Aquavit, NYC 6

January 12, 2016

A year ago Aquavit was awarded a second Michelin star, making Emma Bengtsson the second female chef with this honor, along with the extraordinary Dominique Crenn. Blair and I went to Aquavit for a late lunch on December 4, 2015.

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Since we had arrived early for our reservation, we started with glasses of white wine at the bar: Aigner Grüner Veltliner for Blair and a Georges Verney Viognier for me. 
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The dining room was decorated for Christmas in a spare Swedish style.
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After being seated at a corner table, we looked at the lunch menu, which offers a wide variety in three courses.

We were each served two superb little breads, a dark, multi-grain loaf and a baguette-like roll. The butter was creamy and rich. 
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We ordered a bottle of 2012 Ampelos (Santa Rita Hills) Pinot Noir. Despite its young age, it was good, with the Pinot Noir characteristics from California one would expect.
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Blair’s first course was
Root Vegetable Soup
pickled potatoes, smoked goat cheese, pumpkin seeds.
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He wrote: “The pickling of the potatoes was too strong for the dish. While I enjoy a bit more acid in my food than most, it was borderline too much for me.”

Mine was
Venison Tartare
egg yolk, red beets, capers
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The raw venison was rich, more than beef. It had a meaty, slightly gamy flavor nicely enhanced by the three garnishes. The grainy wafers served to be eaten with it, were a good textural contrast.

Blair’s main course was
Swedish Meatballs
lingonberry, brown beech, cream sauce.
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“The meatball dish was exactly what one would hope for in a Swedish Meatball meal. The earthiness of the mushroom, creaminess of the sauce and potatoes played well with the brightness of the lingonberry and pickles.”

My main was
Mangalista Pork
apple, lardo, sauerkraut.
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The tasty pork was in a concentrated cube on the right with a nice crackled skin. Under the lardo disk on the left was a more tender piece. Very good.

Blair’s dessert was
Chocolate Trifle
mousse, cake, blackberries.
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“The trifle was decadent; the brownie-like cake sprinkled on top had some crispy edge. Blackberries and chocolate are a great combination.”

My dessert was
Apple Crumble
raisin, rice ice cream, plum
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A round of cooked apples was topped with crumbles, ice cream and a wafer. Underneath was a swatch of thick plum jam.

Cookies were served with the espressos.
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Aquavit continues to be an excellent presence on the New York dining scene. Its cuisine sticks faithfully and effectively to its Swedish roots. The service, pace and ambiance for our lunch were excellent.

To see all of our meals at Aquavit click here.


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