Park Avenue (Summer/Autumn/Winter)
100 E. 63rd Street
New York, NY, 10021
Overall Park Avenue (Summer/Autumn/Winter) has been a pleasant surprise, since the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group in the summer of 2007 replaced the long in the tooth Park Avenue Café, which had been running on fumes for years, with this sleek seasonal dining place.
The new decor is inviting, changing four times during the year with the seasons. We appreciated the minimalist Summer décor, viewed the warmth of the Autumn décor and saw positives during a recent evening in the Winter décor.
Chef Craig Koketsu’s menu is intriguing. The execution in the kitchen has been uneven, resulting in an American menu with an Asian/Middle Eastern exotic approach to classics that in our opinion is all over the map. Some dishes are great, some far from it. A king prawns appetizer in Summer was great, and mediocre in Winter. John Dory and Halibut main courses were very good to outstanding. The lack of consistency is troubling.
The overall acceptable food is diminished by a staff that is can be so bad that they are almost humorous. The highly publicized South Asian servers and busboys that were so bad that they were humorous this summer are far better six months later. Unfortunately over the same six months the front desk hosts and mangers have developed an attitude. Despite the recent departure of the GM, the overall restaurant management is very uneven. When a specific type of seating was not available when we arrived we were seated at another table. Fair. But when our requested table freed prior to our appetizers arriving and we requested a floor manager to move us, we were first given the slow roll and then denied the move due to “confusing the waiters according to the chef. “ Give me a break. For the next forty minutes the table was unoccupied. Remember when the customer was always right.
The wine list is long and featured many interesting off-beat wines. Great. But pricing them like they were well known premium wines is a weird and unacceptable pricing approach. The wine service was a joke. After getting the wine list, within five minutes I was accosted by not one, not two, not three but four servers that “offered their assistance to make a selection.” Were they trying to get the wine list back? Were they trying to push certain wines? What gives?
We want to like Park Avenue (Summer/Autumn/Winter) but the restaurant does so many little things to irritate us that we are unlikely to return in the near future.
Park Avenue (Summer/Autumn/Winter) - Acceptable to Not Acceptable