Aquavit

4.7
1981 reviews
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$50 and over
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Scandinavian
Two Michelin-starred and New York Times Three-starred Aquavit, located in Midtown Manhattan showcases seasonal, Modern Nordic fare and has been a pioneer of Nordic cuisine since opening in 1987. The restaurant has an extensive wine list as well as an aquavit infusion and cocktail program. At lunch we offer an a la carte menu and a 5-course seasonal tasting menu for $135pp. At dinner we offer a 3-course prix fixe for $115pp, a 5-course seasonal tasting menu for $155pp and a multi-course chef's tasting menu for $225pp.
What 1981 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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F
Salt Lake City
10 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Restaurant. We dined at several nice places on our trip and this was our favorite. Great food.

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E
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

We go to this restaurant frequently and the food does not disappoint. Usually the service is exemplary. Unfortunately this time we felt the service was not at the caliber of this type of restaurant. The first person who met us at the table was aloof and they she left us sitting for an inorinate amount of time. There seemed to be a lag between all the courses. We will always come back because the food is the best, but we were surprised at the usual great service as being so off

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SA
Washington DC
45 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Very good food. Especially the duck. Very disappointing service. We ordered wine to have with the entree. Didn’t come until dessert was served.

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s
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The team at Aquavit was at their best. We went for the occasion of a law school graduation and everyone congratulated the graduate like friends and family. We marveled at the choreography as each beautifully crafted dish touched down on the table at exactly the same moment. We had the chef's tasting menu and the food was exquisite. We were treated to exotic opening "snacks" and multiple sweet treats at the end. There was a take home bag to extend the experience to breakfast the next day. This high level of dining has an equally high price tag but to mark our special occasion this memorable experience was worth it.

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DD
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to celebrate our son's 16th birthday. The food was delicous and the in-between courses were also terrific. The food was interesting in the combination of favors and always prepared perfectly. While dessert was included in our pre-fixe menu, they also arranged for a cupcake with a candle for our son even without our asking for it. Then they also gave each of us a goody bag with another piece of cake to bring home. Service was excellent, very attentive and yet not over-bearing. This was a memorable meal for us because it was such an enjoyable experience.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Can’t wait to see the new remodel

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing experience. Food was creative and tasty. Everything was great. People, etc. just be sure to get the birds nest for desert

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S
New York Area
39 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, great service, very good wine list. The perfect place to get introduced to Swedish haute cuisine.

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l
Columbus
26 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Haven't been here in about 5 years and was thrilled that it hasn't skipped a beat and is as delicious and innovative as ever. Service from beginning to end was awesome--one might expect very formal, stuffy service, but our waitstaff was so much fun, joked around with us, and was still expert at everything they suggested and executed. The matjes herring, fois gras and egg starters were all excellent--perfect seasoning and hit every note. The duck was perfectly rendered, crunchy, juicy with black garlic--sheer perfection. Citrus dessert was refreshing and beautiful. Chocolate dessert was a little grainy but the flavors and textures were excellent. We had the most fun with all of the post-dessert desserts--a tasty tray of bit sized morsels that were to die for. The flight of flavored aquavit's were yummy-blueberry, honey crisp, fig & cardamon. Great wine list and good suggestions from Sommelier. LOVE this place

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GT
New England
37 reviews
Reviewed on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food service ambience

Outstanding fine dining restaurant. Food is delicious and the chef uses high quality ingredients creatively. Good presentation and service.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful & perfect from starters to desserts.

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CD
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The chef's seasonal menu was full of imaginative, delicious surprises.

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s
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

amazing food

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TC
Phoenix
8 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing meal and service
Interesting selection of food
Very accommodating with food allergies

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M
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you so much for being such a great experience for my in-laws. They had the “most incredible dining experience and were blown away. Thanks!

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G
Detroit
7 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, knowledgeable service by caring people with a full grasp of the wines and Liquers they serve.

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OT
Dallas
26 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was impressed how creative the dishes were based on a very limited ingredient selection that the Scandinavian cruise offers.

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CD
New York Area
56 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We did the chefs tasting menu and it was great! The service was excellent! Very attentive. The sommelier was very nice and sensitive to our likes and dislikes. The wine he recommended was perfect. Most I the courses were served with an addition poured at the table And all were well described. My daughter has a scallop sensitivity so they substituted a course for her . The majority of the courses were fish/seafood related except the last two which were squab And the dessert courses. It was a very nice meal!

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H
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing. Creative beautiful food. Warm and attentive service. One of the best restaurants in nyc.

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u
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

I've been coming here for decades and it never fails. Love Aquavit, especially the smorgasbord when they do it and the crayfish festival. This is a luxurious, fairly quiet spot and ideal for when you are in midtown and want a gourmet meal.

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RM
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the champagne we started with to the Aquavit that we ended with, it was impeccable. The nordic inspired cuisine was a completely new exploration for myself and my partner and we loved every last bite. The reserved wine pairings were uncanny! It was unique, unexpected, and down right cool. Best wine pairings I have ever had.
Chef's tasting menu will fill you up by end, but it is the route to go undoubtedely!!!
Thanks for the amazing time Aquavit!

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VC
New York Area
73 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb Christmas menu

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A
New York Area
65 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

GREAT Christmas Smorgasbord!! Everything was delicious. The staff and manager were super informative and very friendly. We will not be waiting until next Christmas to return. Do yourself a favor to experience wonderful Scandinavian food, go this year.

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TB
Miami
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing. Better than most of more celebrated NY restaurants

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OT
Montreal
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Un de mes 3 meilleurs restaurants à vie.

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TW
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent in every way! World class dining experience!

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VG
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Happy to have chosen this restaurant. It was a great food experience. It was edible art!
Chose Chefs tasting menu. Glad without paring - We had almost 14 courses. Only 2 were a miss.
The breese was very cold from the entrance door, and it was only -2C.
When we entered, the phone was ringing, we waited. When the MaitreD hanged up the phone and turned to us, the phone rang again. He answered again the phone. We waited a while to be sitted.
Ordered wine. Bread was brought, then water. Ordered the Chef's menue. The food started arriving before the wine.
So far it didn't feel special.
I had to ask for the wine glasses to be refilled as we were on the 3rd course. The food was coming fast and dishes are taking away fast, my husband didn't finish his tea before was gone.
The dishes were absolutely delicious. Excellent texture, taste, smell and at the right temperature. Visually also unique and pleasant.

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KJ
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful. We started planning our next visit half way through our meal.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Very salty food. Server didn't seem to acknowledge the issue except saying they will let the kitchen know.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very pleasant
A place where you can talk without shouting
Excellent service

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M
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 3

A beloved restaurant that disappointed. Perhaps a one off experience but not a 2 Michelin star restaurant at all...(when compared to other equally starred restaurants abroad) A summary: a barely elevated bistro meal. I can think of 50 other memorable "non-starred" restaurants I'd go to before giving Aquavit another chance. The service was on point...and the ambience modern and somewhat cold but pleasant nevertheless.

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AD
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impeccable service and by far the best Scandinavian food I've had in the states. The atmosphere was so professional yet also relaxed, and in a good way. From the minute I stepped in the door, I was immediately taken care of and the same gracious service was practiced throughout the entire evening. The servers were extremely knowledgable and cheerful. They moved things along quickly but never in a rushed manner.
I came to Aquavit with the intention of ordering ale carte and just trying a few things. Once I arrived and looked the menus over in detail, my love of Scandinavian food, and curiosity to how chef Emma would prepare the chef's tasting menu, convinced me to order that instead.
I'm so thankful I did. Every dish was so carefully thought through. The flavors all pure, fresh, and true to Scandinavia while still reflecting chef's lown unique touch. I loved her use of complex flavors yet still keeping the dishes well balanced and highlighting specific ingredients. I won't list a favorite because I didn't have one. They all were equally good in their own ways.
I will definitely visit again and recommend Aquavit to others. It was wonderful to get to meet and talk with Chef Emma as well!
Thank you again, it was a wonderful experience!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a beautiful experience

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice meatball

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T
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Overall one of the best dinner experiences I’ve ever had.

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JO
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Wine meny to 5 course dinner was really poor. 2 wines out of 5 was acceptable choices( The german and the Pol Roger). The Other tasted really bad which I told the sommelier without any reaction or regret.

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M
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Maravilloso bien Merecidas las 2 estrellas Michelin que tiene

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MS
Baltimore
30 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of the best restaurants in NYC and the entire country. The 3.5 hour chef’s tasting menu was an adventure in fine dining. Every dish was exceptional, employing combinations of ingredients
that we have never eaten before. Chef Emma Bengtsson is a true genius, creating her own blend of Nordic inspired food. Dishes like sweetbread and grape, turbot and quince, and her signature arctic bird’s nest dessert can stand up to any dish anywhere. Where else would you find treats like herring ice cream or seaweed ice cream and caramel. There were 14 presentations in all and each one worked perfectly. My wife paired her meal with wine selected by sommelier Scott who took her on a world tour with perfectly paired wines from France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Japan , and Long Island. Service was impeccable and if there is any justice in the food world, this restaurant should move up to 3 Michelin stars. Bravo!!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Every dish I’ve ordered were very salty with concentrated sauce reductionsI. I must’ve drank gallons of water during dinner and after I got back to hotel.

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OT
Chicago
40 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A marvelous experience with every detail executed with perfection. There may be a better restaurant in Manhattan but I don’t know it. And there is only one other that I would rate as equal.

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