HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

What's the word on Aquavit?

My husband has made us reservations for our wedding anniversary. We ALWAYS stay in Bklyn for special dinners, but got a rec from a close friend. Suggested that we go there and get the tasting menu.
We live on a pretty tight budget, so this is a great splurge. Think we'll be happy?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I have only eaten at the Aquavit Cafe - the front room - rather than Aquavit proper (the back room) - since they moved. The food is uniformly very good - I love the herring sampler, the meatballs, and the various aquavits. The wine list is interesting, but a bit expensive - since the Cafe is a less expensive than the dining room, I wish they had a slightly more modest wine list for the Cafe. I find the ambiance (even though I've returned several times) a bit sterile - perhaps check out the website to see photos. If you give me a sense of your budget, would be happy to make some other recs - Wallse (a perenniel - sp? - of mine) comes to mind.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      MMRuth, thanks for the info. I think $300 is the upper limit. Some favorite spots in Bklyn include Al di la, Sorrel, Tempo, Applewood. It just seemed like a good reason to spread our wings and try out some great Manhattan food. A little fancier, really good.
      I have never heard of Wallse, but I will look it up.

    2. Aquavit is definitely a special occasion place. I do not like the new location nearly like I did the old one. MMRuth is right, the back room is sterile to the point you are afriad to laugh or let loose. Also scarily, you will have to really watch it there to stay within your 300 dollar budget. The food is wonderful and the service superb though.

      1. I've only been once and consider that one too many. Very rude. Food was fine, but the attitude was horrible. Go somehere where your business will be appreciated.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Le Den

          Out of curiosity - how did the rudeness and attitude manifest themselves?

          1. re: MMRuth

            At no time did I feel welcome. We were a couple, arrived early but were made to wait nearly 30 minutes to be seated with no apology even though other guests who arrived after us were seated immediately. We were rushed through our meal and the sommelier was openly miffed that we declined her first choice of wine (it was nearly twice the price of the wine I ended up chosing and nothing close to what I had asked for (either she doesn't know the list or underestimated my knowledge), which was finally served as our main courses arrived although ordered before the meal). We skipped dessert rather than suffer any further and salvaged the evening by going for drinks elsewhere. Everytime I inquired about the various waits, I was given a haughty reply that things were on their way and that I should be patient. I've never had these problems when dining at other restaurants of equal stature and certainly not at higher tier.

            1. re: Le Den

              Sounds unpleasant - totally agree!

        2. Absolutely love this restaurant; spectacular and innovative and delicious food and perfect service. The seafood preparations are superlative, especially the lobster roll appetizer, hot smoked trout entree, or the seafood stew entree. The wagyu carpaccio appetizer is also sublime, especially the truffled root veggie puree. The apple sorbet dessert is simply amazing as well.

          My only gripe is that their bread sucks; all dry and cold and hard (pumpernickel rolls, caraway mini baguettes, or hard scandinavian flatbread triangles along with tasteless dill butter). Would it kill them to warm the bread and/or offer some more exciting varieties?

          My husband and I go to this restaurant around once a month; we've never had a less then stellar meal and great service. Always a very pleasant evening out for us. It can get a bit pricey though as the wine markup is significant, staying under $300 for two with a nice wine might be a bit challenging unfortunately.

          1. I had one of the greatest culinary experiences in my life at Aquavit - had the tasting menu. They did such a great job of mixing different flavors...awesome.

            That's the thing about Aquavit - it's the type of place that, if you get a server you like, a good table, and nice company (and preferably an expense account), it can be as good as any restaurant in the world. But obviously some have had negative experiences so it happens. Personally mine was great.