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Aquavit

  • l
  • Larry Feb 9, 1999 01:09 PM
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Can anyone reccomend this restaurant? Is the pre-theatre menu any good? Any advise on what to order? Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. j
    Josh Mittleman

    Aquavit is very good. It's pretty expensive, but very
    reliable. I recommend their fish.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Josh Mittleman

      Thanks again to everyone who responded to me. Just
      wanted to follow up and say that we tried it out for
      their pre-theatre dinner this past weekend, and really
      enjoyed the food. We had the steak and a fish dish
      called "char" which was new to me. It's a cross
      between salmon and trout, and was very good. Much more
      limited menu than the regular one, but everything was
      very good. Also enjoyed their bread selections very
      much. Only slight minus was that we had requested the
      main dining room in order to enjoy the great space
      everyone talks about, only to be seated in a small area
      off the main section. Apparently you need to request
      the "Atrium" and in any event, they had it reserved for
      parties of six only, and we were only four. Oh well.
      Live and learn.

      1. re: Josh Mittleman
        j
        Josh Mittleman

        An update on Aquavit: splendid. We were there for
        pre-theater on Saturday, in the main dining room, and
        it could not have been better.

        The pre-theater menu is a sub-set of the full menu, and
        I detected no skimping despite the fact that it is 2/3
        as expensive as the regular prix fixe (about $40 vs.
        $65, no including drinks). The service was attentive,
        prompt, and knowledgable.

        Some details: The herring appetizer is lots of fun,
        with five different tidbits to try, served with a glass
        each of aquavit and Carlsberg beer. An affectation,
        but an amusing one. It wasn't available for the
        pre-theater, so I had squab consomme with a scoop of
        truffle risotto and I didn't regret it.

        The hot smoked salmon was lovely, but I thought the
        lotus-root seared arctic char was even better. Thin
        slices of lotus seared onto the skin of the fish, until
        the skin was just crisp. It was served over a mixture
        of white beans and roasted garlic, with a few bits of
        Nicoise olives to startle the palate. It all sat in a
        truffled broth that gave the entire mixture something
        of the feel of a cassoulet, but very light.

        The desserts were wonderful. My wife had a warm
        chocolate cake, which came with a couple little
        accompaniments. I had plate called the Cloudberry
        Taster: Cloudberry sorbet, cloudberry & champagne jelly
        (I can't think of how else to describe it. It was half
        jelled and half liquid and all delicious), a pistachio
        pastry and a chocolate truffle for contrast.

        Not an everyday indulgence, but well worth the
        occasional visit.

      2. I highly recommend dining at Aquavit. It not only
        resides in Manhattan's lovliest brownstone (complete
        with indoor cascading waterfalls), but it also boasts
        sensational service and outstanding food. If you are
        not prepared for the for full Scandnavian haute
        cuisine meal, I would reccommend dining at the
        upstairs "cafe" a slightly less formal dining space
        with a pared down menu. The service is not as
        attentive, but the food is coming from the same
        kitchen, nevertheless.
        Chef Samuelsson is a pro with fish and I highly
        reccommend the herring sampling, as well as the
        smorgasbord. After that, you will be happy with
        nearly anything. Don't forget to taste the aquavit as
        well.

        1. d
          David Feldman

          In my experience, Aquavit is one of the most
          reliable and pleasant upscale places in midtown. It's
          especially delightful at dinner, when the pace is a
          little slower and the decibel level is lower. Service
          is always attentive but unobtrusive. And always
          friendly.
          What to eat? Fish, fish, fish. In my experience,
          salmon entrees are usually excellent, and herring
          appetizers are terrific.
          Haven't eaten upstairs yet.

          1. Thanks for all your replies! Sounds like a really great place. Planning to try it in two weeks and now really looking forward to it.