65 E 55th St, New York, NY | Directions 1002240.760656 -73.972516
Daily 12pm-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm
Neighborhoods: Midtown, Midtown Center
It is very....Scandanavian – First off, I am writing about the cafe not the dining room. But there is no listing on citysearch for the cafe, so what else can I do. We tried it for restaurant week. They seated us in what is normally the bar lounge area because there was a private party in the cafe. So the ambience was lacking a bit because it was not a real dining room. First we had a drink at the long, mostly empty bar. The drink menu is extensive and the drinks were excellent - cranberry caipirinha, lychee martini. The bar stafff all seemed a bit depressed. The mood was quiet and relaxing. Is it just me or should a bartender be friendly and happy? Anyway we were seated on time in the makeshift dining area and the decor is very white, very modern, and very Scandanavian. There were weird jars of mysterious stuff in liquid on the shelf behind me, I didn't think it was very appetizing. Our waitress was friendly and helpful. I went for a chilled corn soup and the swedish meatballs, which is one of my favorite things. Both dishes were excellent but I wanted more gravy on the meatballs (the portion was big enough for a 400lb man). My boyfriend had the herring sampler and the hot smoked salmon, he said both were very good. Dessert was some itsy bitsy chocolate cake thing, only enough for a small doll to eat but WOW was it delicious! I was unimpressed w/the table setting, I felt a bit like I was in the IKEA cafeteria. All staff seemed slightly depressed. We got free espresso infused Aquavit after dinner and wow I would have enjoyed another 3 or 4 of those. If I went back it would be to try the main dining room. We looked at the menu and it looked great. The main dining room is very cold and austere with somewhat strange lighting. But I guess that's the Scandanavian way and I'd say it's probably worth a try. This is a good place if you need a quiet bar for a drink. There was hardly anyone there and the drinks were super delicous.
A 20 year old institution that deserves its reputation – As a regular diner at Aquavit, I'm surprised to read these past comments and am compelled to write about my experiences. The food is consistently good and I often take my clients as well as my friends. The decor is very warm and spacious and the tables are placed well apart from each other. The entrees are consistently good and innovative (smoked trout with apple-horseradish broth, Venison with dumplings and lingonberries) and the Scandinavian staples include several preparations of cured salmon and herring ? all delicious. The service is warm and inviting and the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful, including the sommelier who found me a wonderful wine off their extensive list that impressed my clients without stretching my budget. And those who call the maitre d' snobby must have been in a different restaurant! He always takes good care of me and is there almost every time I go ? lunch or dinner. Overall I would recommend Aquavit to anyone who is looking for a classic meal in a stylish environment. I'll be back again and again.
Worst Service I have ever experienced – 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.
HORRIBLE SNOBBY HOST AND MEDIOCRE FOOD. OVERPRICED/SHOWY WITH BLAND FOOD – I completely agree with Globetrotter 79. This restaurant is awful. Listen...I'm a gourmet and I know what's good and what's not. Swedish food is not spicy or complex (compared to other cuisines). HOWEVER, good Swedish/Danish food is just that-GOOD. It will be fresh and taste delicious. You don't even have to be a gourmet to know that this restaurant is not all its hyped up to be. In fact, it is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE. The same HOST (perhaps he was the same who was mentioned by Globetrotter) was nasty, cold and arrogant. The food I ordered (gravlax) was blah. I love gravlax and I've had delicious gravlax. I might as well have gone to McDonalds. Yes-corporate types who have no taste go here...and if you want to get real Danish or Swedish food-GO TO DENMARK OR SWEDEN-because if this is supposed to be excellent-we're in trouble here in NYC!! Don't waste your time. !
very rude staff not really swedish – well to start i can only comment on the service i had been in nyc looking to come and dine here which we had wanted to for years i had reservations went in and was treated like a third class citizen by the young latin looking male host. being dressed very nicely in a suit. i was told they didnt have a reservation for me that i would have to come back another time the place was empty. well to start im of swedish decent and the menu is not swedish it trendy and the only people there are really corperate people on exspense accounts if your not that they dont want you there if i want swedish food ill dine at a true swedish place
Great cafe dining and service – After drinks at the Four Seasons Restaurant (my absolute favorite NY bar) ,six friends and I decided to further the evening at Aquavit. One in the bunch is Swedish. He selected the herring sampler of three flavors. Curried, pickled and a third which was gone way before it got to me were incredible! Light and full of flavor!!!
The Swedish meatballs accompanied by a delectable limgonberry sauce, pickled cucumber and the finest (in texture and flavor) mashed potato I've ever. eaten. The cheese plate with layered potato was purrrfect!
We must have consumed ALL of the aquavit flavors - Grapefruit (light and crisp), Vanilla Pear (my favorite! was to die for), Horseradish (fiery, great on a cold night), and - Berry (delectable)... to name a few.
We ate in the bar, in enormous 'Womb Chairs' which as great! This area is very relaxing, and more casual than the main dining area which requires a jacket. Service was impeccable, prompt and extremely courteous.
Everyone in the group consider ourselves 'foodies' , eat out a great deal and are often fairly difficult to please. All of us, thoroughly enjoyed the food and service. The architecture is modern with a strong Swedish influence which enhances the foods presentation even further. We were the very last to leave the restaurant.
In short...Very well done. I cannot wait to go back. It is now one of my top five favorite restaurants.
Brilliant food. My favorite restaurant – If you are in NYC and are looking for a unique menu, definitely check this restaurant out. From the home made aquavits (try the cucumber and coconut cappucino) to the entrees (steak tartare is incredible), this restaurant is simply amazing. The service is also impeccable. The ONLY negative thing I will say is that I preferred the old location, but who cares... Whenever I am in NYC, I always go to Aquavit. You should too.
incredible service, well worth the cost – My boyfriend took me for my birthday and we had a beautiful evening. It is true, the prices are high, $85 for the 3 course prix fix, and the portions are not very large, but with amuse bouche and other small surprises that seemed to be coming from the kitchen we did not leave hungry. I had the lobster roll appetizer and it came with a special mini cocktail, gingerale and aquavit. Fabulous!!! Our waitstaff was extraordinary, even the man with the bread basket ( fabulous assortment) had impeccable manners. I got the " arctic circle" as a special birthday dessert, this is what someone else described as the " goat cheese thingy" : goat cheese ice cream which is more like a semifreddo. I would not have ordered it from the description but it turned out to be our favorite. Would definately recommend this restaurant.
best service – I was at Aquavit the athor night with my wife and a friend of mine for my first time.Everything was great.The swedish meatballs were amazing and the dessert, the goat cheese thing ,unbelievebel.Our waitress, Swedish maybe, was always at the table when we needed her.She helped us a lot describing the menu, and give us an answer at all the questions we had.She even told us information about the designers of the restautant.she so professional. We had great time and a great dinner .We loved the smogasbord who came with some aquavit ,house vodka,offered by our waitress.
We ll definetly be back!!!!!!!!!
very very disappointing and overrated – i agree with the reviewer about the amazing nastiness of samuelsson's support staff and in addition the food is fantastically overpriced and truly mediocre -- my fiancee and I were looking forward to a special evening and instead we agreed we have eaten better food on airplanes -- how this Samuelsson ever got book contracts, tv appearances, etc is beyond me since he seems to have no talent either for cooking or hospitality -- or maybe it is just the ugly mood of his employees that makes a tri to Aquavit so extremely depressing. who knows?
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