One afternoon during the summer, Greg and I explored Riverbank State Park. It’s one of the lesser-known parks in Manhattan, but its location along the Hudson River makes it absolutely gorgeous. And, because it’s not as popular, it wasn’t as crowded.
We were recently in the area and decided to visit again and see what it was like in the winter. On a Sunday morning it was even less crowded, with very few people around to share the space with. Which, as all New Yorkers know, is a good thing!
See what I mean about the stunning views?
The park has a restaurant, Sofrito, which is absolutely packed in the summer, the music and patrons spilling outside onto the patio. Since it’s much less crowded in the winter, Greg and I decided it was the perfect time to sample the restaurant and decide whether it was worth coming back to during peak season.
At 12:30pm on a Sunday we were one of only a few tables, but as we ate more and more people slowly trickled in.
I loved the large glass windows and the beautiful views they offered.
And Greg loved being there with me… ha!
The brunch comes with an appetizer, a main, and two mimosas or glasses of sangria per person. However, since no one was there our waiter was happy to keep our glasses full and didn’t strictly stick to the two-glass limit.
For appetizers we chose the Chicken Arepas Montaditos which is corn flatbread topped with shredded chicken. I loved how the meat was flavored and thought this dish was excellent.
We also had the Goat Cheese and Spinach Empanadas and we loved those as well.
For our main courses, we dined on the Paella with chorizo, clams, calamari, shrimp and saffron rice. We really liked this too, I just wish there had been more seafood.
We also ate the Piña Colada French Toast which was delicious and made me feel like I was on vacation!
We did order a side of bacon and it’s the only item we had that I didn’t like. It arrived sitting in a pool of grease, and I’m surprised the chef didn’t paper towel it off a bit before serving.
Besides the bacon I was really impressed with Sofrito. The restaurant could easily phone it in, since their location right on the water means they’ll have guests no matter what they do. But instead they serve delicious Puerto Rican food that is so good we definitely want to come back in the summer, even with the crowd.
But there was one thing I strongly disliked about the restaurant. The initial itemized bill the waiter gave us indicated that the tip was included, which is rare for just two people but still fine (after all, we’re going to tip no matter what). But after the waiter swiped our credit card and brought back the receipt for signature, he didn’t bring back the original bill which showed the tip had already been included. Instead he just brought the signature page which asked for a tip. If we hadn’t been paying attention, or had just handed the waiter our credit card without looking at the bill, then we would have easily tipped twice. It felt very intentional that the waiter hid our first tip in this way, and I really didn’t respect him trying to take advantage of us. So, if you do dine at Sofrito, make sure you don’t tip twice (unless, of course, you’d like to)!
After brunch we walked over to check out the park’s ice skating, but figured we had a few too many mimosas to try it that day. We’ll just have to come back soon!
To find out more information about Sofrito, and to make a reservation, click here.
P.S. My dress is by one of my favorite designers, Nicole Miller. You can find it here.