Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

You often don’t know what you’re eating at Aska. Some of the ingredients are rather obscure (sea buckthorn berry or rapeseed oil, anyone?) and there is no official menu – the dishes from the tasting menu are just brought out once you are sat for your reservation. Each dish is presented by a server or the chef and the ingredients are mumbled at you. Sometimes you realize you’re about to dig into a root vegetable or an oyster, but sometimes you’re not too sure.

Fortunately at the end of the six course meal (including lots of extra bites throughout), they provide you with a scrolled up menu describing your 
feast. The list is still pretty vague, for instance if I had ordered the Pork, I would have been pretty shocked to discover it was in fact pig trotter.

This was part of the adventure of the Nordic meal we encountered at what’s sure to be one of this year’s hottest restaurants. The dishes left me a little hot and cold. This type of food is not heavy on garlic, salt, or pepper and so everything tastes rather earthy and slightly bland. I can’t say it was the best meal I’ve had recently, but it was definitely the most unusual.

Shockingly, it was the final dessert that left me wanting more. I guess that’s how you should leave a restaurant, right?

It was simply labeled “Brown Butter,” but the flavors and textures were so perfect that I had to inquire further about the ingredients. 

A brown butter mousse mingled with spiced cardamom ice cream, while toasted hazelnuts and a lavender-hazelnut powder added interesting texture contrasts. It was an exciting end to a one-of-a-kind meal – even if I wasn’t exactly sure what I was eating.

ASKA
90 Wythe Avenue (at North 11th Street),
Inside Kinfolk Studios,
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
(347) 799-2946
askanyc.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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