the final cafe NYC & Situations Sq. demands

Penni Schewe

The new Margaritaville restaurant in Occasions Square statements that it  “instantly transports guests to paradise” — but consider that with a few much more grains of salt than you’d sprinkle on your wrist for a shot of inexpensive tequila.

Manhattan’s brightly lit bow-tie area is total of jumbo venues these types of as Carmine’s, Junior’s and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. that are battling to survive until Broadway audiences return. The very last point it needed was another, near-500-seat vacationer eatery. Sporting tacky, faux palm trees, blocky wood tables lined up mess-corridor model and a 32-foot-substantial Statue of Liberty reproduction raising a glass of its namesake cocktail, Margaritaville reigns as the city’s Most Pointless New Cafe.

But if you insist on obtaining a style of the new, $370 million Margaritaville Periods Square Vacation resort — hey, anything at all for laughs in a pandemic! — heed Rule No. 1: 

Take in at the sixth-flooring LandShark Bar & Grill, not in the mammoth 2nd- and third-flooring restaurant that is supposedly the “heart and soul” of the 32-tale, 234-room tropical-themed lodge.

A 32-foot-high Statue of Liberty raising a tequila cup at Margaritaville in Times Square.
A 32-foot-superior Statue of Liberty increasing a tequila cup greets diners.
Stefano Giovannini

The food’s mainly the identical at the two venues, but the a lot smaller sized (140 seats) LandShark sits astride an outside swimming pool total of splashing kids and canoodling partners. The reduced-flooring location seems to be down on the grungy, none-way too-tropical corner of Seventh Avenue and West 40th Street.

Motivated by the played-to-demise Jimmy Buffett tune, the Margaritaville eateries strike all the completely wrong notes.

A grilled salmon dish at Margaritaville in Times Square.
A grilled salmon dish was overcooked and flavorless.
Stefano Giovannini

Besides for a properly seared “Burger in Paradise” and luscious, slide-off-the-bone newborn back ribs, lousy dishes outnumbered prosperous kinds by a 4-to-1 margin. Lava Lava shrimp featured more gummy mayo than “Thai chili sauce.” A slice of overcooked grilled salmon was flavorless and minuscule to boot. Black beans caught to rice that appeared cemented to the plate.

There are a mere 3 desserts on the menu, and they experienced run out of the only just one professing to be made from scratch in-home — the Critical lime pie. Rather, we were being remaining with a molten chocolate cake that was not actually molten and chalky “New York Model Cheesecake” that was something but New York.

The glass encased dining area at Margaritaville in Times Square.
The glass encased dining space in the key cafe does not particularly truly feel tropical.
Stefano Giovannini

The LandShark “surf shack” can be — only by comparison and only if you sit at pool-struggling with windows — a little something like exciting. The al fresco terrace pool is for hotel friends only, but you can just take in the scene from adjacent tables on warm times when they roll up the home windows. (Seats in the back again, driving the bar, are a remote Siberia much from the waters.)

The crisp-battered “fish” component of the fish and chips was far better than respectable. But limp and lame french fries will need washing down with just one of 50 tequila cocktails.

Fish and chips at Margaritaville in Times Square.
Limp French fries in the fish and chips may possibly push you to consume.
Stefano Giovannini

I watched a lunchtime household of five, with luggage in tow, go to city on liquid libations in advance of they even checked in. You are going to want to get sloshed, too, just before viewing the menu’s terrifying wellbeing stats, like 1,630 energy for fried shrimp.

Our evening meal waitress declined to advocate any distinct cocktail, cheerfully expressing,  “I’m on my 201st day of sobriety.” She had the right strategy. “Boat beverages,” which emphasis on spirits beside tequila, tasted mostly of sugar. A tall glass of “Tranquil Waters” with rum and curaçao gave me much less excitement than an Amstel Mild. If you want a actual margarita, have 1 with no fruit or juice, or you may flavor no tequila at all.

Exterior of Margaritaville in Times Square.
The new Margaritaville in Instances Square is a person of a lot more than 20 resorts all-around the environment.
Stefano Giovannini

Margaritaville is a world wide outfit with extra than 20 hotels in the US, the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica. Quite a few additional are in the works, but it has a ton to master about New York. Video screens performed the Chainsmokers’ and Illenium’s “Takeaway,” which exhibits a guy pursuing a lady up and down the Hudson Yards Vessel and gaping more than the edge as the camera plunges into the sculpture’s void.

Of study course, the Vessel was not too long ago shut just after 4 readers leapt to their deaths. A phony Woman Liberty is one issue, but the location wants a crash training course in existing events — and greater taste.

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