• 360 Park Avenue South
• New York, NY 10010
• (212) 951-7111 •
Like many people in our fair and illustrious burg, I have the unreasonable and unreachable fantasy of eating everything and everywhere. As a result, Park Avenue is both constantly enticing and constantly frustrating. Every season, the menu changes and it doesn't get recycled. So while you're always getting a varied menu that will never be boring, the flipside of this is that you can never eat what you like ever again. So I apologize in advance for not being useful come spring (or next winter).
I chose to treat the 'rents to Park Avenue Winter in part because the restaurant has been on my list for a long time and I'm a selfish person and this was all about me, but also because my parents are not exactly millennials. I didn't want them to feel like fish out of water eating alongside tattooed hipsters discussing their latest kombucha brew recipes whining about how they'd have totally voted if only they knew Trump might win fer realz lol. I may be selfish, but I'm not a dick. Well... maybe I kinda am. Anyway, the age demographic runs the gamut here and pretty much anyone can feel comfortable.
Park Avenue Winter is posh and expensive, but it's relaxed. There's no jacket-and-tie dress code, the music playing through the sound system is the Rolling Stones, and there's no guy offering to blast you with cologne in the bathroom, but everyone looked sharp. Keep the jeans, lose the Slayer t-shirt.
I arrived a little early, grabbed a seat at the bar, and treated myself to a $16 cocktail (the Festivus pictured below. Fruity and mild, it's really more a summer drink than a winter one, but get it. Trust me.). Soon thereafter, Shrink and Dudeman (Mom and Dad) arrived, checked their coats, and we were led to a table where we snacked on cornbread and a truffle amuse-bouche while we pondered the menu. I immediately zeroed in on the Brussels Sprouts Leaves salad. I really enjoy salads, but never make them at home, instead opting to just take a head of lettuce, dip the whole thing in balsamic vinegar, and eat it like a corn-on-the-cob. Dining out allows me to have the real ones. This one came with pecans, goat cheese, pomegranate, apple, and apple mustard and was everything I wanted it to be. Very light but very complex. Guiltless. Shrink ordered the Roast Butternut Squash Soup, which she liked a lot, but which I was indifferent towards. It was served with a lobster "crouton" on the edge of the bowl, which actually tasted more like bacon than lobster. Dudeman ordered the Seared Hamachi Crudo, a salad-like smoked fish dish, served cold, with almonds grapes olives. Both he and I thought that the fish was delicious.
Shrink ordered the Long Island Duck entree, served with grapefruit, roast quince, and juniper. The duck itself was perfect, though I was of the opinion that the grapefruit and trimmings were excessively bitter. I was alone in this assessment. My entree was the Red Wattle Pork Loin, served medium rare, with lemon and bacon popped sorghum over a pesto. Bacon popped sorghum? Think mini-sized popcorns that have virtually no flavor but look cool when plating. The dish itself was delicious and I'd absolutely order it again. BUT. But the pork was tough. Chewy. Cutting through the filet took energy and the slice had to be thin to be easily chewed. If it was tender, I'd be recommending this dish and shoot off fireworks to emphasize my point. On the other hand, Dudeman chose the New Zealand King Salmon, cooked so tender that a stiff wind would cut in into pieces. it was almost creamy. Pecans, smoked miso, apples, and greens round out the dish that we agree was the winner of the evening.
Shrink ordered the Winter White Sundae, a huge scoop of mint chip ice cream with a white chocolate snowflake cookie under a drizzle of chocolate rum syrup. I've never been a mint ice cream person, so I'm biased. She liked it. I was more annoyed that the server poured the chocolate rum syrup over the snowflake, totally blowing the cool photo I was about the take. Like, if it coated the dome of the scoop and added a backdrop of contrast to the lily white snowflake, then great! But... anyway. What's done is done. Lesson learned. Always put your own syrup on. Dudeman skipped dessert but I asked our server for a dessert that was the opposite of heavy, so imagine my surprise when she suggested the Bases Loaded. On the menu it was the kind of kitchen sink dessert one might find at TGIFriday's. Chocolate mousse layer cake topped with peanut butter, pretzels, and toffee with a scoop of ice cream and a chocolate covered potato chip. Nope. It was totally what I wanted. Fluffy, sweet, not too big, perfect with a cup of coffee.
This grand feast, three appetizers, three entrees, two desserts, a coffee, and six drinks clocked in at $361 including tax and tip.
FYI, there is no bathroom attendant. Bonus points!