Total Bill: $145 for two
Summer is over. So out goes Park Avenue‘s bright summer scenery, and in comes its cozy autumn decor. This is one of the great elements of dining at Park Avenue, where the seasons change before your eyes and on your taste-buds.
We caught the tail end of the summer menu, the last time it’ll be served at its 100 East 63rd Street home. They’ll be moving a year from now, so for the occasion, each of their remaining seasonal menus will be a best-of commemoration of their past six years.
For summer, they welcome you with cute watermelon cubs with a dab of cream and mint. As you all know, I’m not a fan of watermelon, but this is a fine touch, just nothing extraordinary in flavor.
But it’s uphill from there.
Soft-shelled crab with microgreens was one of our starters, fresh as can be and just the right amount of salt. It reminds me of the same dish at The Little Owl, perhaps a little less memorable, but tasty nonetheless.
The best dish of the night: potato gnocchi and sweet corn. It’s unlike any other gnocchi dish, and there are plenty of gnocchi dishes throughout Manhattan. It’s lightly fried, but the best part is the frothy corn broth they come swimming in. I’ll admit it’s heavy, so consider ordering it as a main entree. If it’s on their menu, Park Avenue is worth visiting just for this.
Their famous Dr. Pepper ribs was our main course. The soda really softens up the meat and infuses the ribs with a hint of sweetness. We were full by this point, and I have to point out that the ribs we packed were just as powerfully flavored and buoyant the next day.
But of course, there’s always room for dessert, and we decided to try one of their more recent creations from 2012. The warm yuzu cake was incredibly fluffy, a perfect pairing with an incredibly thick raspberry flan.
Everything exudes summer, well, when it was summer. Now it’s fall, and the space is transformed with bare branches and bronze lighting. But more enticingly, the menu has transitioned with everything you’d associate with autumn: figs, harvest vegetables, roasted quail and chicken. But good news for you, the one item they kept constant that fits the bill no matter what the season: potato gnocchi and sweet corn. Hurry, go!