As avid seekers of yummy eats, we’ve started cataloguing our food posts into a little series called Food Finds. These posts include casual reviews of the unsung culinary gems we encounter on the road–or even right here at home in DC and NY

Last night, I went on a rare Tuesday evening dinner date with the Hubby. And he picked a winner: Riverpark in NYC.

As we passed through Kips Bay and neared the river, we found ourselves walking along a massive sprawling lot. It was boarded up with advertisements, indicating the property was the future site of the Alexandria Life Science Center’s “West Tower” (one of the hundreds of stalled construction sites from the financial crisis). But built into these temporary walls were curious little square windows, with an arrow pointing to it: “Something is growing.”

Indeed, peering inside, we saw a whole lot of leafy green stuff, only the plants weren’t growing from the ground — they were growing in stacked milk crates across 15,000 square feet of concrete. Behold, Riverpark Farm, the New York City’s “most urban farm,” and an innovative and productive alternative use of a stalled construction site (stimulates interest in local, sustainable farming, while adding just a little more green life to the city).

What we would soon realize though is that we were looking at our dinner. Because the neighboring restaurant, Riverpark, interprets the farm-to-table concept pretty literally:

Riverpark’s chefs visit the Farm daily to discuss harvestable plants with the farmers so that they can determine the menus for the following day. Produce that is used on the Farm is picked that very day. Farm to table.

Pretty darn neat. A thriving farm of tomatoes, melons, peppers, berries, and greens, flanked by skyscrapers and FDR Drive. Fresh and delicious, as we confirmed an hour later. There’s so much more to learn about the place on their restaurant and farm websites.

We enjoyed a pristine view of the East River and the Queens skyline while dining al fresco on one of late September’s warmer days.

Enjoyed a first course of fluke carpaccio (decked out in a garden of edible flowers), followed by a plate of buttery Arctic Char with sunchoke, radicchio, figs, red wine, and pistachios.

The footnote on the menu said it all: “Tonight’s dinner features produce grown right here at Riverpark Farm.” Yay. Farm-to-table. Literally.

Written by noodle

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