Gardenia is upping its Mediterranean seaside vibes for a swimsuit dinner party.
Gardenia is upping its Mediterranean seaside vibes for a swimsuit dinner party.

With your chances to get to the beach this year quickly running out, a West Village restaurant is bringing it to you.

For one night only on Aug. 15, Mediterranean-Latin fusion spot Gardënia (64 Downing St.) is turning into the eatery of your seaside vacation dreams — complete with a beachwear-only dress code. That means if you want to get in on some pomegranate guacamole and tuna steak tacos, gents must sport either swim trunks or Speedos (hey, this is a European restaurant) and one-piece swimsuits or bikinis for the ladies.   

Diners will exchange their shoes for flip-flops at the door (yours to keep) to enter into the restaurant, whose beach vibes were already coming on strong with Moroccan tiles and Marley wooden chairs. They’re turning it up for the event with beach umbrellas, sand from the Mediterranean, deck chairs and even a wading pool to cool off in.

It’s all in celebration of Ferragosto, a time in mid-August (or just the entire month) when Europeans leave their offices for a long couple of weeks at the beach — as any civilized person once the dog days of summer set in. How have we imported all the glorious Italian pastas, wines and sauces, but not this practice?


The all-night party, which kicks off at 4 p.m., is $5 to attend and includes a welcome watermelon cocktail. Happy hour lasts until closing (10:30 p.m.), and you can order a la carte from a special menu inspired by the Italian coast.

While risque for its zip code, Gardënia’s stunt has nothing on The Bunyadi. An all-swimsuits policy is practically tame compared to the completely naked restaurant (serving “naked” organic food) that popped up for three months in London last year.

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