20 Union Square West
New York, New York — 10003
Located at the North End of Union Square Park at 17th Street, Across From Barns and Noble.
DINNER- 5PM- Closing at Midnight
Some things are truly worth the wait. This spring New Yorkers were thrilled to see that the iconic colonnaded pavilion in Union Square once again features an exciting new indoor-outdoor restaurant. The Pavilion, whose menu showcases the bounty of the Union Square Greenmarket, welcomed the public.
For nearly 170 years Union Square has been a gathering place for commerce, for entertainment, for labor and political events, and for recreation. The 1928 Greek revival structure at the north end of the park has featured a restaurant since 1994. Today, The Pavilion, run under the direction of the hospitality group Chef Driven Market continues the over 150-year-old tradition of having restaurants and food concessions in New York City parks. The name Pavilion is a simple, classic one that respects the building’s rich history. Open seasonally from April until late October, The Pavilion seats 90 people indoor and 90 outside and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and weekend brunch. It is also the best restaurant in any NY City park, but regardless of location, its is generally excellent with a first rate kitchen, well selected wines and beer, a serious mixologist and attentive service.
At the helm are three rising stars on the city’s culinary scene: Executive Chef Mario Urgiles, previously at NYC French eatery Maison delights diners with an innovative market-driven menu – his pantry is the Greenmarket, just steps away. Pastry chef Terri Dreisbach who worked for Bobby Flay and Philippe Chow delivers her signature creative confections incorporating fresh ingredients while master mixologist Joel Cruz shakes up cocktails also inspired by the nearby market. All three are known for their tasty dishes that are always home made from scratch.
Highlights from Chef Urgiles’ menu that underline his market-driven approach include: Tomato Soup with sourdough crouton & herb crème fraiche; Farm Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart with baby dandelion salad; Organic Salmon Green Pot Au Feu with fennel pearl onion, baby carrots, shitakes, tomato and Roasted Organic Chicken with fingerling and purple potatoes, broccoli rabe. Even the steak is a fine piece of meat, beautifully seared, with a lovely garnish of fresh vegetables. But the entrée winner is the restaurant impossibility: a stuffed fish with barely wilted vegetables and a light sauce. Perfectly prepared.
Pastry Chef Terri Dreisbach is known for both her clever recipes and her artistic presentation. Some of the desserts she offers include: Raspberry Ginger Beer Float with coconut ice cream, raspberry sorbet, vanilla whipped cream and a ginger cookie; Devil’s Food Cake with pistachio mousse, raspberry and pistachio gelato; her signature Summer Berry Verrine with buttermilk panna cotta, summer berries, almond crumble and pistachio gelato (a must) and a Chocolate Beet Cake with blackberry-beet meringue, creme fraiche, cassis, blackberries and beet sorbet.
At the bar Head Mixologist Joel Cruz makes his own magic with classic and contemporary cocktail creations many featuring fruit and herbs he sources from the market for syrups and garnishes. At brunch for example the Bloody Mary mix is highlighted by Holy Schmitt’s horseradish direct from the Greenmarket. Cruz is also bringing back frozen cocktails like everyone’s favorite pina colada made with fresh coconut milk, pineapple juice and dark rum.
Some of Cruz’s other signature cocktails include: Pavilion ‘75’ with New Amsterdam Gin, honey direct from the Greenmarket, thyme syrup, and sparkling wine; the Metronome featuring New Amsterdam Orange Vodka, vanilla, white Vermouth and Aztec chocolate bitters; the Park Side including light and dark rum, fresh mint, lime, guava “foam,” and local pollen; and The Rialto made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, InfiniTEA Syrup, pineapple and Peychaud’s Bitters. The olives in the martini are worth a visit.
The Pavilion also serves rosé sangria, the perfect warm-weather beverage as well as a number of craft beers and cider from NY area breweries. The wine program offers a list of 40 wines by the bottle and 12 by the glass predominantly from New York State wineries who focus on sustainable and biodynamic techniques.
The Pavilion’s décor seamlessly blends the lush greenery of the park with a chic yet casual dining experience. The result is a beautiful restaurant that could feel as home in the South of France or an exotic island. Hanging gardens adorn the walls, palm trees add to the bucolic setting and overhead round glass orb lighting harkens back to open-air restaurants of the past. Modern touches like subtle lighting under the floor and unobtrusive ceiling heaters insure diners are always comfortable and there is a wonderful feeling of professional informality.
Furthermore, as an integral part of the New York City community, The Pavilion, in collaboration with KMNY Consulting and the Union Square Partnership, will add family-friendly programming to the Union Square Partnership’s already popular Summer in the Square series with “Tuesdays @ThePavilionNYC,” a weekly drop-in series. Programming will take place on the main level inside The Pavilion. A great idea!
“We are proud to be a part of the Union Square community,” says Simon Oren, CEO of Chef Driven Group and owner Marseille, Nice Matin and Barbounia. “We look forward to welcoming the community to this new public amenity in the park.”
Some of these programs include weekly children’s book readings, musical performances, and cooking instruction. Chef Driven Market will also provide internships, partner with local food charities, host fundraising events, and partner with GrowNYC, which oversees the Greenmarket program citywide, on numerous nutrition and wellness initiatives, as well as source products used in their daily menu offerings from participating Greenmarket farms.
For an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience, The Pavilion brings a new twist on fine dining to New York and is already a roaring success. Walman Report Rating: A+
Copyright 2014 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.