65 E. 55th St., nr. Park Ave.; 212-307-7311
In what universe, you ask, can a $48 brunch (even one including an ice-cold Carlsberg or a “Danish Mary”) be considered a steal? The one in which you claim a booth in the posh Sunday-afternoon serenity of the Aquavit dining room, strategize a plan of attack, and proceed to decimate the lavish spread in the room next door. Can you eat $48 worth of various herrings and sundry salmons; Västerbotten cheese and Swedish crispbread; Swedish meatballs, braised brisket, and leg of lamb; and all of the other goodies that the kitchen replenishes as quickly as you scoop them up? Well, you can certainly try. And if you need guidance, management thoughtfully provides each table with a handy primer that begins like this: “1: Think of the Smörgåsbord as a three- or four-course meal. 2: Don’t overload your plate.” Happily, these are just suggestions, not commandments.
The $48 All-You-Can-Eat Swedish Sunday Brunch
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).