BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING (2002)

aquavit

This downtown gem is so inconsistent we're tempted not to gamble the price of admission. A recent dalliance with the tasting menu had servers throwing down delicacies with such rapidity that we blasted, breathlessly, through seven courses in about 80 minutes. Nearly $300 later, we were dizzy, and not in the right way. And yet at other times the experience is so ethereal, so sublime, so full of darling little hummocks of tartare this and foam on top of foam on top of bliss...well, Aquavit remains the kind of gamble you'd be foolish not to risk. And if you can risk it on someone else's expense account, we don't call that risk, we call that smart.

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