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Roasted quail with a side of autumn

Oct. 11, 2007

by Slow Food USA intern Samantha Taylor

As the weather (at last!) turns cool and the isle Manhattan forms a thick layer of sepia crunch beneath the feet of foodies eager to shift their palates to hearty fall fare, we uncover a NYC gastro-visionary taking seasonality to drastic (if not garish) heights.

Park Avenue _______, a restaurant whose very name depends upon the season, is so serious about capturing the essence of each that it self-destructs four times a year to completely redesign—from wallpaper to server’s outfits. By doing this the owners hope to embrace fully the seasonal climate of their star ingredients. Half way through its cycle, Park Avenue (Autumn) has recently transitioned from its canary yellow summer sheen to a majestic blend of brown leather and gold. Come white winter, the word wonderland (apparently) won’t even be the half of it.

And while the effort speaks to a growing desire to keep your mind where your mouth is—I can’t help but wonder about the ever-thinning line between culinary activism and trend capitalism. Is Park Avenue’s chameleon eatery is just another fad to fade with the seasons (pun intended)? Would the funds be better spent sourcing that flawless autumn harvest from a local farm, than placing it against a lavish harvest background? Easier to play devil’s advocate now before I’ve had the chance to-sample the pomegranate pumpkin-crusted venison which, for the record, sounds like it could be a deal breaker.

For an explanation of the restaurant, click here to see New York magazine’s article.

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