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Liza

Aquavit

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Did I forget that Marcus Jernmark is now at Restaurant Franzen, or did I somehow not know it?

 

(I'm sure joethefoodie must have told me.)

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Did I forget that Marcus Jernmark is now at Restaurant Franzen, or did I somehow not know it?

 

(I'm sure joethefoodie must have told me.)

Yeah - months ago (after I mentioned he was working at Per Se prior to leaving for Frantzen).

 

From their (Frantzen's) website:

 

A new season is upon us with the first service tonight, a special welcome to Marcus Jernmark who is our new head chef together with Jim Löfdahl.
Work here

If you want to work or do an internship in the kitchen.

Contact: Marcus Jarnmark

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Dinner on Monday was extraordinary. Four of us had the Summer Tasting Menu and every course was better than the previous. Had an incredible bottle of Clendenen Petite Verdot 2006 - a steal at $85!!!

 

Only negative occurred when I went to washroom prior to leaving. Found a pair of black women's pantyhose (thought is was a sweater at first). Gave it to the manager. Said in his 25 years in the business, first time anyone found pantyhose in the bathroom. Asked if he was going to attempt to locate the owner. He said no, just a trash can.

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It was a unisex bathroom. I'm still trying to figure out how Rich knew the pantyhose belonged to a Black woman. Or how Peg deals with a guy who can mistake it for a sweater. And I'm the one that had 4 different Aquavits! (all were great by the way… interesting & tasty flavor combos.)

 

I fully agree with Rich. The Summer Tasting Menu is a very big winner and highly recommended. One of the better meals of the year for us.

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This is interesting, from Marcus' FB feed this morning...

 

I have in my humble opinion 2 very good constructive ways of improving your menu/cuisine or just overall quality as a chef. 1. Spend much more time to think on how to approach your main courses, 9 of 10 restaurants has underwhelming main courses. Simply because they don't approach the products with the same curiosity. Pick your meat, fish or veg with the same excitement as you are when you get your foie or langoustine for appetizer. Examine the favors and textures the same way you would do when you compose your creative apps. 2. Never use shiso cress, it has made a major damage to European clean flavors!

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Dinner on Monday was extraordinary. Four of us had the Summer Tasting Menu and every course was better than the previous.

What Rich said. Ok, it wasn't quite perfect (few meals are), but it was pretty damn close. I have only two critiques about the food. 1) The cheese course is boring. Do away with it, or find some more interesting cheeses. 2) The little sweets that they give you at the end - they're pretty good, but in my opinion aren't quite made with the finesse of a truly top shelf pastry chef (for example, the stuff they give you at Gabriel Kreuther absolutely trounces the sweets at Aquavit). Other than these two relatively minor critiques, yeah, the food at Aquavit is indeed extraordinary.

 

The current chef is Emma Bengtsson. She was the pastry chef when Jenmark was there. Now she's doing double duty as executive chef and pastry chef. She's better than Jenmark - and Jenmark was pretty damn good. Jenmark's style was sort of more standard high-end Michelin bait type of cooking, and he was really successful at it. (The main course of duck I had there last time under Jenmark was one of the best I've ever had.) I would say that Bengtsson's style of cooking is more soulful and - dare I use this descriptor for scandi food - more sensually appealing.

 

I ordered the same as Rich, the summer tasting menu. Photos of the meal are here. And as a bonus, I still have my photos of the meal under Jenmark here. I won't go through a run down of every single course, but here's a list of what they served:

 

1) Amuses: Rye crackers, meringue with cured trout and egg yolk, dried duck, dried parsnip, blood pudding, smoked potato dumpling with lingonberries

2) Clams and chanterelles, shallot panna cotta, parsley, succulents

3) Klädesholmen matjes herring with bonito, egg, and västerbotten crisp:

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4) Arctic char and new potato, dill, cucumber, and brown butter

5) Suckling pig and heirloom tomato, mustard seeds, sorrel:

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6) Artisanal cheeses (can't remember what they all were - the one on the right was valdeon) with fig compote, gooseberry preserve, and nut bread

7) Black cherry granita with meringue

8) Raspberry and vanilla, "dream" cookies, coulis, smoked vanilla:

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9) Vanilla cream doughnut and assorted candies (which included dried carrots, butterscotch, passion fruit macarons, bourbon chocolate truffles, marshmallows, and some other stuff)

 

Easily the top meal I've had this year. The bill came to around $150 before tip, including a trio of aquavits, and was worth every penny. I was comped a cocktail.

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