September 8, 2003 | Ask Gael
Is Park Avenue the new Soho?
        The cacophony stuns, and the downtown crowd lounging so cockily at the Lever House Restaurant is a shock in a Zip Code that’s not about hot. But we’re here for chef Dan Silverman’s grown-up, clear-headed food, most of it smartly seasoned with a savvy citric touch, as in the fluke tartare with spring onion, orange, and cilantro. Wasabi crème fraîche and tobiko enrich his tuna carpaccio. Diver scallops float in an intense celery nage. The sliced short rib with a side of frisée and the lobster tempura could be entrées, alongside fabulous seared tuna with a tangy beet-ginger chutney, his lush shrimp-and-lobster risotto, and a fine rack of lamb with fava-arugula-and-Pecorino salad. Butter is the velvet on his wild Alaskan salmon draped in crunchy ribbons of carrot and candy-stripe beets. And the veal chop is impeccable (at $42, it ought to be). Don’t resist the elegant milk-and-dark-chocolate tart or the mint-chip-ice-cream sandwich and the uptown Oreo on the cookie plate.
390 Park Avenue, entrance on 53rd Street 212 888 2700