Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bits and Morsels goes to Smorgas Chef

Swedish Meatballs & Lingonberries with chive mashed potatoes at Smorgas Chef @ Scandinavia House.

I decided to treat myself to a pre-holiday brunch at the Smorgas Chef at Scandinavian House on Park Avenue. Smorgas Chef has two other locations, one in the West Village and the other on Wall Street.

The dining room at Smorgas Chef at Scandinavian House is actually one of my favorites in the city. It is airy and streamlined with an open kitchen and a birch tree installation in the center of the room. It’s the type of space that is perfect for lunching alone, with a friend or a large group. The Smorgas Chef focuses on authentic Scandinavian food, serving all the Scandinavian staples like herring, gravlax and Swedish meatballs. I like this style of food because most of it is simple, pure and clean. Gravlax, for example, is just salmon that has been cured with salt, sugar, dill and other spices.

The herring sampler at Smorgas (the herring is pickled with spices) includes herring in cream, mustard, tomato and vinegar sauces with lefse bread, which is made with potatoes. The sampler is also served with a creamy potato salad. Not intended for the ichthyophobic, but if herring and cream is on your list, it's quite the decadent choice. Smorgas also has omelettes, waffles and other brunch dishes on its menu.
Smorgas Chef at Scandinavia House.
Smorgas Chef dining room at Scandinavia House.
Scandinavian House also houses a shop that sells amusing and unusual items that are perfect for holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. They offer a wide selection of jewelry, clothing and modern dishes and china, all from Scandinavian designers. Holiday shopping all the while enjoying a lovely brunch: now that's the best kind of multitasking.

The Smorgas Chef (open for lunch, brunch & dinner)
58 Park Avenue (between 37th & 38th Streets)
Caesar salad. Warm goat cheese salad.
Clockwise from top left: House-cured Gravlax club; A closer look at the Gravlax club; Herring Sampler -- Four herring varieties,“lefse” potato wraps, potato salad; Cappuccino.
Soft vanilla waffle. Rice pudding with a cherry sauce and almonds.
Plenty of gifts and stocking stuffers at the Scandinavia House boutique.
Be careful when you handle raw chicken. Consumer Reports has discovered that 2 out of 3 whole broiler chickens were laden with bacteria. No chicken is completely free of bacteria but there are things you can do to minimize the risk of getting sick from an infected chicken. For example, make poultry the last thing you buy so it stays cold and pick a chicken from the bottom of the shelf, where it is coldest. You should cook chicken to at least 165 degrees before you serve it, and employ the use of an oven thermometer to check its temperature. [NY Times]
It’s a good thing the city requires chain restaurants to post calorie counts. It will will lead to smarter ordering (for some of us anyway) and maybe even sharing a dish or two to prevent the consumption of those tormenting extra calories. [NY Daily News]

I'm looking forward to trying Le Caprice in the Pierre hotel. The original location is in London and the restaurant is known for its scene. The food reviews haven't been stellar, but it's still worth going just to take it all in. [Crain's]

If you have been trying to get into Monkey Bar and have not yet succeeded, cry no more. The restaurant has released their phone number, which can be used for luncheon reservations only. Monkey Bar is Graydon Carter's ultra-exclusive hashery. The number is 212.288.1010. [Time Out NY]

Until we eat again,
Jordana Z.

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