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“Scandinavian style and cosy cuisine at its best” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aquavit

Aquavit
65 E 55th St, New York City, NY 10022-3341
212-593-0287
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Ranked #74 of 11,776 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $31 - $80
Cuisines: Swedish, Scandinavian, Eclectic, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: between Park and Madison Avenues
Transit: E/M on 53rd and 5th Ave. 6 to 51 street. F on 57th and 6th Ave.
Description: Restaurant Aquavit opened to immediate success in midtown Manhattan in November 1987. More than two decades later, Aquavit continues to be one of New York's most popular and highly esteemed dining destinations. A pioneer on the American dining scene, Aquavit remains the only world-class modern Scandinavian restaurant in the country, and was also the first restaurant in New York to house two concepts under one roof: a casual bistro serving hearty, simple fare and a formal dining room offering refined, modern Scandinavian cuisine. Owner Håkan Swahn has always been involved with every aspect of the business, and his passion and vision are what steer the restaurant. Executive Chef Marcus Jernmark is in the kitchen every day, where his talent and his commitment to quality and authenticity are apparent in every ingredient he purchases and every dish he prepares. Swahn and Jernmark collaborate closely on Aquavit's menus, and together they provide leadership and inspiration to the team at Aquavit.
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Scandinavian style and cosy cuisine at its best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

As a fan of wild aromatic mushrooms, delicate fish, chewy rye bread, and other Nordic food treasures, I was in heaven. Scandinavians know how to enjoy the dark winter season with playful comfort food and other touches of decor and ritual that transform gloom into a snug den if contentment. In Danish the term hyggeligt captures this concept so well achieved at Aquavit. I will take all my friends here!

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245 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    152
    45
    26
    12
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Westport, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
“Tremendous, fresh and beautiful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

I had dinner last night and can't say enough about how creative each dish was. We started with 4 complimentary amuse bouche that were terrific -- and what a nice way to start the meal. I had a first course of grav lax that was tremendous; my companion chose the herring which was equally wonderful. For the main course, we had monkfish and cod, both excellent. For dessert, an apple tart flavored with tarragon among other things. I've never had more interesting, fresh and flavorful food (and the coffee is awesome, too). Everything was beautifully presented and the staff was flawless. The portions are very small, but I was nonetheless very full when we left. It's expensive, but for a special treat, worth it.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Costly Brunch/Average Food”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

I arrived at Aquavit on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks before Christmas. I thought I was there to have lunch with my family but when I arrived only brunch was available. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to trying some of the items I had seen on the lunch menu. However, my family (wife and 2 children) decided to settle in anyway. The brunch started off well. Different preparations of herring were the highlight of the meal. The food got progressively worse. I like pickled foods, but too many pickled preparations resulted in a meal that I will remember as having mostly one note.
The Swedish meatballs in cream sauce was entirely forgettable. The beef brisket and pork shank were uninspiring. My memories of the food have already faded.
Mostly, I will remember the $290 bill. I nearly hit the floor hen I saw it. My two year old daughter, who ate a couple of items off of her mother's plate, was charged full-price. I was extremely disappointed by this.
Highlights - service, pickled herring, ris a la malta.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Good please to catch up with old friends”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Had the fall tasting menu paired with beverages (so not all wine or alcoholic).
The service was a little too brisk initially though the staff intuitively slowed it down. The tasting menu provided a satisfying and delicious meal and the atmosphere was filled with discrete conversations and content diners.

Visited November 2013
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South Hadley, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Always a treat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Food, service and atmosphere make this our go-to spot when we are in NYC in midtown. We are long-time fans, and can enjoy a quick lunch at the bar or more leisurely meal in the dining room.The service is always attentive and welcoming. You can enjoy traditional Scandinavian food, but with a contemporary flair. Our salmon burger came with delectable, homemade potato chips for a quick lunch, and the prix fixe lunch is a bargain for those who have more time to enjoy a meal beautifully presented.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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