Casa Lever, NYC

The 1951 Park Avenue Gordon Bunshaft creation that was initially the pet project of Lever Brothers’ president Charles Luckman is now a carefully curated homage to both the American Modernism movement and classical Italian cuisine. Casa Lever, brought to you by G&D Restaurant Associates (Felice Wine Bar, Sant Ambroeus), warms up the “glass box skyscraper” that was once Lever House with masterful Milanese flavors and Italian amicability to boot.

The sweeping, airy space that is Casa Lever incorporates elements of art nouveau — teak wood finishings, Eames style chairs, geometric wall cut-outs ? but at the same time maintains a comfortable clemency that would not be immediately attributed to the starkness of modernity. While the original Andy Warhol works that line the walls of the interior keep patrons groovily retro, the menu itself makes no qualms about being decidedly un-hep.

Because being too cool is sometimes just uncomfortable, Casa Lever proffers up a menu of classic Milanese antipasti, like veal in tuna sauce, mixed fried seafood and rare hamachi with pomegranate seeds and lime; pastas from tuna Amatriciana to wild boar ragout; and mains like veal scaloppini, spicy seafood stew, and whole roasted fish like Dover sole or Eden Brook trout.

The new New York restaurant is indeed dripping with cachet — even Madonna herself has graced the spot with a Kabbala-voodoo visit. Still, I expect Casa Lever will eventually leverage itself on strong reputation alone.

Address: 90 Park Ave New York, NY
Cuisine: Italian
Area: Midtown
Venue: Restaurant
Hours: Daily: 11:00am – 11:00pm
Price Range: $$$$ (Expensive)
Payment: Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover

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