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All Reader Reviews of...

Aquavit

65 E. 55th St., New York, NY, 10022
nr. Madison Ave.
212-307-7311

Avg. Rating

8
Food: 8
Service: 7
Décor: 8
"Recommended"

Average Reader Rating on a Scale of 10.

75% would go back.

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Tasting menu

By Aircooled on 2/20/2012

  • Overall Rating: 5
  • Food: 5
  • Service: 5
  • Décor: 9
  • No, I would not go back!

First time to experience seven different plates tasting almost the same. Bland, dull and no twist. Service quite average and nothing special. Waited 30 minutes to be able to order. Michelin stars are as far away. Pay a little extra and tripple your experience at a Michelin star restaurant. Will not come back. Ja jag är svensk!

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70 out of 140 people found this review helpful.

What A Restaurant Should Be

By yinyangman on 7/26/2010

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

I have no financial or other connection to this or any other restaurant. (All reviews should contain this disclaimer.) I have eaten here for many years and prize its delicious sublimation of Scandinavian cuisine, professional service and harmonious decor. The herring platter is a revelation and would justify a visit on its own. The flavored aquavits are always interesting and enjoyable. Horseradish is my favorite. The NY Times just gave it two stars, (underrating it by at least one) and slighted it by using the word "shopworn" for the bar area. How sad that a major newspaper is blind to the pleasures of dining in a place where lounge chairs are by Arne Jacobson, some tables are design treasures from Piet Hein and the salt and pepper shakers are by Quistgaard. In any event, those who know what true quality is will enjoy food prepared in the pioneering, creative tradition of Marcus Samuelsson, continued and even surpassed (if the Scandinavian bouillabaisse at lunch today was any measure) by the new head chef, Marcus Jernmark.

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116 out of 229 people found this review helpful.

Unremarkable

By eatinginnewyork on 7/14/2010

  • Overall Rating: 7
  • Food: 6
  • Service: 7
  • Décor: 8
  • No, I would not go back!

My husband and I ate here for Restaurant Week and I have to say, we did not walk away particularly impressed. I had the pickled herring, grilled roast beef, and cardamom cake. My husband had the chilled green tomato soup, cold poached salmon and chocolate cake. The chilled green tomato soup was probably the best dish - very fresh and light. But the poached salmon tasted unnecessarily fishy and in general, the portion size for all items was too large. I did have a martini with the cucumber aquavit and that was delish! It isn't that the food was bad it was just...unremarkable. I wouldn't recommend to anyone looking for a meal that features stellar food.

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101 out of 213 people found this review helpful.

Check your tab very carefully!

By Oliveortwist on 10/14/2009

  • Overall Rating: 8
  • Food: 9
  • Service: 7
  • Décor: 8
  • Yes, I would go back!

Dinner was excellent. Service was very good, but when I checked the bill I found two items totaling $25 that should not have been there. It took two corrections to get it right! One item was not ordered and the other was included in the Prix Fixe Dinner....so...watch out. This could not have been just an oversight.

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169 out of 328 people found this review helpful.

Clean and creative food

By foodieQ on 7/12/2009

  • Overall Rating: 9
  • Food: 9
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

If you are here for the first time, the chef's tasting menu is the best way to sample their clean and creative dishes. If you are on a tighter budget, the lunch prix-fixe is another alternative. The house made aquavit which you could try in a flight is a must try. My personal favorite is the horseradish aquavit that is a perfect match with the fatty fish plates. As a longtime fan of Aquavit, I do admit that the quality of their cured salmon dishes have declined in the past year. I hope they recover the original delicacy soon.

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163 out of 327 people found this review helpful.

Superb

By kam2009 on 5/29/2009

  • Overall Rating: 10
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

We had an excellent experience at Aquavit. The service was very attentive yet patient and gave us space to enjoy ourselves. The food was phenomenal and the chef was very generous. I would recommend Aquavit to anyone interested in high-end Swedish cuisine or simply looking for a lovely dining experience.

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156 out of 316 people found this review helpful.

Aquavit is brilliant.

By Prime on 2/14/2009

  • Overall Rating: 9
  • Food: 10
  • Service: 7
  • Décor: 10
  • Yes, I would go back!

It certainly features the best haute Scandinavian cuisine to be had outside of Scandinavia proper. Its many variations of home brewed aquavit are always a joy to sample. And where else can you get elk carpaccio that was overnighted in from New Zealand? The decor is as serene and calming as the menus are inventive and playful. They compliment each other in a manner that evokes the placement of Copenhagen's modern across from its stately royal palace. My only quibble with the place is the service-- the staff try very hard to be helpful and prompt, but they are a bit unschooled and it can be sometimes be frustrating to elicit from them the kind of narrative that is de rigueur at restaurants of this caliber. Maybe I just caught them training in greenhorns on my most recent trip, since this is a new development. Hopefully it's resolved by the time you go!

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159 out of 310 people found this review helpful.

service was deplorable

By mozzer0906 on 11/23/2008

  • Overall Rating: 6
  • Food: 8
  • Service: 2
  • Décor: 6
  • No, I would not go back!

We were extremely disappointed with the service we received while dining at this restaurant. The waiter had an attitude from practically the moment we sat down at the table and it was very apparent that he treated myself and my family with complete disdain. The food was very good, but it was overshadowed by the attitude we received at the hands of this man. This was a special occasion for my mother and he sullied the entire evening. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone based on the service.

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159 out of 315 people found this review helpful.

Hoping for a big come back.

By foodieQ on 10/4/2008

  • Overall Rating: 8
  • Food: 7
  • Service: 10
  • Décor: 10
  • No, I would not go back!

This restaurant without question serves the best aquavit west of Scandinavia and has excellent service. It's been one of my top 5 favorite places in the city for a long time. Unfortunately it has slipped out of my favorite places in the past year, the quality of food has significantly dropped. A case in point is the salmon sampler; the appetizer platter that of three uniquely prepared salmon dishes, one a house cured gravlax, another a homemade smoked salmon and a pate served with buttery salmon caviar - all are an excellent match with horseradish or the caraway aquavit. Unfortunately, the plate is now become nothing more than a pile of fatty smoked salmon served with over-seasoned dressing that my corner deli could match on any given Sunday. It is truly sad to see one of gems on the NYC dinning scene serving such food, as a now jilted lover of Aquavit I hope they will will come to their senses and return to serving the same delicate high quality dishes soon.

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167 out of 310 people found this review helpful.

Worst service I have ever had

By scandinavian on 7/11/2008

  • Overall Rating: 3
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 1
  • Décor: 4
  • No, I would not go back!

I can not believe that you can get a job as a waitress at Aquavit with clearly no waitress experience at all. Our waitress managed to get everything wrong. First she forgot to put in our drink order, meanwhile she dropped silverware all over the floor. After returning with new silverware, she somehow, believe it or not, did not know that the fork goes on the left, and the knife on the right. We were in shock. After having to ask about our drinks again, we finally received our them at the end of the "very average" main course. At this point, the manager stepped in and offered free dessert. We got the dessert, but not the ordered coffee. To top it off, our bill was more than double the correct amount. The whole wait staff including management was scrambling for a good fifteen minutes to figure out the correct amount before we could finally get out of this resturant experience nightmare.

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164 out of 320 people found this review helpful.

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