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Skal, the newest Nordic (Icelandic) restaurant in LES

kosmose7 Aug 24, 2013 07:29 PM

I went to Skal today.
It's the latest Nordic restaurant following Aska and Luksus.
The place is tiny, cozy, and chic.

Their cocktail menu looked so intreguing that I skipped champagne or sparkling wine that I normally accompany my meal, and ordered 'Gurka', which is Nolet's Gin, cucumber juice, lime juice, syrup, and black pepper.
Not sweet at all, and its sour, tangy, and peppery flavors stimulated my appetite.

Four fresh Kusshi oysters with green tomato juice granite, arranged on a bed of oyster & mussel shells, were refreshing.
Boudin blanc with turnips, and mustard greens was so flavorful and had a lot of 'umami'.

For dessert, I had beetroot with summer berries and Skyr (Icelandic yogurt). Not overly sweet and just perfect balance of flavors and texture.

Service was friendly, efficient, and extremely helpful.

Of all the three Nordic places that have opened recently, I personally found Skal the most impressive. Planning to go back to try other dishes soon.

37 Canal Street
tel: (212) 777-7518

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  1. Tripeler RE: kosmose7 Aug 24, 2013 07:35 PM

    Oysters look tremendous.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tripeler
      kosmose7 RE: Tripeler Aug 24, 2013 07:39 PM

      Oh just not to misinform you, it was four oysters arranged on a bed of oyster shells. LOL I have just added that part to my posting as well.

    2. sgordon RE: kosmose7 Aug 25, 2013 10:18 AM

      Been waiting on them to open, going this week to check it out. The prices are very good for the area, and I'm awful fond (as hounders know) of Nordic cuisine.

      I was a bit wary of the cocktail list - every drink but one had some kind of sweetener, be it simple syrup or agave. Not a fan of overly sweet drinks, I've found 100% of the time if I ask at a bar the simple syrup be left out (unless it's a flavored syrup, obviously) I like the drink more. But good to know it wasn't overly sweet, even with that in there.

      So, we have Swedish (Aquavit, Aska) Danish (Aamanns, Acme, Luksus sort-of) some less fancy Norwegian (Nordic Delicacies, Leske's, The Norwegian Seaman's Church) and now Icelandic chefs / establishments in NYC. Finland needs to step up and represent.

      1. Ttrockwood RE: kosmose7 Aug 25, 2013 01:36 PM

        That dessert sounds really interesting- what is the green garnish? The menu doesn't mention it...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ttrockwood
          kosmose7 RE: Ttrockwood Aug 25, 2013 01:53 PM

          If I remember correctly, it was Sorrel granite. Very good!

        2. t
          topeater RE: kosmose7 Aug 25, 2013 04:35 PM

          Your pics look amazing. Thanks for the heads up.

          1. k
            karynsig RE: kosmose7 Aug 26, 2013 08:32 PM

            I am taking my Icelandic hubby to NYC for his first time and i could not believe my luck to see this thread. Do you know if the lamb is imported from Iceland?

            1. k
              karynsig RE: kosmose7 Aug 27, 2013 05:16 AM

              I wish they'd have some more "traditional" Icelandic dishes like lamb soup, fish balls, haddock bathed in butter, etc. the simplicity of the food is what makes it so wonderful.

              3 Replies
              1. re: karynsig
                sgordon RE: karynsig Aug 27, 2013 08:04 AM

                Check out Aamanns in Tribeca, they have many more traditional dishes. Technically they're Danish, but obviously there's a lot of crossover among the Nordic nations, food-wise. There's butter-fried Hake at dinner, and “Fiskefrikadeller” (basically fish balls, but pan-fried) at lunch, and a number of other things.

                I doubt the lamb is imported from Iceland - I don't know of any butchers in town that carry Icelandic lamb, it's mostly US or New Zealand.

                You might want to check out Nordic Preserves Fish & Wildlife in the Essex Street Market, or if you've got a lot of time to venture out to the far reaches of Brooklyn, Nordic Delicacies in Bay Ridge. Both sell a number of pre-packaged Nordic products, cured meats and cheeses, etc, that might give him a little taste of home.

                1. re: sgordon
                  tex.s.toast RE: sgordon Aug 27, 2013 10:10 AM

                  Im about 99% certain i have seen icleandic lamb for sale at the Whole Foods in Tribeca.

                  1. re: tex.s.toast
                    sgordon RE: tex.s.toast Aug 27, 2013 12:07 PM

                    Apparently only available for a couple of months each autumn:


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