IT is hard to find places in Manhattan that are hard to find. But Riverpark qualifies.
The chef Sisha Ortúzar opened this shimmery new restaurant, an addition to the empire of Tom Colicchio, at the end of a private street on the far eastern shore of Kips Bay in October. Cabs and pedestrians are reluctant to pass the broad brick gates at its head. They linger on the corner of East 29th Street and First Avenue, confused, wondering if they’ve found the right place.
They have. Riverpark is down there all right, occupying a chasm between the New York University Medical Center and the sprawling wards of Bellevue Hospital Center, tucked away at the far side of the lobby floor of the Alexandria Center, a new medical building at the dead end of the street. ImClone, the cancer therapy outfit once owned by Sam Waksal and now by Eli Lilly, is the restaurant’s upstairs neighbor, along with a host of other biotech and pharmaceutical outfits.
Night-time foot traffic near the restaurant is nil. Everywhere office lights glint, and potted plants sway in light breeze. The building’s lobby is, invariably, empty. You could set George Clooney and the writer-director Stephen Gaghan on the place to make a sequel to “Syriana.”