Veronika, NYC’s Newest Hot Spot, Is A Disappointing Beauty!

In a nutshell, the restaurant looks gorgeous (designed by Roman & Williams). The menu and the food, on the other hand, total letdown. I predict the menu will be redone within 3 months.

MY RECOMMENDATION: come early, get a drink at the bar (no food served), go somewhere else for dinner.

Here’s what you can expect if you do go for dinner

Reservations are hard to come by. For this newest hot spot from Stephen Starr expect to wait at least a month and even then you may only find tables available right when they open at 5 PM or very late at night.

The space is gorgeous. It’s boilerplate Roman & Williams, high ceilings, beautiful lighting, extraordinary flower arrangements, dramatically romantic. This might be nitpicking, but the chairs are very uncomfortable.

Massive staff. We were there early but it looked like there were at least 3 people dedicated to our table of two. Cutlery was being put down and then taken away before it was even used, then replaced by more cutlery by yet another team of servers. When I actually did need something (salt), they delivered an empty salt container. They’re clearly still finding their groove. Even our waitress who was professional and friendly, didn’t understand the food. Instead, of offering informed recommendations, the best she could do was offer menu talking points.

Menu is just bad. It’s Eastern European which is an odd choice given Veronika is the restaurant associated with the Swedish-based Fotograviska Museum. I was hard-pressed to find a single item I really wanted to order (the caviar perhaps but at $200?). The majority of the menu items sounded old fashioned and heavy. I ordered the lamb goulash which is served tableside (video below). My friend ordered the Dover sole but left half on her plate which is not exactly a ringing endorsement. For a starter, I ordered the poppyseed milk bread with cultured butter. The bread was dry and overbaked. Sheri ordered the consomme nana – a chicken soup which she seemed to like (but I’m not sure she thought it was $24 amazing). For dessert, we shared a charlotte russe – also underwhelming!

One thing did not disappoint: the Corsair cocktail. My friend Sheri ordered it and the minute it arrived, I desperately wanted to order it also. It looked and smelled amazing. It’s made with rye whiskey, cognac, cinnamon, barolo chinato, cherrywood smoke and is poured tableside (video below). It took a lot of willpower to stick with my Dry January commitment.

bottom line.

WOW! Major disappointment. However, if design is your thing you must check out the space. But sit at the bar – and order that Corsair. And then perhaps get another drink downstairs in the Chapel (their speakeasy). It was very crowded on Tuesday night but it is worth poking your head in. Again, visually stunning.

The Fotograviska Museum on floors 3-5 is also a disappointment. I can’t believe they have the nerve to charge $28 a ticket. I’ve been to the original in Stockholm which is extraordinary. The NY version feels third-rate in comparison. I don’t get it. Low ceilings, horrible flooring. 3 or 4 small shows that are poorly installed. The whole thing is kind of tacky. Did they run out of money?

Scroll down for photos from our dinner and from the museum.
Entryway to Veronika
Bar! this is where I recommend you plop down and order that Corsair
Dining room at 5:30pm – it was 100% full by 6pm
I started with the bread and butter
Behold the Corsair!
Lamb goulash – also served tableside. Looked way better than it tasted.
Sheri’s dover sole
Dessert – Charlotte Russe – meh!
The Chapel (speakeasy)
Fotograviska Museum
Groundfloor Lobby and Gift Shop
Such a gorgeous building. Fingers crossed they get their act together!

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