The Polynesian

New York, NY
Bar & Restaurant
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400 West 42nd Street
New York, NY
Opened in May 2018
Mon-Thu 4pm-1am
Fri-Sat 4pm-2am
Sun 4pm-1am
(212) 254-3000

Critiki ratings

The Polynesian



by 84 people



Everyone You
Decor 6.7
Drink Quality 9.2
Drink Selection 8.2
Food Quality 8
Food Selection 6.1
Mood 6
Music 3.8
Service 8.7
Tikiness 5.6
Tilt 6.6
Vibe 6.3

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Humuhumu’s description

The Polynesian is an upscale modern restaurant in midtown Manhattan, near Times Square. It is located on the third floor of The Pod Hotel 42, and opened in May 2018. The space is sleek and airy, with more subtle nods to Polynesian art and culture. Seating dividers are made from sticks, clearly inspired by traditional Oceanic sailing maps; graphic repeating patterns on the floor and behind the bar appear to be very-abstracted echoes of tapa or quilt designs of the Pacific. The dominant colors in the space are warm wood and ocean blue, and select pieces of Oceanic art are on display.
The restaurant has been created by New York's Major Food Group, with help from bartender Brian Miller, who had been hosting regular tiki drink nights around New York for several years. Miller's menu includes not just nods to drinks from the history of tiki bars, but incorporates nods to actual Polynesian history. The food menu is limited and tends toward the snack end, with some classic fare like Crab Rangoon.


JayTiki has visited The Polynesian.
October 29, 2019, 7:53 AM
As others have stated, The Polynesian is exactly what you'd think of when you say New York Tiki Bar. It's slick and sophisticated with more of a focus on high-concept than traditional Tiki.

Considering that's what it's going for, then it's well-done. I just prefer my Tiki bars more traditional. Plus the Motown-heavy playlist, while fantastic in its own right, just felt out of place and didn't help set the appropriate atmosphere. The drinks were great, though expect to pay $17 and up for what's more typically $12-$15.

Although it was only about a quarter full (early on a Monday evening), they had quite a few staff members both behind the bar and milling about the rooms. However, we felt rather invisible the entire time. In fact, one bartender started to come our way when another bartender stopped him to engage in a conversation. That lasted for a couple minutes until I could get a third bartender's eye to motion him down so we could finally order. That was rather disappointing, especially considering the drink prices.
Makai has visited The Polynesian.
May 28, 2019, 5:56 AM
The Polynesian seem too refined for a Tiki Bar. The drinks are great though. They now have mugs for sale - $120 a mug.
EdOConnor has visited The Polynesian.
February 13, 2019, 2:32 PM
I visited The Polynesian in January of 2019. After a 20 minute wait, we were escorted past the curtain entrance and taken through an impressive space with great decorations. The overall feel was a mix of tiki with modern cosmopolitan, but it was still a great vibe. The drinks were also had good flavor, presentation and selection. Although some of the cocktails were sweeter than I typically prefer, I was able to find a few which were interesting and excellent.

The only thing that was strange to me was the music selection. It was a Saturday night in NYC, at an impressive tiki-themed bar and restaurant, and they were playing motown and R&B music at fairly high volume. This made it quite loud (like a nightclub) and somewhat difficult to hold a conversation with my friends, but it especially detracted from the tiki experience.

Anyway, I had a great time and enjoyed some fine drinks and decent food. I'd go again, for sure.
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Upcoming Visits
Regulars & Visitors
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View all 118 The Polynesian regulars & visitors