Archive for the 'Aska' Category

Aska, Brooklyn

Last summer, when I caught word of a pop-up restaurant in Williamsburg called Frej, I jumped right on securing a table to see for myself what Chefs Fredrik Berselius and Richard Kuo were up to…or at least I intended to. I slept on it a little too long and by the time I made a legit attempt to schedule a dinner I was met with a message of the restaurant’s mysterious closing and their ambiguous time frame of reopening. So I missed out on that one. Though when I heard of the space within Kinfolk Studios being reborn as Aska, I made sure that I was among the first in line to take a bite of Berselius’s food…or at least I intended to.

aska table setting

It wasn’t until about two months after Aska’s opening that I ran into Eamon Rockey(the ex-GM, who recently left the company) and promised that I would be in to dine soon. A week later, there I was with camera in hand and Rocky(my Rocky, not Eamon) by my side ready for dinner. We ordered a couple cocktails and a bottle of Champagne, then we were ready to rock.

A few snacks to start:

aska molasses shortbread

Molasses shortbread with smoked cheese. Warm flavors with a touch of sweetness.

aska scallop dill

Scallop and dill. A savory crispy chip with an unmistakable scallop taste.

aska pig blood chip

Pig blood chip with sea buckthorn berry. How very Nordic. Tart berries with dry, bitter bloodiness.

aska bread service

Bread service. Crisps and caraway rolls with salted local butter.

The menu:

aska oyster cucumber rapeseed

Oyster, cucumber, rapeseed. A nice opener, Rhode Island oysters. The cucumber was great for a fresh balance to the brine of the oyster.

aska herring potato jumiper

aska juniper herring

Herring, potato, juniper. A delicious fish. Delightfully crispy head and tail. Served with a shot of aquavit, onion juice, and whey. I thought the pairing was bad ass. Distinctively Scandinavian.

aska sunchoke trotter apple

Sunchoke, trotter, apple. Crispy trotter with apple puree, raw sunchoke, and woodruff powder. The dynamic was nice between the pork richness, the sweet acidic apple, and the raw root earthiness.

aska roots egg yolk lamb

aska salsify

Roots, egg yolk, lamb. Salsify, sunchoke, slow cooked yolk, and lamb heart and tongue in a broth of winter leaves and lichen. I loved the savoriness of the broth with the meat. A very nice plate of food.

aska monkfish cabbage bay leaf

aska monkfish

Monkfish, cabbage, bay leaf. What at first looks like a plate of cabbage leaves, punches, and puree, reveals a cut of monkfish and its liver. A pretty strong contrast melded together with a sauce of pork & monkfish stock with bay leaf and rose hip.

aska beef shortrib rutabaga hay

Beef, rutabaga, hay. A good size piece of beef short rib with rutabaga, some fermented, some not, with reduced cream and beef stock. From Rocky: ‘Damn. [dramatic pause] This is delicious! Holy balls. This is unhealthy.’ And a little later: ‘This is a fantastic dish. Super-hella-rich, but this is awesome!’ Well said.

aska lingonberry oat chip

A little pre-dessert of frozen whey, lingonberry, oat chip. These little guys were amazing.

aska cardamom brown butter hazelnut

Cardamom, brown butter, hazelnut. A delicious, nutty serving of cardamom ice cream with brown butter mousse, hazelnuts, and hazelnut powder.

Following dessert we moved from the more formal part of the space out to the casual bar area to finish up our bottle of bubbles and glasses of Sherry.

aska dreams cookies

Eamon gave us a little plate of cookies. He called them ‘Dreams’ and said he hoped they made our dreams come true.

Date of visit: January 28, 2013

Aska. 90 Wythe Avenue. Brooklyn, NY  718.388.2969