Today I took my friend Megan (who is also my brother’s girlfriend) to one of my favorite restaurants in Manhattan’s Financial District: Smorgas Chef.
Located on Stone Street, a lively cobblestone road lined with bars and hot spots, this Scandinavian eatery boasts a menu full of “new Nordic cuisine,” which is “deeply committed to using local, sustainable, and all-natural ingredients,” largely from its 160-acre farm in the Catskills.
The restaurant’s atmosphere is simple, yet also artsy. A tree wrapped in lights stands just off the center of the room. Glossy tables and dark brown chairs make the space feel inviting and cozy, while yellow and black paintings of shadowy tree limbs lend an air of mystery.
The menu features classic Scandinavian (i.e., Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) entrees like Swedish meatballs, a smorgasbord of meats and fish, and a seafood chowder. There are also a variety of fresh salads, appetizers (like gravlaks and herring), and desserts.
Megan and I both ordered the lingonberry juice, made with real lingonberry pieces; however, the juice tasted much more watered down than the first time I had it when I visited with Todd a few months ago. We also both chose the Swedish meatballs as our entrees. The soft meatballs (made from grass-fed beef) rested atop an ample amount of sauce. They were accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes, a helping of sweet lingonberry jam, and some purple concoction that I think was a red cabbage slaw. See for yourself:
We struggled to choose between several types of crepes for dessert, including lingonberry and ricotta, nutella and banana, and dulce de leche. I’d previously tried the s’mores crepe (delicious!), but we eliminated that one so I could try something new. We eventually decided on a blueberry-filled crepe served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
I can only describe the crepe in one word: perfect. The batter was fluffy, the ice cream tasted delicious, and surprisingly they had filled it with a lot of actual blueberries! I had expected it to just be filled with a blueberry jam, but I really loved that they stuffed tons of fresh fruit inside this crepe. And Megan and I both loved the blueberry sitting atop an ice cream pillow in the photo above.
Now that you know about the delicious food at Smorgas Chef, I’ll share with you the best part about eating dinner at this restaurant: the company you share it with. I had a great time with Megan, and I know I’ll be sharing some more of our dining adventures with you soon.