It's a cold and lonely walk to Canal and Ludlow, the streets empty and dark and windy. The Lower East Side may be hopping, but not here. So when you show up at Skàl, it'd be nice if a waiter didn't greet you with a look that asked, "What are you doing here?" Trust me, guys, I didn't just stumble in by accident.
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For some, Aska might resonate as an encore performance from chef Fredrik Berselius, who was at the helm of this year's much-applauded pop-up, Frej. For this project, however, the chef (whose resumé includes stints at at Aquavit, Per Se, and Corton) is joined by Atera alum Rockey who has taken on the roll of general manager. The Williamsburg restaurant will offer a $65 six-course tasting menu Sunday through Thursday, as well as a bar menu.
We attended a meal by Björn Schmidt, a Swedish ad agency refugee turned Berlin supper club chef. Together with a few friends, he operates one of Berlin's more popular clubs, RollinRestaurant. "My mission is to open the eyes of Germans to Scandinavian cuisine. When I say Scandinavian or Nordic, people say 'Well, I tried that at Ikea,' and that is not how I want Scandinavian cuisine to be defined."
This Scandinavian bread is scented with cardamom.
The season's first strawberries always made an appearance on the Swedish Midsummer table. Make them stand out with some cool, freshly whipped cream.
This dish is traditionally served on Midsummer in Sweden to celebrate the new potatoes in the garden.
Known as Skagen salad in Swedish, this light shrimp salad makes a great open-faced sandwich.
Scandinavians aren't just envied for their superior licorice and textiles: it's the way they roast coffee—or maybe the way they don't roast it—that's caused a stir among palates.
[Photograph: Robyn Lee] Note: It's best to make the rolls the night before and allow them to rise in the refrigerator overnight. You can bake them anywhere between 10 and 24 hours after shaping and refrigerating them. Pearl sugar isn't...
Scandinavian egg coffee is a traditional brewing method most commonly found in Sweden and Norway; it calls for a whole raw egg to be mixed with the coffee grounds before adding them to boiling water. But does it taste good?
Compared to cardamom, no other spice more completely captures the essence of the exotic. No other ingredient could make a peasant's mash of legumes and onions taste like food royalty. Even to its culinary home, cardamom's perfume is lavished on dishes as a way of making even mundane foods something completely different.
Where do you start a journey through the Scandinavian kitchen? Well, perhaps with the most iconic Scandinavian dish of them all. Swedish meatballs. Now, first of all, we need to settle something: Mom's meatballs are always the best in the world. Regardless of the Mom. And perhaps even regardless of the meatballs. Just like Italian sons and daughters have their mother's cooking as a frame of reference for good food, Mom's meatballs have the same function in Sweden.
Derived from the Latin aqua vitae, or water of life, aquavit has been made throughout northern Europe for centuries. Typically made from grain or potato spirits, aquavit may be flavored with a number of different botanicals, giving the spirit a savory, herbaceous character. Caraway is one defining example, though aquavit may also include dill, fennel, clove, cardamom and other herbs and spices.
Food is an integral part of the Ikea experience. For many people, myself included, the trip begins with a helping of steam-table meatballs and ends with a 50¢ hot dog. Somehow, though, the little grocery store just past the checkout never gets much love. The lure of the wiener stand, presumably, is too great. But I was curious. Since everything else in my kitchen comes from the Scandinavian megastore, it seemed logical to slap some Ikea food on my Ikea plates. So, with the Swedish Chef as my muse, I decided to see what I could assemble from Ikea's grocery offerings....
Photographs by Robyn Lee AQ Kafé 1800 Broadway, New York NY 10019 (b/n 58th St. and Central Park South; map); 212-462-0005; aqkafe.com Service: Prompt at the bakery counter, a little slow but well-meaning at the tables Setting: Cheerful, airy...
When people think of Bay Ridge, they most likely think of Saturday Night Fever, Tony Manero strutting along 86th Street scarfing down two slices of pizza folded atop each other, or later rehearsing disco moves in a mirrored studio....