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Le Pavillon

Christine Drinan, Founder

Le Pavillon Dinning Room

If it seems like most of the new restaurants in NYC are either Jean-Georges or Daniel, it’s because they kind of are. We finally got to Daniel’s Le Pavillon where they are letting the views, which surprisingly more than the food, do the talking. This is the review of Le Pavillon restaurant in NYC.

Atmosphere

There are no two ways about it – the Le Pavillon restaurant in NYC space is a stunner. Set on the ground floor of One Vanderbilt, the space is as dramatic as the rest of the gleaming new building. The decor is done up with a double atrium with large windows with views of the Empire State Building. You feel like you are almost in a Japanese garden, with light wood and green foliage that give off high-design vibes. There’s no doubt that you are in a fancy restaurant, from the moment you walk into Le Pavillon. Additionally, there is an ample bar area where the people who work in the surrounding offices or those catching a train at Grand Central congregate daily.

Food + Drink

I have always loved me some Daniel, and what he has accomplished as a restauranteur is nothing but magic. His restaurant in the Amex Centurion Club 55 floors up is one of my favorites of all the Daniel restaurants. At the American Express Centurion Club, they let the food, atmosphere, and views all sing together in a coordinated chorus. So, when I went to Le Pavillon restaurant in NYC with luminaries from the wine and food world, I already thought it would be another home run. What I found was a menu that lacked inspiration, creativity, and wow. It’s not that the food wasn’t nice, but in a field of tough competition nowadays in fine dining, I didn’t find the Le Pavillon very interesting.

Daniel is originally from Lyon, which is a part of France that has some of my favorite French dishes of all time like soufflés, quenelles, and onion soup. I’m not saying that the Le Pavillon should bistro its food, but they could have made it more creative. My issue with Le Pavillon is that if the restaurant was a person, I wouldn’t be able to pick it out of a crowd of 50 people. It’s the same old, same old, like they’re just dialing it in. I felt that the Le Pavillon lacked identity, or any of the dishes that I could dream about after my visit.

A Restaurant with More Potential

Also going back to the point that there are a lot of fine dining restaurants nowadays, they really have a chance to set themselves apart at the Le Pavillon. The space is stunning, and One Vanderbilt is dramatic. I wanted to see a show with dinner. You know, flambe a few dishes, torch some fish at the table, combust, and smoke to elevate the fun. Right now, everyone is playing vanilla and I know the team can do better than a so-so langoustine pasta. I can go through the entire menu as our party of four ordered pretty much every dish among the tasting menus plus supplements. However, none of it was memorable.

Always a Positive Note

First, to end on a positive note, I still love me some Daniel. Like love you long time, Daniel. Secondly, the bar is a good scene for after-work drinks. The menu at the bar is fun and includes a lobster roll and chicken wings which are more interesting to me than the regular menu. Third, the food, no matter what my opinion is of it, looks pretty. The presentation of the food is one of the strongest points of the dining experience. Overall the Le Pavillon restaurant in NYC is good for when you need a fancier work lunch, drinks, or dinner options with corporate folks.

Service

Let me start out by establishing that the service is good. It’s everything that you would expect from a Daniel restaurant. With that said, I found the service lacking passion. There are places like Libertine, which I know is a totally different French concept, where the servers are bursting with excitement about the menu. It’s like the Lobster Farci will change your life, or at least that’s how they’re selling it. I didn’t find that enthusiasm at Le Pavillon. I think it’s because the restaurant is missing that X factor and they know it.

Overall: 6.8/10

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FAQs

Q: Where is Le Pavillon located?

A: Le Pavillon is located on the first floor of  One Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017.

Q: What are the hours of operation of Le Pavillon?

A:  The hours of operation of Le Pavillon are as follows:

Tuesday
  • 11:45 AM–2 PM
  • 4:30–11:30 PM
Wednesday
  • 11:45 AM–2 PM
  • 4:30–11:30 PM
Thursday
  • 11:45 AM–2 PM
  • 4:30–11:30 PM
Friday
  • 11:45 AM–2 PM
  • 4:30–11:30 PM
Saturday
  • 4:30–11:30 PM
Sunday
  • Closed
Monday
  • 11:45 AM–2 PM
  • 4:30–11:30 PM

Q: Can you dine a la carte at Le Pavillon?

A: The menus at Le Pavillon are tasting menus, of two, three, and six courses for lunch, and three and six courses for dinner. You can additionally order supplemental courses to augment your tasting menu. They do have a bar though where you can order a la carte snack and light dinner food options.

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