5/1/2008:

For those of you that regularly patronize the Park Avenue Bar & Grill up the hill in Union City, you might be interested in their Anniversary party tonight, starting at 5pm.

Free appetizers from 5pm-7pm, and all beers are $3 and every cocktail (including top shelf) is just $5 ALL NIGHT. They’ll have Dominican cigars at their new cigar bar out back, and all four floors will be open, including the roofdeck.

Multiple areas for music, including live latin jazz and salsa dancing on the ground level, as well as a live DJ on the 3rd floor. They’ll be doling out free celebratory champagne all night as well, and will have a Patron Tequila Photo Booth to document your good time. All that, plus free prizes and giveaways… you can snag a gift certificate to Park Avenue Bar & Grill!

Those who like to shake their booty, might be happy to learn that they’ll be offering FREE Salsa lessons start the 3rd week in May

weehawken-park-avenue-bar-and-grill-one-year-anniversary.jpg

See original review after the jump…

hoboken-park-ave-bar-grill-union-city.jpgThis is part of the “Get out of Hoboken” series. On this occasion, we schlep up to very distant Union City (bordering Hoboken actually) to check out the very popular “Park Avenue Grill”.

SEE INITIAL REVIEW BELOW!

A mere stones throw away from the northern Hoboken border, this four-story bar/restaurant opened up about a month ago. A very spacious location with occupancy of about 600 patrons at peak times. It’s been known to be very crowded on the weekend with local residents, many from a Hispanic background.

From their website:

“Simply walk through the front doors and you’ll know you’ve found something special. At Park Avenue Bar and Grill, enjoy the flavors of Modern American cuisine fused with an exhilarating Latin influence. This stylish restaurant offers multi-level dining in a unique indoor/outdoor montage of six distinct dining and lounge areas. Our warm and welcoming bar opens to a charming private courtyard, while the chic second story dining room leads to a wonderful open-air deck. Wind your way upstairs to the lounge, enjoy the live jazz and then step outside onto the rooftop; the perfect backdrop for savoring tapas and a cocktail while admiring the gorgeous Manhattan skyline. We look forward to welcoming you to Park Avenue Bar and Grill.”

Description: Large multi-floor restaurant / bar with latin flair. 600 person capacity, multiple bars, catering, private events.
Address: 3417 Park Ave., Union City, NJ 07086 (Google Map)
Phone: 201-617-7274
Web: http://www.parkavenuebargrill.com/index.html

June 2007

We had to say that the place was very well done. Colorful lighting (sort of like Teak), many interior areas to eat, drink and lounge, plus multiple outdoor areas. Appeared to be quality construction throughout.

Going at off-peak time, we didn’t know what to expect. Parking was easy, for one thing. And they have Valet parking on the weekend. If you plan to come here to drink it’s recommended that you take a cab (should be about $8-10 from Hoboken). They’ve been known to regularly have lines on the weekend, so get there early if you want to get in without hassle.

park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-first-floor-bar-no-flas.JPG

Upon entrance, we were told by the hostess that each floor has it’s own menu. A simple bar menu downstairs, a “fine dining” menu on the second floor, and I forgot what the third floor menu was, it could have been some kind of tapas. Sorry I missed that part! The top bar was closed, so we didn’t get to check it out.

We wanted to sit outside and the small second floor area was for “fine dining” only.

park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-2nd-floor-outdoor.JPG

The menu was diverse. From a multitude of appetizers to high-end entrees such as steak and seafood. We opted to eat “tapas” style and choose a few of their appetizer items. The appetizers ranged from $6-12 each.

Our waitress was friendly and accommodating. She took our drink order ($8 glasses of house shiraz), which we thought were skimpy pours for the money. If you’re going to drink wine, it’s recommended that you order by the bottle or not at all.

The food-fest consisted of way too much food. Two salads (“35th street salad” and the calamari salad), some filet mignon empanadas, “three way guacamole”, and a crab cake.

The salads were enjoyed by both of us. My date really loved the 35th st. salad, as it contained fresh greens, pistachios, dried cherries, and a fair amount of strong bleu cheese. I’m not a big fan of that, but she loved it to no end. 4 stars.

park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-35th-street-salad-closeup.JPG

On the other hand calamari salad was my favorite dish of the night. Outstanding. The spicy salad had banana clumps in it that made it a unique taste endeavor that I want to experience again. You need to try it to believe it. Tender calamari and perfect seasoning that kept me coming back for more. Great job!

park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-calamari-salad.JPG

The filet mignon empenadas were ok, they tasted better first off, but as they cooled the taste seemed to diminish. Fine to try, but I doubt they’d be regular items for us.

park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-empenadas-2.JPG

Same with the crab cake. While very lean and filled with mostly crab, the dish was fairly pedestrian and lacked “wow” factor. Wasn’t bad by any means, but lost it’s luster as the night wore on.

park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-crab-cake.JPG

The “three way guacamole” was very interesting. They had other “three way” items on the menu, such as Humus and one other selection (we saw a couple next to us order them all – they had 9 mini dishes to sample). One standard guacamole with tomatoes and cilantro (our favorite), one with pineapple, and the other with some kind of cheese. All were delicious and well made, but the cilantro made that first one. The chips included standard tortilla triangles as well as plantains.

park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-3-way-guacamole-close-up.JPG

Overall, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food in the “fine dining” area. Hadn’t had a chance to check the menus in the other areas, but are willing to come back to give them a sample. I’m not sure how much I’d be in a hurry to come back to a packed 600+ person club/bar scene, but the employees were hoping that more people from Hoboken will visit.

The rest of the establishment looked fun, and I wouldn’t have any hesitation going back at off-peak times if you go with the right group of people. I’d love to try the roof-top and see what kind of views they have of Manhattan and Hoboken.

Sorry for the lackluster review. Tough to do at 4am! See some of the other areas below.

park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-back-view-twilight.JPG
park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007.JPG
park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-first-floor-outdoor-bar-view-from-above.JPG
park-avenue-grill-union-city-june-2007-3.JPG