New Nordic continues to take hold on New York City.
A wave that started in recent years with Brooklyn’s Luksus, Tørst and Aska only continues to swell.
“Scandinavian food was trendy two or three years ago but now it is its own subcategory in the city,” said Linnea Johansson, a Swedish-born chef and culinary consultant based in New York City.
Johanna Kindvall, an illustrator based in Brooklyn and her native Sweden who’s working on a book about Nordic savory treats, has also noticed a rise here in Nordic specialties like smoked trout and smørrebrød (a type of sandwich).
“There are definitely more Nordic dining places today than when I moved to NYC in 2003 — I love it,” said Kindvall, who frequents Tørst for its rugbrød (Danish dark rye bread) and butter at the bar.
Indeed, this year saw the opening of three highly-anticipated projects from Claus Meyer, the co-founder of the influential Copenhagen restaurant Noma: the seasonal fine-dining spot Agern and the Scandinavian-stocked Great Northern Food Hall, both in Grand Central Terminal, and his Danish-style bakery, Meyers Bageri, in Brooklyn.
And just last week, another restaurant from a Noma alum, N’eat (which stands for “Nordic eatery”), opened in the East Village.
N’eat co-owner Mathias Kaer credits the worldwide acclaim of the 13-year-old Noma for the city’s New Nordic influx.
“Five or six years ago, that’s when people really started paying attention to the New Nordic cuisine and to what Noma was doing,” Kaer said. “From then on, it just takes time for it to get bigger and bigger.”
The draw of Noma-trained chefs to New York City has also helped, with alums found in kitchens across the city, from N’eat to Tørst. A forthcoming Brooklyn project from Mads Refslund — who oversaw the New Nordic menu at Acme before the NoHo restaurant’s recent French-Italian reboot — has also been reported.
The New Nordic sensibility values local, seasonal ingredients and old-school cooking techniques such as chilling and fermentation, Kaer said.
“[It’s] very high on minerality and acidity — the idea is to try to get the most out of the flavors in the ingredients,” he said. “We don’t use a lot of different things like garlic or wasabi to hide the flavors.”