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Reviews + Photos from nymag.com
Posted by Steve on 05/23/2005
Eating here was an adventure. I'd never heard of some of the dishes and that made it exciting. If you're looking to try something new, then this is the place to go. But if you just are looking for comfort food, I'd stick with your neighborhood haunt.
Posted by junior444 on 04/29/2005
I dined here with two friends. We sampled each other's appetizers and entrees, all of which were different. Everything was delicious! Between each course, we were presented with amuse-bouche; even those were equally scrumptious. The presention of the food was inventive. The staff was attentive yet not intrusive, and very knowledgeable about the food, aquavits, and wines. We will definitely return for another wonderful meal.
Posted by philoups on 02/28/2005
Well I just cannot understand the whole enthusiasm about this place. We were a party of six tonight for dinner. The service and atmosphere were ok; but for food...this was the worst I've ever tasted in my life (in a restaurant of this scale of course). It seemed to me (and my friends) that the chef just put the varied elements at his disposal in the kitchen to make some incongruous plates, and surprising combinations. This was a success: it was surprising. I mean this was really really bad, I would even have prefered a tasteless meal. Putting rare spices in any dish (including ice creams) might be a way to be original in cooking, but not necessarily to be delightful. Of course, I will never be back.
Posted by Suede on 02/25/2005
Everyone that wants to try what Swedish food is like at its very best MUST go here. I took my boyfriend here and he just loved it, the herring and the salmon is absolutely excellent and you won't find it somewhere else, this is a special place in town. The apple sorbet dessert is probably the best I've ever had and the service is nice and discrete. The only thing to complain is the setting, the place is not really nice and cozy but everything else is so good that I will definitely come back. All of this said, I'm from Sweden so I know what I'm saying when I say that this is Swedish food at its very best. Excellent. Bravo!
Posted by The Stomach on 02/07/2005
I went to Aquavit one Friday evening with three of my friends during restaurant week. The new location is a little hard to find, as there is no sign and the door is just another door in an office building. The atmosphere inside is very clean and modern looking. The ceilings in all of the rooms are of particular interest. We had to wait for our table so we sat down at the bar and had a few drinks. I ordered one of the Aquavit infused vodka samplers. The three shots I had were pretty tasty, although I was dismayed to find out that the base vodka used was Luksusowa, which is an at best average Polish potato vodka. I recommend the Lingoberry. After about 15 minutes we were seated in the back room on the right. The red executive style chairs looked appropriate in the room. I started with the Herring Matjes appetizer. The herring was extremely tender and melted in my mouth. The chopped onions and sour cream provided a nice traditional compliment. For a main course I ordered the Scandinavian Beef Rydberg. Contrary to other reviews, the portion size was large. The main plate was full of beef and potatoes, both of which were excellent. The dish also came with three separate containers; a skillet of onions, a creamy mustard sauce, and an egg yolk. I thoroughly enjoyed mixing the meat and potatoes with all of the above, sometimes alone and sometimes mixed. For dessert I simply ordered another three shots. Two of my companions had ordered the salmon for dinner, which I tried, and that was likewise tasty and delicate. I also tried their Arctic Circle desserts, and that too was surprisingly good. I was skeptical about the goat cheese but it tasted like a very rich cheesecake. Unfortunately, our bill was suspiciously $70 more than it was supposed (extra $25 salad, etc??), but our waiter fixed the problem immediately. Overall, Aquavit had an interesting atmosphere and excellent food. I would recommend it to anybody in the city.
Posted by Anonymous on 02/05/2005
Aquavit truly is a cut above. There are only a handful of restaurants in this league, in a city full of excellent restaurants. The food here is exquisite, delicious, and meticulously plated. Chef Samuelsson and his team especially have a way with salmon, char, and all manner of fish, giving le Bernadin a run for its money! At a meeting recently, the conversation turned to food, and someone mentioned the restaurant. Those who had visited were gushing effusively, and someone said "salmon." There was a spontaneous moment of silence in honor of a memorable dish which spoils you for every other preparation, except, perhaps, the gravlax at Aquavit...the delicate pink flesh quivers on the plate, and practically melts on your tongue. If you love exceptional food, run, don't walk. *Double-check the address--the restaurant is a block away from where it used to be. Also, check out Samuelsson's other restaurant, Riingo, which offers an adventurous, Western riff on Japanese cuisine. They do wonderful things with foie gras, and the uni is a dream.
Posted by food-travelers on 02/03/2005
The desserts were fabulous but the service failed to offer bread and fill the water glasses until practically asked - it is a simple menu - well presented - the dining room is comfortable but it is very stark- simple. However, you have to notice the ceilings. Come for appetizers - herring is fabulous and the poached salmon with broth was good idea. But one of us did notice that the appetizer was scaled down as some of us did order a la carte and had a generous mixed sampler of herring compared to our small sample - it might have been better to have ordered a la carte because the prixe fixe $35 was not a bargain with the scaled down appetizers.