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Aska is, of course, the "real" restaurant that one of the guys from Frej opened up with the FOH/cocktail guy from EMP and then Atera. Like Frej, it's in the Kinfolk Studio space in Williamsburg. Unl

Going back 25 pages or so, I'll try to restate my original view on this again. The only time I've questioned the overall value of a tasting menu meal is when I've been disappointed with some aspect o

Though I shouldn't make assumptions, I'm just guessing your date wasn't picking up the tab. There can be an inverse correlation between excitement level and skin in the game. (Do correct me if I'm ass

I don't know why I was able to resist Gunter Seeger on this ground but wasn't able to resist Aska (especially since my assumption is that Gunter Seeger will be the better restaurant). I think it's probably because I thought it would give me something to talk to the chef at Maemmo in Oslo about.

 

You're right, I really should stick to my guns.

 

 

 

Hmmm... Steve Cuozzo slams Gunter Seeger.

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OK, let me get this right out of the way.

 

I absolutely LOVED Aska 2.0. I liked it even more than Agern. I liked it infinitely more than Aska 1.0.

 

I'll have a better feel for this after I go to actual Scandinavia in a few weeks, but I think the current trend in New Nordic is to make it friendlier and less weird-for-its-own-sake. Certainly, that's the direction that Chef Berselius goes here, compared to his previous venture. None of that raw brussels sprouts on-the-branch. None of that simple protein sitting in a pool of buttermilk. This is more elaborate and -- although they still feature the blood chip, and good for that -- also conventionally tasty cooking. Sort of like the way the food at WD-50 evolved over time.

 

I'm not going to try to begin to discuss particular dishes over a 12- or 15-course menu (especially because, as usual, the pairings had their way with me by the end). I'm going to say that a surprisingly high level of quality was maintained, and the food was delicious as well as interesting. Chef Berselius has come into his own here. The food at Aska 1.0 and Frej would not prepare you for this.

 

A pleasant surprise is the downstairs bar area. It has a very appealing snack menu (albeit strictly New Nordic-oriented). And their Edda is certainly my current favorite cocktail: essentially a Martini with birch syrup and liquified amber(!) in it. (If I knew it would be one of the pairings during dinner, I might not have had my second one beforehand.)

 

So I can't wait to eat here again (even if the long menu will undoubtedly repeat itself for the next few weeks). I can't wait to hang out at the bar. I just loved this. Loved loved loved it.

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