Agern

3.8
406 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Nordic
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About

Agern, meaning “Acorn” in Danish, is a season-driven restaurant and bar, located at Grand Central Terminal, tucked away between Vanderbilt Hall and the 42nd street southwestern passageway entrance (accessible via the 42nd Street entrance at Vanderbilt Avenue). The menu, from the hands of Icelandic head chef Gunnar Gíslason and his team, features farmed and wild ingredients from the New York State region exposed to time-honored techniques, and flavors rooted in Nordic Cuisine.

On Saturday's Agern offer Tasting Menu only.
Agern Full Tasting Menu $155
Features a round of 8 servings
Agern Abbreviated Tasting Menu $105
Features a round of 5 servings
Tastings menus requires full participation of the table
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Nordic, Scandinavian, Contemporary European
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Hours of operation
Lunch
Mon–Fri 11:30 am–2:30 pm
Dinner
Mon–Sat 5:30 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(646) 568-4018
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Gunnar Gíslason
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Vanderbilt Avenue
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Public transit
4, 5, 6, 7, or S to Grand Central Station
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
Rating coming soon

Agern is a fancy, semi-hidden Scandinavian restaurant at Grand Central. It's pricey, but lunch here is definitely worth it.

The Infatuation is an app and website which uses a small team of local editors who dine anonymously to rate and review restaurants. We are partnering with them to bring you their smart, helpful, trustworthy reviews of restaurants on OpenTable
What 406 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.8based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.6
service
4.0
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Quiet
5
4
3
2
1
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d
New York Area
6 reviews
Reviewed on July 12, 2019
Overall 2food service ambience

Walked in-place empty but early. Staff nice-- professional. Atmosphere also fine. Portions miniscule. Eat a lot of bread!! You will spend over 30 dollars for a piece of monkfish that is smaller than an appetizer portion in most restaurants. Needed to get something to eat after dinner. Perhaps chef will double the size of his portions to approximate what most restaurants would serve

KJ
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Nice complementary sparkling water. Unique menu not for everyone. They served us the wrong entree but did not offer to take it off the bill.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great - good food - lovely presentation

E
London
7 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

The restaurant is a shadow of itself since the opening. Food is not as good and inventive. I had a duck special for 44 $ and got 2 small slices of duck breast (!) wine list is good and interesting. Service was great. Restaurant was empty on a Friday 6.30 pm

AC
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Agern has a lovely dining room -- beautiful and surprisingly quiet, given that it is located literally steps from one of the busiest corridors in Grand Central Station. The bread, the appetizers, and the desserts were great, if a little elborate. (The waitstaff has to explain what everything is, both before and after it arrives at the table.) The entrees were a slight disappointment; good, but trying too hard to be imaginative and innovative. The restaurant is incredibly convenient for those who commute via Metro North and perfect for a mid-week celebration. Frankly, if it were a tad cheaper, we would go there more often.

MN
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Interesting flavors

HB
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A unique place. Excellent and unusual food, perfect service, quiet. The only negative is the price of wine by the glass, which is much too high. But there is good beer at normal prices.

JS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 5

Portions were too small.

CS
New York Area
22 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Our small office went to Agern for a staff birthday. All of the food was delicious. For first course, the treviso was great, as was the black bass and the beets. For the main, the arctic char, pork shoulder, and roasted chicken were all hits. We only got 2 desserts - chocolate and blood orange - but love them both. The plates are small, so a 3-course meal is not filling at all. But the flavors are so complex, it's a very satisfying meal. Also, try the non-alcoholic cocktails! The spring tonic, made with ginger beer, was my fave. Others enjoyed the shrubs.

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 3ambience 1

The food was delicious but not enough of it. I am a thin woman, but I left hungry. No one wants to load up on bread, no matter how delicious it is, to feel satiated. There were too many staff members asking us the same questions — drinks, water, ready to order. They were lovely but annoying. The decor is like eating in a cafeteria. Tablecloths and candles and the lights turned down a bit would help. The prices reflect fine dining, and the ambiance should reflect that. Also, 80s punk music at a too-high decibel is not ok. The staff/kitchen might have been grooving on that, but we were not. I won’t go back.

CS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Booking system and social media presence is broken, so the place doesn’t get traffic. Deserves better.

c
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had been looking forward to dining at Agern for some time. It did not disappoint! Everything met or exceeded expectations. The tasting menus were very well executed, tasty and beautifully presented. Service was attentive and friendly making us feel very welcome. A true Scandinavian experience!

ST
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

It didn’t feel as cozy as we had expected. The music was terrible, which cheapened the overall ambiance.

BP
London
4 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our 6th time at Agern. Service always outstanding, food outstanding, great wine & other options for drink. This was the first time they didn't send us home with treats - bread & sweets so maybe a change in policy. We will continue to go back!

SH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

menu was very strange to me and was challenging to order

RF
Orlando
77 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Consistently wonderful. One of my favorite restaurants in NYC. Each dish is delicious and surprising and delightful. This time I tried the chicken, and it was perfect. It’s right that straightforward chicken is the best test of a kitchen, and Agern passes superbly!

IL
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious lunch. Beef tartare, bass, pork shoulder, Arctic char all delicious! My husband remarked how he wished he could get his sourdough like theirs and they gave him some sour dough starter

OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dining at Agern was a wonderful experience from the moment we checked in to the moment we walked out. The service was warm, attentive (without being overbearing), and knowledgeable, and the food was outstanding. Each dish was a delectable work of art. We were celebrating a double birthday and were surprised with takeaway goodies. The ambiance is somehow both lively and soothing at the same time. It is a lovely retreat amid the bustle of Grand Central Station and a worthwhile treat!

D
New England
25 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Space is simply too noisy and crowded for the price and quality of the food. Food is delicious and thoughtfully conceived. Wine pairings were excellent but costly.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Poorly executed menu. Trying to be far fancier than apparently able to deliver. Portions were laughably small, e.g. two leaves if kale and one tablespoon of spinach next to a piece of fish the size of a child’s wooden block....and about as flavorful. If you get a chance to eat here, pass it up!

L
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Agern is always changing, never disappointing, a bit unusual, creative and elegant! I would recommend everything!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Already knew place had great reputation. Very understated, the tables and chair almost look cafeteria casual until you look carefully at the hand crafted tables and Danish Modern chairs. Service and presentation, and quality of every single morsel served, were exceptional, perfection clearly the goal. While prices were exceptionally high as a result, perfection costs money. Agern is to dining as Georg Jensen is to silver and crystal.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A well hidden gem worth finding!

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

Interesting food and great service. Been there several times and have really enjoyed the experience each time. Will be back.

K
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I dined on the tasting menu pre-theatre. The scallops, fish and lobster were
cooked perfectly but somewhat forgettable. My favorite was the duck ( a substitution for venison) as it was tender, flavorful and simply fantastic. My husband kept the venison and he finished it all
despite seldomly eating meat.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 3

Unworthy of its one star at all

TR
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

The service was terrible. We ordered a bottle of wine and it took the restaurant 30 minutes to tell us that they were out of that wine. They were slow in taking orders and not very attentive. For the price you are paying at this restaurant, you would expect excellent service. The restaurant was not even crowded.

h
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Food portions were small and unimpressive.

M
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

Food was outstanding, amazing flavors and beautiful plating.

Service was fair. Different from other restaurants of this price range and level, where you see service very sharp and quick to minor things you may need, this time it took them some time to bring us menu’s, we probably waited around 10 -15 min for the server to stop by again to take our order and we had to flag the person down to ask for things.

l
New York Area
38 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We really enjoyed our meal. I wish there were more options on the a la carte menu. The tasting menus looked good but it's just too much.

D
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Agern continues to be a welcome haven in the hustle and bustle of GCT, and NY needs high quality restaurant options in this area. For my second visit, with an invited out of town guest, I found the food delicious, again, but not served hot, and the wines extraordinary (but priced so). The service was extremely attentive, also often missing in NYC eateries, but a bit too much of a production made over choices: too precious. New Yorkers just want to be delivered great food without fanfare by nice and informed staff in pleasant surroundings. The Nordic theme is followed with authenticity (but not over the top) and is also welcomed as a cuisine not offered all that often. Restaurant design is attractive and appealing: Scandinavian modern with lots of blond wood; pleasant, clean and welcoming, including the bathrooms (also critical to foodies). I consider Agern a go-to in midtown and recommend it to others highly despite a few (hopefully isolated) issues.

s
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Staff is a little too pushy and intrusive. I understand that the Lunch is a good deal. As a recent traveler to the Scandinavian countries, I feel this spot is no big deal. It doesn't even approach what you'll find in Denmark or Iceland or Stockholm or Oslo.

PA
Naples
22 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Outrageously expensive for a very ordinary lunch.
Would not recommend

c
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food and ambience, with great service. Prices are a little high, given the small to moderate portion sizes.

OT
New York Area
137 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place near the grand central.

OT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A splurge but worth it!

j
Orange County
15 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

Food was amazing and the service was good, but it took forever for the food to come out. We got the tasting menu and took almost 2 hours until the main course. Maybe go at a earlier time when it’s slower?

f
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food is better than service and ambient. Overall, valie os good. Worths a visit.

CB
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Historic location provides an intimate ambiance. Portions are consistent with more typical European portions - a good things. Tasteful and well presented. The pork shoulder was delectable but probably wouldn’t get the lobster again - just not my style. If we hadn’t been full, would have tried one of the desserts.

RF
Orlando
78 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding in every way. A menu that’s truly inventive, fascinating, and delicious. I wanted everything! And the portions are reasonable.

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