My work schedule while in New York City was so hectic that some days I forgot to eat. On one such day I finally remembered to eat lunch around 4:30pm. I was at a trade show at Grand Central Station (well, technically in the Hyatt next door) so I walked straight out of the hotel in search of sustenance.
The first place I saw was Park Avenue Tavern at the corner of Park and 38th Street.
The trees outside of the restaurant still had their holiday lights on them and as the day moved toward night (as it does in the winter around 4:45pm) the lights looked beautiful. This picture barely does it justice.
I opened the front door to the restaurant and stepped onto their name. Literally. I actually saw this type of tile design in another restaurant later that same week. Perhaps this is a new trend?
Inside the front door were double doors into the dining room that felt like they belonged in a German beer hall.
I was shocked by how stylish the interior was! You could not tell that from the street. The ceiling was decorated with curved black leather, presumably to help minimize noise in the restaurant.
The leather served as a canopy over every booth, along with fantastic orb shaped light fixtures.
I loved the patterned wall paper and the dark frames around the mirrors.
I am completely obsessed with these light fixtures! I especially love how they look twice as bright with the reflection in the mirrors.
I was so hungry that I knew I needed to order something quick and easy. I wanted to have the grilled cheese and tomato soup, but the menu clearly stated the soup had bacon in it. I asked my waitress if the bacon was just on top (hoping they could just not sprinkle it), but she said it was pureed into the broth.
I explained to her my dilemma and she said, "Our soup for today is a vegan carrot and ginger soup. Would you like to substitute that for your soup instead?" Why yes, yes I would.
Within ten minutes I had in front of me an elegant platter of soup and sandwich.
The carrot and ginger soup was served piping hot. It had a rich flavor and a bit of a kick.
Now this is a grilled cheese sandwich! The bread was lightly browned, the cheese was ooey gooey and Park Avenue Tavern adds their own twist, red onion marmalade. Holy yum!
The sandwich tasted great on its own or dunked into the soup.
When I decided to eat at Park Avenue Tavern I have to admit, my expectations were low. I assumed it was an over priced tourist trap next to the train station. I am happy to report I was very wrong!
Park Avenue Tavern is beautifully decorated, has attentive servers, they make a mean soup and grilled cheese and though I didn't experience this myself, they have tables with private taps that you can reserve.
The next time you need to meet a friend or colleague by Grand Central, pull up two chairs at Park Avenue Tavern.