now very hungry!