Park Avenue NYC
We took a journey and went up town for dinner Friday night to Park Avenue Winter. It was a worthy trip.
Conceptually I love the idea of the restaurant. Every season the restaurant closes down for 48 hours and does a complete makeover. Menu and decor. So next, Park Avenue Winter becomes Park Avenue Spring.
We were a party of 6 and sat at a small round table which really allowed all of us to have a conversation together which was perfect.
I got lots of tastes because the menu is eclectic and diverse so everyone was struck by something else. I started with the fluke sashimi. Large sliced persimmons and a chopped root veggie (can't remember which) and a buttery piece of fluke on top. Different and delicious. Keep in mind the servings are huge. I got 5 pieces which were enough for a meal. I traded off some for other tastes around the table. I got a taste of the prawns. Each prawn is covered with rice noodles and deep fried and served over sliced pieces of grapefruit. Quite good. The two best were the scallops and the calamari. Sliced calamari served in a round bowl of chopped veggies and crunchy peanuts. Very Thai. Spicy and delicious. The deeper you dig in the bowl, the better it tastes. The chef had come out earlier to talk with us (not because of me) and told us to order the seared scallop sandwich. He said it is fantastic. He was right. A rectangular sandwich with scallops and vegetables on top of toasted bread covered with a sauce. Warm, tasty and innovative. I'd definitely order that on my return before it becomes spring.
The portions for dinner were huge. We also had a variety of "for the table" tastes. I went with the grilled veal chop that is served with sauteed mushrooms on the side. The veal chop is supposed to be covered with green garlic bread crumbs but with my aversion to garlic, I asked for it with out the crumbs. Perfectly cooked and simple. I was so stuffed at this point and still tasting everyone else's plate that a few bites is all I could muster. The Chateaubriand was beautiful and served with a classic sauce on the side. Big Maine Lobsters simple cut in half an grilled. The sides were also good. Potato Latkes that were crispy and tasty, cauliflower gratin doused in cheese, crispy french fries, creamy spinach and parsnips, basmati coconut rice and miso glazed Brussels sprouts. All good.
Dessert was just a few things to taste. The Chocolate Cube is the dessert to get. Hard chocolate covering a mixture of cake and cream inside. How bad could that be? The warm gingerbread was quite good too with apple puree, spiced raisins and cinnamon. We also had the one of the winter white desserts which I'd pass on. Coconut angel food cake with a white caramel panna cotta and a coconut curry sorbet. Maybe my taste buds were more interested in the chocolate type sweets.
All and all, a big hit. I would definitely go back for Spring because I'm not so sure I'd make it up town again this Winter.