On the final night of my recent honeymoon I had a romantic dinner planned in Helsinki. The restaurant - Luomo - had an amazing tasting menu...
At least, I assume it had an amazing tasting menu. I got sick as soon as we arrived and we had to leave.
I'd like to make it up to my husband. Are there any places in NYC where we might be able to get an upscale Finnish dinner?
There aren't any purely Finnish restaurants in NYC that I know of, but we have some very good Scandinavian ones, and there's obviously a LOT of crossover between the various Nordic cuisines. Particularly between Sweden & Finland, as they share a gulf and the Baltic Sea between them.
The best (fanciest) would be Aquavit, of course, and they're better than ever these days. If you're looking for an extended, fancy tasting menu, they're the one to beat - currently they're running a 25th Anniversary all-seafood tasting, but their regular prix fixe menu is pretty great as well ($85 for four proper courses, plus extra amuses and whatnot)
Then there's Aska in Williamsburg - the food is a bit more rustic, but very creative. More of a hipster vibe, but the food is certainly upscale.
There's also ACME, artsy/club vibe, excellent food, but I find it skews a bit more "New American" in terms of flavor profile. Not sure that they have anything like a tasting menu, but it would be easy to put something together out of small plates.
And if you're just jonesing for a casual taste of Scandinavia to tide you over until your dinner, Aamanns-Copenhagen in Tribeca makes fabulous Smørrebrød (or Voileipä, as they'd call them in Finland) - super-fresh seasonal ingredients, really lovingly prepared.
Nordic food has been the "next big thing" supposedly for a couple years now - and it's a very interesting cuisine, for sure, one of my favorites. That said, it hasn't really clicked in NYC, but the places we do have ARE very good, for the most part, with Aquavit reaching new heights and the few new places opening being much better than average. Vandaag was good too in their early days, then took a slump when the original chef left and eventually closed. (There's also Smorgas Chef, which is fine for casual / bistro fare, but at the same price point A-C is more interesting...)