It’s official – I’m adding a new restaurant to my list of favorite spots in Manhattan.
Park Avenue Summer initially caught my attention because of how it changes with each season. Currently it’s Park Avenue Summer. Next month it will be Park Avenue Autumn, a few months after that it will be Park Avenue Winter, and after that it will be Park Avenue Spring. With each changing season, the decor of the restaurant changes, as well as the menu itself.
This restaurant has been on my list for a while actually. When I saw that they’re participating in the summer 2018 NYC Restaurant Week I had the perfect reason to finally go. Naturally, I brought my partner in crime Chrystal. No one loves restaurant week as much as us and I think it’s safe to say, we do it best.
Now I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of Restaurant Week, but it’s a pretty big deal in Manhattan. It’s when hundreds of restaurants offer fixed menus for a set price. Brunches are $26 pp and dinners are $42 pp. You get three courses and the items to choose from are usually the restaurant’s most popular items. This season’s restaurant week goes until August 17th so definitely make the most of it while you still can.
This is the perfect way to try new places, especially if they’re normally on the more expensive side. Almost every city in the country participates in restaurant week so check if yours does and take advantage of it!
I highly recommend making a reservation though. During this period it is nearly impossible to get a reservation for two at 7:30 PM no matter what day of the week it is! Even with our reservation, Chrystal and I had to wait a bit for our table to be ready, so to the bar we went!
Whenever we get cocktails we like to try new things. I personally try and find the cutest drink on the menu and order that. My thoughts are, if I’m going to spend $15 on a cocktail, I might as well go for something I’ve never had before!
I went with the Mex Peche which is Mezcal mixed with El Tesoro Platinum, white peach, basil, and lemon. It was very strong and smokey, but also had a hint of sweetness which was surprisingly nice. For those of you that don’t know, Mezcal is like Tequila, but it has more of a smokey taste. Fun fact: all Tequilas are Mezcals, but not all Mezcals are Tequilas.
Chrystal tried the San Luiz Spritz which is made with Vida Mezcal, pineapple, and lime prosecco. Her drink was much more sweeter than mine and bubbly because of the prosecco. Also very tasty and summery though.
One of the first things that drew me to this spot is the decor. It’s unique in the fact that it changes with the seasons and also that most of the furnishings are things you haven’t seen before.
In the first room, the chandeliers are made of shells. In the main dining area there are giant pink flowers throughout the room which are in the likeness of some sea plant. There are also orb-shaped light bulbs that are made to represent underwater life. This is definitely appropriate since the menu is very heavy on fish and other light dishes.
It also still has that classic and chic style Park Ave is known for, with its white walls and black and white tiled floors.
Once we were seated we ordered two glasses of frosé. Surprisingly this was my first time having it, despite the craze over it by every white girl in America. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. Park Avenue Summer makes their frosé with Aperol. Though these pretty little drinks are $14 a pop, you are definitely getting your moneys-worth with them.
To start, the restaurant brought out their version of amuse-bouche – watermelon cubes topped with goat cheese and micro basil, served on skewers. It sounds odd, but it was one of the best little appetizers I’ve ever had. They also brought out some cornbread with chipotle maple butter spread. I don’t even like cornbread, but I could’ve eaten five or six of those and been fine.
For the appetizers Chrystal had the corn gnocchi made with black summer truffle. I had the yellowfin tuna & avocado, made with champagne mango ice and Yuzu Kosho seasoning. The tuna couldn’t have been more fresh than if I was there when they caught it. The gnocchi was absolutely divine. The black truffle really heightened the flavor of the dish. The gnocchi was cooked perfectly too. I would definitely recommend trying that dish.
We had a pretty hard time deciding on our entrées, but in the end we went with the heritage pork loin and the Nova Scotia halibut. The halibut was probably the best piece of fish I’ve had. Ever. It was served with ratatouille and saffron aioli. The pork loin was so tender and had the perfect sear to it. That was served with cornbread grits and peach mustard.
For dessert Chrystal went with the chocolate covered strawberry dome which is made with strawberry chocolate mousse, pistachio dacquoise, and cocoa nib crumb. If I weren’t deathly allergic to all nuts I would’ve tried some of that, but I also would’ve probably had a hard time giving it back.
I went with the key lime meringue tart served with coconut lime sorbet. It was the perfect way to top the night off – light, summery and sweet.
This was by far my favorite spot this NYC Restaurant Week. I definitely want to come back each season and to try the different menus. They really did a spectacular job with the summer season; from the menu to the decor, and the overall ambiance. This is a spot you do not want to miss this season!