All Reader Reviews of...
65 E. 55th St., New York, NY, 10022
nr. Madison Ave.
Worst service I have ever had
By scandinavian on 7/11/2008
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.
The mighty has fallen.
By zinino on 6/16/2005
I have been a loyal and satisfied client of Aquavit since its opening week l7 years ago. It grieves me to report that my most recent visits have revealed a precipitous decline in the quality of its food--now overly fussy and lacking flavor--which I attribute to its new executive chef and equally inept, almost maddening, service. Management used to be gracious, caring, and efficient. Now it is merely rude. Sorry to see the water wall go; even sorrier to have to be doubtful about the restoration of the restaurant's former excellence.
By chicintelligente on 6/23/2008
The decor was European and fit the Scandinavian theme... and the service was friendly. The food was moderately creative and some was tasty. However, the fish (which had tasted a bit unusual) I ordered gave me the worst food poisoning I've ever had... awful.
By Aircooled on 2/20/2012
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 Ã¤r svensk!
service was deplorable
By mozzer0906 on 11/23/2008
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.
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.
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.
Hire a maitre d...please
By 3chowhounds on 2/25/2005
2-20-05 The food was delightfully unusual, and prepared militantly raw or rare. There is no option to choose how meat/poulty/fish is prepared and there is no note on the menu. You are reliant on the waitstaff to forewarn you. They do not. Raw fish, rare meat OK. Rare poultry?? A little texturally challenging (try cutting uncooked duck with a butter knife--there is a whole lotta rubbery sawing and not much cutting going on). Not cool. The wine procedure is mystifying. Why is wine poured and the bottle taken away? Is this a NY thing? Fine, but the waiter had better refill glasses promptly. I was tempted to wander the restaurant with my empty glass in protest! The backwaiters are lousy. Surly, lazy, completely incompetent, untrained, whatever the problem is, lousy describes em. Courses were brought with plates still on the table. It was laughable to watch them trot out with our food, look at the table and go grumbling back to the kitchen. Might I suggest a strong maitre d. Try this place anyway..the food is interesting.
Good food, cold decor
By avnegra on 10/10/2007
I've been to the cafe, i didn't know the main dining room has much better ambiance. The food was very good, the SmÃ¶rgÃ¥sbord, an assortment of swedish bites was really good, with three high points i will remember for a long time. The swedish meatballs, just good, nothing extraordinary. Finally for dessert i asked for the Arctic circle and it wasn't surprising, just another good dessert. Recommended, i guess the main dining room maybe is much better.
By eatinginnewyork on 7/14/2010
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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