"Aquavit, this country�s preeminent Scandinavian restaurant, opened in 1987. At the time it was the first Scandinavian restaurant to open in New York City in 35 years. Named for the stiff elixir that some hoped would give immortality - AQUA VITAE - or "the water of life," the restaurant offers a notable list of the stuff. Early distilled spirits were so crude-tasting, that spices were added to make it more drinkable. Aquavit continues the tradition with it's own in-house blends, such as "Svarta Vinbar-Black Currant," "Baska Droppar" and Vargtass-Lingonberry. Marcus Samuelsson, co-owner of the restaurant, has already received more accolades than most chefs receive in a lifetime: He was the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star restaurant review from The New York Times in 1995, and in 2003 was named "Best Chef New York City" by the James Beard foundation. You will find an ever-evolving and creative menu of home-cooking interpretations, whether you dine in the main dining room, café or private dining room. Also consider the traditional Swedish Smorgasbord, served Sundays from noon to 2:30 pm; it is an unforgettable experience. The present executive chef maintains the restaurant's high standards and reputation for which it is deservedly known. The ambiance of Aquavit is as wholly Scandinavian as the fare, a setting of muted woods contrasted by stark white walls that creates a calm, almost fjord-effect, if it weren't for the solid lighting and sparkling bar."

65 East 55th Street, New York, NY
(212) 307-7311 serving: Midtown, Midtown Center
open:Mon-Fri 11:45am-2:30pm, Mon-Thu 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm

Sidewalk Score: 8 out of 10
Location, Location, Location:


Restaurants, Danish, Bar Scene, Swedish, Fine Dining, Eclectic & International, $$$$, Business Dining, Mastercard Accepted, Notable Chef, Coffeehouses, Visa Accepted, Brunch, American Express Accepted, Diners Club Accepted,

The Low Down

Rants, Raves & Reviews

by at Gayot

Marcus who? Marcus Samuelsson may be long gone from this Midtown institution, but another Marcus---chef Marcus Jernmark---has taken over the kitchen and made one change: he brought the food back to its Scandinavian roots, closer to the…
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Scandinavian Deliciousness
By LaughAttack001 at Menuism

I don't know if you've heard...but Scandinavian food is currently all the rage in the food world. This NYC... Read More

By jpb204 at Menuism

Only if you like Scandinavian food... The ambiance is amazing, the service is impeccable and the food is of... Read More

$48 smorgasbord on Sundays (all-you-can-eat...
By parkhyein at Menuism

$48 smorgasbord on Sundays (all-you-can-eat buffet, herring galore!) was mostly really good, with a few... Read More

upscale restaurant
By Jesper A at Insider Pages

Aquavit is inspired by the Scandinavian kitchen. The food is very good and well presented. The service is professional yet friendly. The decor is m... Read More

Scandinavian Delight
By Joann S at Insider Pages

This attractive Scandinavian restaurant features a mid-century Scandinavian décor both in the café as well as in the dining room and lounge a... Read More