While many New York City restaurants pride themselves on sourcing local produce from the farms of Long Island or New Jersey, few can say they source from their own backyard. Tom Colicchio's Riverpark has the benefit of a location on the far East Side of Manhattan where real estate is slightly more conducive to large spaces. It also offers a killer view of Brooklyn and the East River. You can enjoy your dinner on the patio with views of the city and the farm.
Riverpark farmer Zach Pickens forages for the kitchen headed by executive chef Bryan Hunt, plus pastry chef Geoffrey Koo and beverage director Jarred Roth. Their homegrown produce is used in all courses, including beverages. Cocktails are garnished with tomato, lemon verbena, one of their eight types of basil, and much more.
The dinner menu includes a salad of fresh greens, all from the farm. The burrata is served with purple tomatillos and lemon verbena vinaigrette foraged by Pickens. Try the squid ink chitarra with fresno chiles from the garden.
For dessert, chef Koo serves a peach blueberry cobbler with ice cream made with the lemon verbena from the garden. His basil cream puffs are made with the nearby basil. A highlight of the menu is the blackberry pavlova, with lavender meringue, anise hyssop granita, and pickled apricots.
The best way to enjoy the fruits of the farmers’ labors is with their farm dinners. For $85 a person (6 to 14 guests), diners can enjoy a family-style dinner of produce pulled straight from their garden, plus meat and seafood from local greenmarkets. The dinner comes with a variety of appetizers, entrées, and desserts, including heirloom tomato panzanella, roasted dorade with Chinese long beans, and peach pie. Click through our photos to see how the ingredients get from their farm to your table.
Farmer Zack Pickens, executive chef Bryan Hunt, and pastry chef Geoffrey Koo all stand in the Riverpark garden.
Pickens forages for ground cherries that have fallen off the vine in the garden.
Jane Bruce is the Photo Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @janeebruce.