By Libby Cathey
Located in a hidden, garden plaza and overlooking the East River, Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark Restaurant offers a unique, eco-friendly dining experience.
In 2011, Riverpark Restaurant teamed up with the Alexandria Center for Life Science to establish Riverpark Farm, an urban garden which supplies fresh ingredients to the restaurant and inspires sustainable agriculture in the heart of Manhattan.
Because of their availability, portability, and easiness to handle, Riverpark’s crops are planted in 7,000 recycled milk crates across the north side of the Alexandria Center plaza. Pickens strategically mixes organic, mineral fertilizers, and compost from the kitchen to make plant-specific batches of soil and ensure the most successful growth possible.
As the sole farmer and manager of Riverpark Farm, Zachary Pickens (above) is responsible for providing fresh produce for the restaurant’s seasonal menu. Riverpark Farm grows over 100 different crops, supplying nearly 30% of the restaurant’s ingredients. The remaining produce is purchased from local farmer’s markets.
Offering both indoor and outdoor seating to overlook the farm or the East River, Riverpark Restaurant can accommodate up to 200 customers at once. During the growing season, customers are invited to tour the farm and engage in free planting workshops.
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