Friday, January 15, 2010

Celsius - Bryant Park

Bryant Park – 5th Ave & 42nd St

Open annually, Nov. 6, 2009 - Jan. 24, 2010
Sunday-Wednesday: Noon - 10pm
Thursday-Saturday: Noon - Midnight

One of the great things about living in a city like New York is the seasonal restaurants that pop up throughout the year. The Bon Appétit Supper Club and Café is perhaps the most popular of these, but it’s only open one week a year (weekdays only!) and is open to the public only for lunch. But not to worry, Bryant Park has the place you’re looking for!

Once the temperature dips low enough, Bryant Park erects an outdoor skating rink, called “The Pond at Bryant Park”. The Pond is Manhattan’s only free ice skating rink (although skate rentals are $12) and is available to the public from early November through late January. With Harry Connick, Jr. and Perry Cuomo crooning softly through The Pond’s speakers, an afternoon of skating at The Pond makes for a great date – especially if followed by food and drinks at Celsius!

Located on the north-east corner of Bryant Park, Celsius is a glass-enclosed restaurant/lounge overlooking The Pond and Bryant Park’s decorated “Holiday Tree”. Celsius has a well-stocked bar on the first floor and additional table service seating upstairs, but the best seats in the house are on its outdoor terrace. These long, comfy couches and cozy tables for two are perfect for an après-skate bite, and are flanked by enough heat lamps to keep out the winter chill.

Click through the slideshow to see pictures of Celsius!

Celsius’ menu is full of cold-weather favorites with a casual touch of elegance. Mac-and-cheese becomes “mac and cheese gratin”, full of gruyere, gouda, and Vermont cheddar, while potato-and-cheese pierogies are spruced up with sides of caramelized onions and pomegranate-apple compote. An order of steak frites pairs a well-marinated skirt steak with piping hot, salty french fries, which are covered in a light dusting of Cajun seasoning, and served with ketchup and a barbecue-like spicy dipping sauce (which is great on the steak). The home-style chicken pot pie is prepared and served in its own cast-iron skillet, where a savory, buttery crust tops a sea of surprisingly large, tender hunks of chicken, punctuated by the occasional whole, baby Portobello mushroom and other stray vegetables.

Skirt steak makes a double-appearance on the menu at Celsius, first as steak frites and then as a skirt steak sandwich served with horseradish mayo and grain mustard slaw.

Chicken pot pie is slow-baked and served in an individual cast-iron skillet. Occasional bites of peas, celery, carrots, and whole, baby Portobello mushrooms interrupt an otherwise creamy landscape of tender chicken.

There is something at Celsius to please everyone, from their Asian-inspired vegetable spring rolls and butternut squash-coconut bisque, to a seasonal beet and goat cheese salad, to side orders of tater tots and buffalo wings. Their desserts are safe but well done, and their cocktail menu is inventive with drinks like “Earl-y Chili” (gin, earl grey tea, lemon juice, egg white, and peach bitters) and “Red Sage” (absolut, cherry liqueur, muddled sage, and Coca-Cola).

Celsius has a decent selection of hot drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcholic - perfect for warming your hands after time on the ice!

This perennial pop-up will be back in the fall, but don’t wait. Celsius is only around for a few more days, closing up for the season next Sunday, January 24. Make sure you go soon - and bring a friend!


  1. I'm a recent New York City transplant & I didn't know pop-up restaurants existed! Celcius looks like a great find & one that I am going to have to try in the next week! Great blog!

  2. That chicken pot pie looks delicious, I seriously need to make a trip to New York and eat all day.

  3. Your recipe for chicken pot pie is so great that I tried it immediately and my husband and I devoured it. Thank you and post more recipes. elly

  4. I've never gone to Celsius for the food but have had a great time there with my boyfriend for some post holiday shopping champagne. Foods looks tasty too!