On September 26, 2002, the restaurant and bar FIVES debuts on 5th Avenue and 55th Street, an area that is once again home to the world’s leading retailers with the imminent opening of the new Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo stores, and the recent arrival of Gucci, Escada, and Hugo Boss.
Named for its landmark location at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 55th Street, FIVES serves Atlantic-Rim Cuisine with the chic yet relaxed style that today’s affluent customers demand. The Fornasetti place settings are indicative of the restaurant’s ambience - sophisticated and stylish with a playful edge.
Chef Oliver Dudler’s “Atlantic Rim” menu reflects the overall feel of FIVES, taking a simple approach and offering authentic flavors using market fresh ingredients while adding the occasional twist, such as dusting a braised rabbit loin with cocoa and serving squab breast with a tapioca cake. The adjacent Bar at FIVES offers a small menu of sandwiches and bar snacks, but its main focus is the choice of 55 wines by the glass that will change regularly.
Housed in The Peninsula New York, FIVES occupies the combined space of the hotel’s two former restaurants. While some interior changes have been made, the transformation took place in a less tangible sense. According to Peninsula New York’s General Manager, Niklaus Leuenberger, “We gave ourselves an attitude adjustment. We want FIVES to be comfortable for today’s customer - sophisticated without the formality of the past. Customers want authenticity, not fussiness. We believe FIVES offers patrons a good time as well as excellent food.”
As FIVES takes the place of two restaurants, the extensive menu spans patron’s tastes offering fine dining options as well as more simple salads and “from the grill” choices. The sandwiches and small bites from the bar menu can also be ordered in the restaurant. A new a la carte Saturday brunch menu provides a new dining option for guests and Fifth Avenue shoppers.
FIVES moves in a new direction from its predecessor by loosening traditional service rituals, once considered obligatory to fine dining. Illustrating this attitude change are the streamlined gray staff uniforms, and the tabletop’s clean elegance with its sleek white serving dishes and simple glass votive holders.
The Bar at Fives
As it was formerly a separate restaurant, the Bar at Fives changed more significantly. The drink menu now features 55 wines by the glass, with some selections changing on a monthly basis. A new cheese cart offers five cheeses each served with a freshly prepared condiment, such as braised figs with a variety of blue cheese or cherry compote with a camembert. The cheese selection changes weekly, personally picked from the market by Chef Dudler. In addition to the large wines by the glass list, a variety of cocktails are served, including the new 555 Martini, consisting of Absolut Citron, Champagne, and orange and lemon juice.
By moving the room’s grand piano to the back, guests can now enjoy the view through the large windows overlooking Fifth Avenue from newly added high tables and stools. New piano and vocal entertainment Tuesday through Saturday, features Cole Porter and Gershwin tunes along with more contemporary classics. A new lighting design creates a more intimate atmosphere, softening the room’s feel and accenting the room’s signature décor elements.
In addition to serving lunch and dinner daily, FIVES and The Bar at FIVES will offer a regular series of wine and cheese tastings and wine dinners. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 903-3918.