Agern Beets It…

I had read the rave Agern restaurant review in the NY Times.

Coincidentally, we had Thanksgiving dinner in France with one of the investors who was equally effusive.

Once enticed, I must charge forward and consume.

Last week, the Catzel clan moseyed on over to Agern, located in Grand Central Station, to sample the contemporary Scandinavian fare.

Claus Meyer, the co-founder of Copenhagen’s infamous Noma, recruited Gunnar Gislason, the chef of the new Nordic restaurant Dill, in Reykjavik, Iceland, to run the kitchen.

Agern

Once inside, you would never imagine that one of the busiest locations in all of NYC was on the other side of the door.

Agern, meaning “Acorn” in Danish, is a season-driven restaurant and bar.

We sat at the bar with the welcoming and knowledgeable Zach who is the well respected  barkeep.

One of the highlights was the vodka that they had on hand.

OYO Vodka

OYO is made in the swing state of Ohio and despite their conservative beliefs, Ohio produces one heck of a intriguing vodka.

I have to say that OYO is the best vodka I have ever had ($16).

OYO is distilled from 100% whole Ohio-grown red winter wheat, which arrives at the distillery as bags of flour.

I am usually a potato vodka gal, but OYO is all that.

David had an unusual pale ale, Great South Bay ‘Blood Orange’ Ale from Bay Shore, New York ($10). He enjoyed it.

Agern offers two fixed price menus.

The Field and Forest menu, a vegetarian excursion through seven courses (the $120 price includes service).

The Land and Sea menu costs $25 more.

We took the a la carte route.

The whole wheat bread with whipped butter is a worth indulging in carb.

Baked Beet

The legendary Salt and Ash Baked Beet Root dish with caraway seeds and huckleberries was a must ($22).

The beet is carved in front of you after being liberated from the salt-and-ash crust it is baked in.

Bitter Greens Salad

The Bitter Green Salad with preserved blackberry, almonds and havgus (semi-hard Danish cheese) was fabulous ($16).

Arctic Char

We followed that up with a lovely, but minuscule Arctic Char with pumpkin, apple and pumpkin seed ($26).

Scandinavian cuisine is not usually in my wheelhouse, but Agern is an experience.

If the fixed price menus are not to be, try a splash of OYO, the baked beet root, the bitter green salad and call it a night at the very pricey Agern.

On the way out take the Great Northern Food Hall exit.

It is a very cool area.

The hall opened in the spring of last year by Agern owner, Claus Meyer.

It is rooted in the culinary history of the Nordic countries.

Great Northern Food Hall

Agern 89 East 42nd Street New York City. Open for breakfast Monday-Friday 7-10am ($36 breakfast), Lunch Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm (2 courses $55, 3 courses $65), Dinner Monday-Saturday 5:30-10pm, Sunday 5:30-9pm. Reservations on OpenTable.com.

 

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