Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

May 18, 2008 11:53 PM

Restaurant: Park Avenue Spring

Park Avenue Spring

63rd & Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
This restaurant is known for changing its menu with the seasons. When I was there with Rita, Jay and Meredith, the Spring menu was being featured.

The restaurant is entered on 63rd. You walk in to a relatively small area that includes a maitre de's station, a small bar with 6 high stools, and waiting diners crowded together.

To the left, up a few stairs, there is a hallway about 20 feet long. On the left is a long, high table with high chairs, which can be used for dinner seating. To the right are the two restrooms.

Up 4 more stairs, at the end of the hall, is one of the two dining rooms. The second dining room is to the right as you enter. Together the two rooms can accommodate around 200 people.

We were given a table in the main level dining room. Both dining rooms are fairly dark, crowded and noisy. The tables and chairs are uncovered wood and not the most comfortable.

On the other hand, the food is quite good, and the service was spot on. There were an unusual number of floor managers making sure everything flowed smoothly.

The menu is marked by innovative dishes for each course.

Rita started with Thai "Minestrone", Spring Vegetables, Lemongrass Tapioca; Jay went with Proscuitto and Quail Egg;

Meredith had a Cured-Lemon Caesar Salad; and I opened with a Sweet Pea & Carrot Salad and Crispy Soft Shell Crab. Meredith selected as her main course Filet Mignon with Roast Beet and Gorgonzola Tart; Rita opted for Grilled Lamb Chops with Apricots, Toasted Cumin, Mint Garden salad. Jay had the Dover Sole with Fines Herbes Brown Butter; and I ordered the Roast Spring Chicken with Honey Lemon Provencal Vegetables.

In addition to the main dishes there are a series of offerings "For The Table." We selected Asparagus with Melted Fontina; Potato Latkes, which were small, crispy and delicious; and Whipped Sweet Peas. It might be interesting to make an entire meal of these "For The Table" items.

The restroom is very small, with a dark, large tile floor. The walls are covered with cream-colored, domino-shaped tiles that are laid end-to-end from floor to ceiling.

The entry area has a wall-hanging urinal to the left, with a wall-hanging divider separating it from the open doorway. There is a relatively small, dark grey counter, with a small, white, square ceramic washbasin in the middle. There is a door that presumably leads to a separate commode room, but it was not available on the two trips I made to the restroom.

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