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[Photos: Nikki Goldstein]

Brunch at Aquavit is more than a little confusing: the a la carte menu is only available on Saturdays in the Bistro Room, but even the hosts and waiters seem to have a hard time with it. Make it in, and few of the restaurant's servers can tell you much about their strangely named items. Their bread basket ($5, pictured below), for instance, is described ever so aptly as "homemade white bread, some kind of Swedish rye bread, and dark nut bread." For what it's worth, the brioche-like loaf was a little on the dense side; the rye was more of a knackebrod-style flatbread; and the nut bread was hard and dry, with little flavor to distinguish it. But what about the entrees?

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The Pyttipanna ($16) is a melange of diced breakfast favorites cooked and served together; in this case, the description was pork and beef hash with a fried egg and pickled beets, but it was disappointing to find little distinction between the kinds of meat, and not much depth of flavor beyond salt and oil. I'd also have preferred more of an acidic kick in the pickled beets. I'd like to hope the other brunch dishes at Aquavit perform a bit better—but based on our experience, it's not a totally reliable bet.

Aquavit Bistro Room

65 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022 (map)
212-307-7311
www.aquavit.org

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