All Reader Reviews of...
65 E. 55th St., New York, NY, 10022
nr. Madison Ave.
A Personal Favorite
By youngdan on 1/25/2005
In my not so humble opinion Aquavit ranks as one of the world's great restaurants. The food is continually remarkable, satisfying all the senses, including the sense of beauty. The setting is elegant and comfortable with friendly and professional service. For over 30 years I've eaten at many of the Michelin stars and many of New York's finest. Aquavit is a rare place I return to again and again. Note: I have no connection to Aquavit, other than as someone who eats there as often as I can.
Extremely rushed and amateurish pace/service, but good-to-outstanding food
By streamwise on 12/23/2004
An overall mixed experience (12/23/04). We did the bites menu (14+ course) with wine. Overall the food was very good to outstanding...however the kitchen and staff seemed intent on rushing the meal, to the point that it seemed that this restaurant was being managed by incompetent amateurs rather than being a high-end experience...the sommelier was great, but I often ended up with two wines being served simultaneously since the kitchen was bringing out plates before we were done with the previous course! This was *completely* unacceptable in a restaurant of this caliber, and quite hard to understand, given the number of seemingly competent staff milling around. Given that I work in the NYC food industry myself, I would expect that the kitchen staff would have far better timing skills...this was defintely amateur night and extremely frustrating/disappointing, as they staff still seemed oblivous even when we suggested they slow down (e.g. the first 4 courses in ~15 minutes!!) Someone needs to reign in the kitchen here and slap a few people around, as things have apparently drifted way off course with regards to timing and basic culinary etiquette.
One of the Best!!
By Daae38 on 5/11/2004
Aquavit is one of those rare finds that encompass the best food and service anywhere in the 5 boroughs. Every bite was savored and every staff member a joy. You cannot say you've been to Manhattan unless a visit to Aquavit is on the itinerary.
World Class - Why Did I Wait So Long?
By wudzee on 4/23/2004
Had to go twice to make sure, but Aquavit is truly NOT over-rated. Comparable to Mirabelle in London except for the wine list, it's a must do in Manhattan. Presentation! Consideration! Jubilation! When we told our server we'd have to leave in 90 minutes, she timed each course so that we were at the coat room in the 90th minute. Don't miss the delectable gravlax and tandoori smoked salmon appetizer. Take advantage of the inexpensive offer of three different half glasses of wine accompaniment, each very well matched. The upstairs (actually ground floor) cafe is just fine, though you can see but not hear the two story waterfall which is the focal point of the main room. Lucious lobster roll. Decadent duck confit. For the less daring, a wonderful arugala salad with goat cheese and watermelon precedes an incredible beef rydberg with creme fraiche. Make sure you get your own Arctic Circle desert -you won't want to share the blueberry sorbet, honey tuile and goat-cheese parfait.
"The Gravlax Club"
By newyorkbrit on 3/29/2004
This was a stunning experience. Of particular note was the main course Gravlax Club Sandwich, which incredibly light and delicate. The $11 extra for three different half glasses of wine (for each course) is well worth the purchase, especially alongside the prix fixe lunchtime menu.
Scandinavian 1970's Experience
By martin_chamois on 2/22/2004
Aquavit brings best of Stockholm and Oslo to New York. Where else would one long to return to have the Herring platter? The experience can even top the best dinning in Scandinavia. Now housed in a 70’s version of a modern restaurant setting on the first floor of a non-descript office building on E 55th street, the restaurant no longer has the wonderful décor of it’s previous location. So the food has to be the star. The menu is fantastic, and the meals are even better. The service can be excellent, but the wait staff is not uniform in the service level. The new enlarged Café is very bright, hard surfaced and very 1970’s elementary school cafeteria inspired. The value is great, but the décor is right out of Austin Powers does Stockholm.
My greatest eating experience ever
By reviewer on 10/28/2003
Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson certainly didn't disappoint me at Aquavit. My dinner in the dining room was a true gastronomical experience, every dish had a taste surprise in it and they were so beautifully presented. Very sleak and fresh. I recommend the foie gras ganache and the lobster roll - delicious. Even though a little dated, the dining room is perfect for a romantic date as well as a power lunch. Go there!
Scandanavian brunch is fantastic
By huntleysf on 9/22/2003
There's a huge spread of food here on Sunday, served in the towering room with the glas walls and waterfall. The house-made aquavit served with a glass of beer are unqiue and amazing, with flavors ranging form pineapple to horsradish. Dozens of ways to serve herring and salmon, plus hot meats, cold salads, a range of (fairly ordinary desserts) and all for about $40. Come hungry.
Despite Service Attitude, Food Is Worth the Trip
By simulation on 7/27/2003
We had reservations at the Aquavit Restaurant for the $20.03 three course lunch advertised in then NY times. They offered the lunch at the $20.03 price, but only if we moved to a seldom used section of the restaurant and ordered from the "cafe" menu. I showed them the Times ad, but they forced us to move anyway. Then we were questioned by our next waiter about the menu we requested. But then the food arrived. Forget the attitude. The food is heaven. I'm still hsving dreams about the duck confit; it was just amazing. The mixed salad was a rare treat. (Can you imagine being excited by salad?) The desserts offered were wonderful. I'd love to go back if I can just ignore that attitude.
Excellent, time and time again
By jenga1111 on 6/8/2003
The food at Aquavit is always top-notch. I've been back several times and it has been up to par every single time. Highly recommend this restaurant - especially for special occasions or romantic dates.
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