New York City is one of my favorite places to visit. One reason I love New York is its diversity of restaurants. You can probably eat the world in New York City, and most of it will probably be pretty authentic. On this particular short weekend jaunt, I was able to "travel" to Sweden, Japan, China, and France.
First Stop: "Scandinavia"
I had the privilege again of meeting up with several New York food bloggers for a pleasant lunch in midtown. Andrea of High Low Food Drink was kind enough to make a reservation here for the rest of our party, Christine from Fresh, Local, and Best, Jessica from Food Mayhem, and a few non-food bloggers (Frank and Bryan).
Let me just start out by saying that my exposure to Scandinavian food is pretty rudimentary. Sure, I've made gravlax before, and I once tried some meatballs at IKEA. Other than that, unfortunately, my knowledge of Scandinavian food is embarrassingly nil.
NORWEGIAN SMOKED SALMON
Chive scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, and sour cream on 8-grain bread $11
Smorgas Chef was a great introduction to this type of food. The prices are very reasonable ($14.95 for a three-course lunch special); the space is bright, funky, and fun; and it's situated in a museum! The Scandinavia House, a cultural center for Scandinavian countries, is a great place to explore and learn a bit more about Scandinavian culture.
But let's get on with the food first!
Homemade Sparkling Lingonberry Soda 3.50
I loved my sparkling Lingonberry soda, which was nicely fizzy but not too sweet.
White balsamic vinaigrette $6
Although simple, this salad was perfectly made. The greens were fresh and crunchy, the amount of salad dressing was just right, and the flavors were refreshing - exactly what I wanted. It did not taste particularly "Scandinavian" to me, but then, maybe I don't really know what Scandinavian salad is supposed to taste like . . .
SMÖRGÅS SEAFOOD CHOWDER
Mussels, salmon, cod, shrimp $7
Bryan got the soup and thought it was pretty good - a light, creamy soup filled with various types of seafood.
HOUSE-CURED GRAVLAKS CLUB
Avocado, romaine, tomato, bacon, spicy tartar sauce, 8-grain bread $14
I got the gravlax club, which I thought was pretty good, although nothing particularly exciting. The salmon was fresh, and the combination of flavors was nice. To be honest, it felt too American to me (it's a club sandwich, after all), and I was enviously eying some of the other dishes that seemed more "authentic."
House-cured gravlaks, pickled herring, Swedish meatballs, traditional accompaniments $15
Jessica got this dish, and thought it was only OK (that salmon looks delicious to me though!)
Four of our herring varieties, lefse potato wrap, potato salad $12
Andrea got this dish, and thought it offered an "authentic pickled herring experience" that someone who likes sour, vinegary flavors would enjoy.
SWEDISH MEATBALLS & LINGONBERRIES
Chive mashed potatoes, zucchini, carrots, grädd sauce $14
Christine quite enjoyed the sauce that accompanied the delicious, tender meatballs, thinking that this dish was overall comforting and hearty.
Here they are, snapping away . . .
It's always fun to get together with food bloggers. We naturally already have a few things in common (we write, we photograph our food, and we LOVE TO EAT!) so of course it's easy to hit it off right away.
Thanks gals for meeting up with me!
P.S. So many people guessed that the Scandinavian restaurant I had visited was Aquavit that I'm really curious to try that restaurant next time!
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