Restaurant: Celsius at Bryant Park – Bryant Park, Manhattan, New York
the Bryant Park ice skating rink. The dinner deal was for two appetizers, two entrees, two desserts and four cocktails. Not bad considering that ice skating alone costs $12 per person for rentals.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Celsius, each winter Bryant Park’s green space is transformed into an outdoor skating rink and Celsius is a temporary restaurant that is constructed literally right next to the rink. It has an open-air seating area complete with heat lamps to help keep diners (somewhat) warm while eating. Luckily, the day we went it was a balmy 45 degrees.
We arrived around 6:30 p.m. and the outdoor seating area was fairly empty. For some reason, we were told that it would be a little while before we could be seated. We headed inside to the lounge area for about 15 minutes while other people seemed to be told the same thing. After this 15 minute wait, we were brought to one of the tables that had been open since we got there. Why we had to wait for the already open table? Your guess is as good as mine.
- Winter Park Chicken Soup
- Golden Stuffed Artichokes: blue cheese, garlic spinach, lemon pepper remoulade, smoked applewood bacon
- Eight Hour Short Rib Pot Roast: tender chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes, celery and onions, slowly cooked and served in a skillet, with a jalapeno cheddar cheese biscuit
- Steak Frites: grilled hangar steak, truffle scented fries, sauteed spinach, demi glace
- Warm Pumpkin Tart: sea salted caramel gelato
- Black and White Flourless Chocolate Cake: kahlua creme anglaise
The highlight of the meal was the golden stuffed artichokes. These had great flavor and the melted cheese combined with the artichokes and fried outer layer was a delicious combination. Additionally, the bacon on top was cooked exactly how I like it. It was crispy, had a smoky flavor and had a nice crunch to it. It was the best piece of bacon I’ve had in a while. Aside from that, the rest of the food was good, but lacked any robust flavor. The steak was bland with the demi glace providing any hint of flavor. The short ribs were the same. The meat was extremely tender and did melt in my mouth, but I think someone forgot to season the short ribs during its eight hours of slow cooking. Additionally, the broth and vegetables provided nothing to the dish aside from a couple of servings from another section of the food pyramid.
The food at Celsius was good, but lacked any real sense of flavor. It served its purpose of filling us up, but did nothing more. Service was also very slow and since we were outside, I would have liked if they sped things up a little bit. Considering the prices, I would only revisit this restaurant if they were offering another deal.
PS – If you haven’t gone ice skating at Bryant Park you’re missing out. It’s free if you bring your own skates.