Nestled in Central Park is one of New York City’s most iconic restaurants, Tavern on the Green. The structure built in 1870 originally served as a barn for the sheep that grazed in the nearby Sheep Meadow. In 1934 the building was converted to a restaurant and entertained visitors until its closure a few years ago. Happily, this landmark reopened in 2014 under new management, a new executive chef and with extensive renovations to the dining spaces.
We visited the restaurant , nestled in the park just off Central Park West on a beautiful fall afternoon for lunch. We were greeted at the door by the doorman who was dresses in top hat and riding clothes symbolizing an era of bygone elegance when horse drawn carriages were the preferred transport in New York. Upon entering the small but elegant lobby, there is a gift shop to your left and the main bar room to your right where the hostess was waiting.
The bar room has a rustic but elegant aura to it, with exposed wooden beams, a curved mahogany bar, stone fireplace and a line of couches along the windows creating intimate spaces to enjoy cocktails and socialize with friends.
The main dining room is the Central Park Room, which houses the glass “Crystal Room” has been also received a total renovation. The room is decorated in a palette of soft earth tones and off white.
There are both tables and couches for dining. One end of the room is a sleek glass atrium which looks out into the courtyard which allows for further dining space depending on the weather.
We were seated in the atrium section which was bright and delightful on a sunny Fall afternoon. Our attentive waiter promptly brought us menus and offered advice on selections. We started with a signature rum cocktail the “Staten Island” which was refreshing. Our appetizer selection was stuffed clams with bacon, which was delicious and figs with goat cheese which was a nice contrast to the clams.
Our entrees were Scottish Salmon served with in a bernaise aioli with potato latkes and lettuce greens.
We also enjoyed Pan seared scallops with brown butter in a Cauliflower puree.
Our side dish was squash with pomegranate. All these dishes were delightful.
We could not leave without sampling dessert, and so we ordered Pumpkin Cheese cake Mille Feuille,with a Lingonberry Compote,cinnamon sugar crisp, and a mascarpone whipped Ganache and also the Chcocolate fudge cake with rum & raisin ice cream, dark chocolate sauce.. Both desserts were a sweet conclusion to a perfect meal.
The new management and along with Executive Chef John Stephenson have breathed new life into a New York Landmark and if it is not on your dining list for the near future, I do encourage you to do so soon.
67 Central Park West New York, New York
Phone: 212-877-8684 web: http://www.tavernonthegreen.com
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