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Published May 02, 2014

State of the Union
The Union Square Pavilion Is Back

The Pavillion at the Union Square #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Couple stray observations for you:

1) It’s pretty breathtaking out there right now.

2) NYC Parks and Rec is really killing it lately.

Its latest triumph: The Pavilion, an outdoor wonderland that happens to be the first restaurant and bar in Union Square since 2006, open now. This is big, so pay attention...

It’s all alfresco.
You know, because it’s a pavilion. There’s a huge section of two- and four-tops shaded by massive orange umbrellas just outside the structure. And then there’s the concrete pavilion itself, which still lets in the sun and the breeze and the fervent calls of Union Square protesters. Ah, New York.

The cocktails exceed Parks Dept. quality standards.
Try the Park-Side—it’s a take on a mojito with guava foam and pollen added, and it’s basically summer in a glass.

There’s a farmers’ market nearby.
Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Much of what you’ll be eating (like the fennel and the carrots in the salmon pot au feu) will be culled straight from some friendly upstate purveyor a few yards away.

It feels like... not New York.
The front is lined in hibiscus bushes. There are palm trees inside, and topiaries. If you’ve ever been to or seen Balboa Park in San Diego, it’s like that. (If not, it’s still like that.)

It’s something of a return.
To the Bret Easton Ellisian, Glamorama-era, ’90s Union Square.

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Photo: Oleg March