A trip to Norway may not be in your future, but a visit to Chelsea Market offers a quick escape to the Nordic regions with just a few plates.
Following last month's NORTH Nordic food festival, a second Michelin star for Midtown's Aquavit, and plenty of Nordic pop-ups throughout the city, the sustainable and tasty cuisine is finally finding its place in New York.
Through Saturday, October 25th, Chelsea Market's Cull & Pistol (which is connected to New York's largest seafood market, Lobster Place), is serving a Norwegian seafood tasting menu, following executive chef Dave Siegal's trip to Norway, where he learned more about the native ingredients and cooking styles inherent to the Nordic region.
Nordic cuisine has gained American approval thanks to its health benefits (plenty of vegetables and lean proteins), sustainability (chef Rene Redzepi of Copenhagen's Noma is known for foraging and using all parts of animals and vegetables in his kitchen) and overall tastiness, similar to European cuisines Americans have enjoyed for decades.
Cull and Pistol's menu begins with an amuse-bouche of an oyster topped with aquavit (a Scandinavian spirit) and dill, bringing out familiar Nordic flavors in your first slurp of the meal.
The first course brings an aquavit cured Norwegian salmon with horseradish, dill and spiced beet chutney with rye crisps, almost a Nordic spin on a traditional New York breakfast of lox and cream cheese.
Chef Siegal's next course is created from an enormous Norwegian King Crab, alive until the kitchen is practically ready to plate its massive legs. Sorry, crab. Dressed in red chili, ginger and corianger and served with bok choy, this Nordic dish plays with Asian flavors in a fun and truly tasty way, adding a bit of zing to the rich crab meat.
For the last savory course, gently steamed Norwegian Halibut-- which Chef Siegal says he enjoyed raw, sashimi-style in Norway-- is served atop a squash puree with Hen-of-the-Wood mushrooms and sage. "Autumn in a bowl" accurately describes this savory and slightly sweet dish, where diners were struggling not to lick the last strains of pumpkin off the plate.
And for dessert, a huckleberry shortcake is topped with rum sabayon, a not-too-sweet ending to a well-blanced and full-flavored dinner.
The four-course menu is $59, with optional beverage pairings for an additional $30.