Posts Tagged With: Aska

Aska and You Shall Receive

050There comes a time in life when you have to count your blessings for not being allergic to shellfish.  Otherwise, you quickly find out if you are allergic to cow’s thyroid or a goat’s heart.   Or baby formula!

Aska, is one of those places that you book first and research later.  The immediate “hotness” it got off the bat coincided with “where am I eating on my birthday” to the point where I quickly had to reserve a table for 2 before the critics pour in.  But the more I looked into it, the more I questioned the decision, especially after seeing the announcement that Saturday’s only option is a 10 courser.  Will Mrs Ziggy eat blood sausage, dehydrated scallops, baby formula, cow’s thyroid, anyone’s thyroid?  After taking a quick glance at the menu Aska emailed to me, her response was “Its ok I guess”.  Good enough for me!

This was a memorable meal to say the least.  20 diners at the back of an art studio,  20 servants (including cooks and the man himself Mr Berselius bringing you teh final touches with the explanations), what seemed like 10o people by the bar, Morrissey blasting in the background, and one extremely interesting 10 courser.

Ok, before I start any rumors, there was no baby formula on this night nor any night as far as I know.  But it did cross my mind while we were eating our apple sauce and milk

Started off with some delicious bread, crispy hard bread with whipped NY butter. 039

Molasses shortbread, trout roe and cheese was interesting.  Seemed more like an Amuse than one of the courses

Hay, milk, tomatoes, parsnip, and milk salad.  Clearly the best Hay, tomatoes, parsnip and milk salad I ever had.  Seriously this was good.  I couldn’t help comparing to the amazing Jungsik salad from the night before but this was inventive and satisfying.  Great tasting veggies040

Parsnip with brown butter and more whipped butter thank you. Delicious!  The closest I get to eating parsnip normally is the leftovers from  the veggies my wife throws out right after finishing making her chicken and bean bullion.  So best Parsnip I ever had goes without saying.  Berselius really does a great job bringing all those veggies to life.043

Pheasant with sunchoke, liver. Sort of a Pheasant extravaganza with both the dark and white meat (much preferred the dark), and the liver which integrated nicely with the broth of the cooked sunchoke.  Sunchoke itself had a nice crispy texture045

Blood pudding with seabuckthorn, lardo, dill and anchovies.  Pretty to look at without much substance, like Paris Hilton.  Didnt care much for this one046048

Oats, tiny bits of bone marrow, Shad roe, egg yolk (pictured on top).   Just like mama makes!  All worked together beautifully.  one of my favorite dishes of the night.

Pork and beets.  A very tasty piece of fatty pork belly and the beets were another example of the great taste Berselius brings out of veggies. Beets is something I never order and the only time I eat them is with an occasional red Borscht, but this was simply delicious.051

Whelk – Snails of the sea.  Dont believe I ever had them.  Although it was very interesting and you could really sort of taste the sea here, it wasn’t one of our favorites.  But loved the dehydrated scallop “chips” that cam along054055

Beef, Burnt potatoes.  60 days aged served rare and very tasty.  Potatoes were smoky and fantastic.  Add sweet onion – Great dish.058

Egg yolk.  Not a fave of this one.  Looked more promising than its tasted.  Sort of sticky, gummy and not much flavor063

Apple sauce, oats, cream, baby formula.  Awesome!  Ok, so there was no baby formula here but as we were discussing with our neighbors it wouldn’t be a total shock to see and Berselius could probably pull it off066

Dessert – Some sort of sick ice cream with hazelnuts and other goodies.  A great finish.067

So there you have it.  Dinner was a 4 hour marathon with a lot of big breaks between the dishes.  It was mostly a local crowd with the exception perhaps of one particular couple that looked like Michelin inspectors.  It was fun seeing the boys (all but one) casually Williamsburg dressed do their thing.  Would I come back?  Probably not but still a very enjoyable, memorable meal and perhaps the closest I will ever get to Noma, considered by many the world’s top restaurant in Copenhagen.

Categories: Brooklyn, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How I spent my Birthday Weekend

photoLast weekend will forever be remembered as “The Weekend”.  We are still talking about it.  We are talking about it with people who don’t really care to hear about it.  Like when you have young kids and talk about them constantly even with childless parents who don’t particularly care to hear that nonsense but you don’t care since you are getting a certain enjoyment out of it.  Yes, it was that kind of weekend…

Friday – 10 courser at Jungsik with the Hummus Whisperer.  One of the best meals I ever had at perhaps the only swanky Korean in the city.  Somewhat romantic which made things a bit interesting and uncomfortable for HW.  The food was truly a work of art.  Foie Gras, salads like I never had before, and about 16 magnificent courses all together if you count all the freebies.  And with all the glitziness and professionalism we couldnt help but imagine them dimming the lights for a minute and crank out a special Gangnam Style bday dance

Saturday – 10 courser with the wife at Aska.  One of the most highly anticipated and talked about places in the city at the moment.  Just us and 18 other diners incluing 2 that looked like Michelin inspectors  at the back of an art studio in Williamsburg.  Whelk (sea snails), Blood pudding crackers, dehydrated scallops, apple sauce with baby formula, heavy accent chefs come out to explain every dish was only part of the experience.  One that we’ll never forget.  Ok, there was no baby formula but thats the one place that can pull it off

Sunday – “Normal” meal with the family at Louro in West Village.  On top of my list to try for so long no more.  Did sort of a tasting menu of our own and besides a few surprising clunkers and a a fancy diner like feeling, another fantastic meal in the city.  Some of the best chicken in recent memory.  Sort of an American, Italian, Portuguese influenced menu that changes almost on a daily basis by a celebrity chef (David Santos) with a menu OCD

Monday – Unplanned lunch at Cafe Kashkar in Brighton Beach.  Delicious Uighur food.  Amazing Lagman noodles specialties including a ramen-like soup.  Another example that you can find any cuisine you want in NYC.  You Googling Uighur arent you?

Categories: New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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