Mon-Thu, 11:30am-10pm; Fri, 11:30am-11pm; Sat, 5pm-11pm; Sun, 11am-3pm and 5:30pm-9pm
6 at 23rd St.; 6 at 28th St.; N, R at 23rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The owners of Park Avenue Winter have taken the seasonal-menu conceit that modern big-city diners expect and turned it into a uniquely kitschy, singularly New York experience. Their restaurant (which was originally the Park Avenue Café) isn’t a restaurant in the usual monochromatic way. It’s a kind of revolving diorama, replete with menus that change every three months or so, rotating waitstaff outfits (although the waiters themselves remain more or less the same), seasonal names (Park Avenue Spring, Park Avenue Summer, etc.), and even a changing décor, courtesy of the fashionable downtown restaurant-design firm AvroKO. The logistics of this seemingly endless series of esoteric face-lifts are impressive to contemplate. But the real pressure in this kind of radical experiment falls on the chef. Here, head chef Craig Koketsu, who is also the executive chef at Quality Meats, and executive chef Zene Flinn, formerly of Nougatine, manage to put together a menu filled with all sorts of surprising combinations. And even when a dish doesn’t work, like everything about this entertaining, slightly loopy restaurant, you have to applaud the effort.