Monday, December 18, 2017

Agern, New york.


Gunnar Gíslason, executive head chef, opened the restaurant Dill in Reykjavík. His contemporary cooking celebrates Iceland’s pristine ingredients and artisanal producers, in a place otherwise heavily dependent on food imports. Dill has been nominated for the Nordic Prize and has won Iceland’s “Restaurant of the Year” every year since it opened. 

Recently, when I visited Reykjavik, My good friend, well known tour guide and foodie tour guide, Ymir Arthursson, made sure the unforgettable Dill was on the top of our resto list.

Recently, Gunnar has opened Agern restaurant in the Grand Central Station Terminal when Copenhagen food entrepreneur Claus Meyer opened the Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central Terminal. This food hall brings culinary concepts, flavors and ideas – rooted in the history and the landscapes of the Nordic countries, to New York. 

Claus is the founder of Meyers Bageri, which launched many influential restaurants and other food projects in Denmark. He is also co-founder of Noma, a Copenhagen restaurant that has four times been rated the best in the world. Claus helped initiate the New Nordic Cuisine food movement.

To begin, Chef Gunnar personally suggested a beer, the wonderful Evil Twin Modern, Stratford, Connecticut.

Fermented lettuce served inside a fresh piece of lettuce.

Celery root, celery root remoulade and pickled celery root; fried bread with pickled vegetables and skyr (Icelandic yogurt).

Smoked cheese and pine oil topped with rye crisp. 

"Ocean": apple cider vinegar, dill oil and phytoplankton. This drink tasted mildly of the sea and also, the taste was very slightly oyster-like. 

Arctic char topped with a mildly spicy potato crisp (made with squid ink and smoked pepper). 

The dish above, crisp removed. 

Bread and butter: house cultured butter accompanied by house made bread made with beer, barley and sour dough. The butter was good but did not have a lot of flavour. from memory, when at Dill, the butter seemed better in Iceland. 

Perfectly cooked cauliflower tips, some raw as well, with cauliflower puree, pickles mustard and trumpet mushrooms and milk cream strained through toasted hay. 

Broth from pear, apple, burnt chive oil with pickled torn olives, slightly torched raw mackerel and nasturtium leaves. 

Perfectly undercooked cod layered with fried potato slices, pickled onions (which made the flavours jump so harmoniously), cream and dill oil.

Fried potato which accompanied the cod dish above.

Salad of fermented potatoes and cabbage, dill, mashed and boiled pickled blackberries and sorrel leaves.

Roasted sunchoke and honey with milk ice cream. 

Buttermilk, whey, horseradish and buttermilk ice cream with caramelized whey, horseradish gel, whey tuile and watercress leaves.

Sunchoke, coffee and honeycomb with frozen sunchoke mousse, sunchoke chips, coffee milk and honeycomb.

Bourbon chocolate ganache with chestnut and burnt sage.

Bourbon chocolate soft ganache with toasted chestnut ice cream, chocolate crumble, chocolate tuile and toasted sage.

Bottom left: rosehip and potato milk feuille; bottom middle: chocolate, coffee and licorice bon bon; bottom right: chocolate and mushroom; middle top: seabuckthorn and marshmallow. 

A spectacularly good dining experience, well worth a journey!

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