Park Avenue Winter is Perfection on a Plate


If I had to choose a place to enjoy my last meal, I’m pretty sure Park Avenue Winter would be top of my list. I had one of the most culinarily exciting experiences there during my recent foodie field trip to NYC. The rotating seasonal menu and décor are diverse and creative, with each dish flawlessly executed. The waitstaff is professional, attentive and informed. I was particularly impressed with our server, Erin Skvarca, who brought over a generous sampling of different plates. Dining at Park Avenue Winter made me fall in love with food all over again.

I started my lunch off with a thoughtful twist on a lobster roll. The open-faced sandwich was served with divine langoustine meat tossed in a lobster mayo composed of creme fraiche, red onion, celery, tarragon, chives and lemon juice. A house made parker roll was stacked with crisp bibb lettuce, onions and a touch of tomato sauce. Absolutely divine.

Thinly sliced lotus root chips accompanied the sandwich, supplying a delicate, salty crunch. Potato chips should cower in fear.
I moved on to the seared scallop sandwich, also served open-faced on a house made parker roll. Thinly sliced dry scallops were topped with smokey bacon, spicy jalapenos, golden brown potatoes and a velvety sauce of shallots, white wine, scallops and heavy cream. It almost isn’t fair how indulgent this dish is.
One of the specials, which certainly earned its title, was thick, slightly curved rigatoni noodles that used their fine lines to embrace a rich, parmesan, truffle sauce. The pasta was married with mushrooms, crunchy swiss chard, and sweet, pickled red onions. Shaved black truffles on top were the icing on the proverbial cake. It may literally be the best pasta dish I’ve tasted, and this isn’t even an Italian restaurant.

 Truffle croquettes were next on my mouthwatering journey. A soft, delicate mixture of mashed potato and earthy black truffle was rolled into a ball and lightly fried to perfection. Miles away from any greasy appetizer you could imagine, these delights were airy, yet decadent and swept me away to another world. I truly didn’t want it to end. Served on top of a tangy, grainy dijon mustard and creme fraiche dipping sauce, this must be what heaven feels like.

As for the ‘sides,’ I could have made a meal out of them alone. Savory, crispy mini potato latkes were served with labneh yogurt and brown butter rosemary applesauce.

Brussel sprouts were slightly caramelized after bathing in a tangy, miso soy glaze.

Fresh spinach was sauteed with meyer lemon and topped with tart preserved lemon creating a rich, citrusy taste.

For dessert, sorbets that were silky enough to be ice cream: refreshing banana-olive oil and sweet and spicy chocolate-ancho.

I wrapped up my visit with a chocolate cube filled with cinnamon caramel mouse and devils food cake.

Based on this meal, it looks like Winter may be my new favorite season. I guess I will have to wait until Park Avenue Spring (beginning March 20th) to find out.

For reservations, call 212-644-1900.

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