REVIEW

Park Avenue

This venue has closed.

Each season, not only the menu, but also the name, server uniforms and entire interior design of Park Ave change dramatically. This clubby and vibrant neighborhood restaurant showcases astonishingly beautiful design by the award-winning design firm AvroKo. Every few months, a small army descends and, in the course of 48 hours, dismantles and carts off the furnishings, assembling in their place an entirely new layout of chairs and booths and radically aesthetically different wall fixtures, decorative touches and lighting schemes.

The firm was inspired in part by the explorative travels of Captain James Cook, anchoring each season in one of the regions he had visited in each of his major expeditions. Thus, the icily elegant Park Ave Winter is evocative of the Antarctic Circle with a glacially cool color palette of white-washed woods and raw leather wall panels, lacquered panel moldings, coffers with mismatched plaster rosettes, vintage British military buttons and custom crystal and glass chandeliers juxtaposed with rustic touches like massive arrangements of birch branches. Park Ave Spring alludes to a classic English garden with wild and raw vegetation, Park Ave Summer conjures up the beach and sun while referencing the Galapagos Islands (there are forty hand-cast tortoise shells) and Park Ave Autumn is pervaded with evocations of the harvest and the Pacific Northwest.

Lest you think this is merely a gimmick, the food is just as first-rate. Dishes like the “Park Ave Winter Seared Scallop Sandwich” and the veal chop with green-garlic bread crumbs, chanterelles and royal trumpet mushrooms are both inventive and delicious. The restaurant serves best in class soft shell crabs in the summer and fresh dover sole with fine herbs brown butter in autumn and winter. The restaurant is remarkably even, with nearly every dish being very good, and often outstanding. This, in combination with the enlivening cyclicality of its menu and décor, which manages to project both romantic coziness and elegant sophistication, makes this urbane restaurant one of the finest options for dining in NYC.

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INFORMATION

Upper East Side
100 E. 63rd St.
New York (at Park Ave.)
212-644-1900
Mon-Thu, 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri, 11:30am-3pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Sat, 11am-3pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Sun, 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm
    Craig Koketsu, Chef
    Kevin Lasko, Chef
    Michael Stillman, Chef
    Richard Leach, Executive Pastry Chef
    AvroKo, Designer

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