, the unofficial temple of the New Nordic food movement
, is considered by many epicures to be “the best restaurant in the world
,” a presumptuous title that's made it near impossible for most folks to nab a reservation there. Fortunately, the culinary trend it propelled has made re-imagined Scandinavian fare a widespread phenomenon, with fresh iterations of New Nordic cuisine tantalizing smoked fish fans well beyond the boundaries of Copenhagen.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Frej
is a pop-up restaurant, but judging by the reverent reviews
that have been pouring out since its opening this past winter, one can expect that its transient status may be temporary indeed. Situated in the back of Kinfolk Studios
, a creative agency that also houses an art gallery, a bar and a bike company, Frej’s dining room is as intimate as its New Nordic menu is thoughtful. The space seats just 18 diners, and its seven-course tasting menu boasts Gotham takes on Scandinavian standards, like pike with potato, sprat, and wild herbs. Proving to be a New York anomaly in more ways than one, the menu is just $45 per person.
The breadth of cross-continental fusion cuisine
continues to widen. One of the latest examples marries Scandinavia to Asia. Noshi Brooklyn
, a culinary project
enjoyed by patrons of the weekly Smorgasburg
food market, is exploring the intersection of traditional Nordic fish recipes with Japanese sensibilities. The result is a multicultural interpretation of smørrebrød
, a Danish open-faced sandwich. The base is rugbrød
, a rye bread based on an eighth generation sourdough from chef/co-owner Stephan Alsman’s hometown of Odense. Toppings vary, but they always include a cured-and-smoked fish seasoned with flavors from Alsman's wife Sayuri’s native Japan, including bonito, nori, ginger, shiso, wasabi, and shiokoji.
Fäviken: Fäviken Magasinet
, a 12-seat restaurant in northern Sweden, is hailed as one of the most adventurous dining establishments in the world given its foraged menu items, not to mention the distance one must travel to reach its remote mountain location. Fortunately, Fäviken,
a forthcoming book about the restaurant, offers a way to sample chef Magnus Nilsson’s fabled meat oddities at home by including several seasonal recipes created in his preservationist kitchen. Admittedly, it will be difficult for anyone not residing in a pastoral region of Scandinavia to obtain, say, moose meat
, but guides to making staples like yogurt, bread, and vinegar will appeal to New Nordic-leaning homesteaders.