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Park Avenue Spring - Beware!

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Visited NYC last weekend. After reading several wonderful reviews of Park Avenue Spring, I had made reservations weeks in advance for dinner. Arrived a few minutes early for our 8:15 reservation. Hostess was extremely pleasant, informed us our table was ready and escorted us up some stairs and into a smallish, low-ceilinged room where we were seated at the back. This room, while busy and bustling, had none of this restaurant's famous seasonal decor other than a few cherry blossom branches stuck in a vase in the corner. The rest of the room was decorated with glass cabinets filled with what appeared to be stuff pulled from somebody's grandmother's attic. There seemed to be major problems controlling the thermostat, as the temperature fluctuated from too hot to too cold throughout the evening. The food was certainly good, although not amazing. My husband loved his halibut and my lamb loin was tasty. We probably enjoyed the fresh peas in the shell, edamame style, that were brought out with the bread as much as anything else. Service was okay, although our server was not particularly friendly, did a poor job describing some of the dishes, and barely checked to see how our meal was going. Obviously, I think the food is the most important part of a meal. But, I also think it is wrong for a restaurant like this one -- which is all about creating a new design, mood and menu for each season -- to stick half of its patrons in a back room that doesn't even attempt to duplicate the style and ambiance (and, I suspect, the service) that is present in the main dining room. If any other hounds have reservations here, be sure to specify the main dining room and insist on it when you arrive! We wish we had.

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