Nordic cuisine does not normally make Top Ten lists in lifestyle magazines; however, 2017 seems to be a pleasant exception. Aska, a New York City restaurant that specialized in Scandinavian food, recently topped the list of GQ Magazine’s best American eateries.
Aska is adequately located in the trendy Williamsburg district of Brooklyn, a neighborhood often labeled as the “hipster capital of the world.” Nordic cuisine can certainly be considered exotic for most American restaurant goers, and thus it fits perfectly in Williamsburg since diners in this part of town are not afraid to try something different.
According to foodie website Eater NYC, Aska gets four stars overall, although it could easily merit five stars in terms of menu innovation. One of the most interesting delicacies is a ramekin of ashes burnt from the heart of a lamb. Traditional ramekin dishes are served in fireproof dishes and typically feature eggs and breadcrumbs; the ashes of a young sheep’s heart are certainly unusual, but the Eater NYC reviewer found the experience delicious.
Aside from being a place where diners can discover Scandinavian gastronomy, Aska also offers organic ingredients and naturalistic touches. As can be expected from a Nordic restaurant, the menu is heavy on seafood caught in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. Aside from shellfish, Aska also offers a few variations on congealed pig’s blood, which is served pâté style on crackers or as a truffle snack. This is not a budget bistro; a full dinner for two with the requisite wine pairings can run more than $700.
As of 2017, the NYC restaurant scene boasts five places where diners can enjoy Nordic cuisine; in 2017, however, Aska is taking the lead and will certainly appeal to those who are curious about traditional Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish, and Swedish meals.