Pete Wells is impressed by Aska, the three-month-old Scandinavian restaurant in Williamsburg's Kinfolk Studios. Wells finds that chef Fredrik Berselius has a gift for unusual preparations:
Mr. Berselius, who last year ran a kind of beta version of Aska called Frej in this same space, knows the latest kitchen technology from his time at Corton and Seäsonal. At Aska, he mostly confines himself to older methods. He cooks cream for hours until it is as thick as toothpaste and the color of butterscotch, then stirs in sour milk. It tastes like dulce de leche without the sugar and makes a dizzyingly rich sauce for pork belly or a tender strip of short rib.But not everything works. A cracker made of dried pig's blood reminds the critic of something "Morticia Addams might hand out to unwary trick-or-treaters." But a lot of the dishes hit the mark, and the operation has an energy that Wells finds refreshing. Two stars.
A common ingredient had been made unfamiliar, a transformation the kitchen pulls off again and again. The paperwhite ovals shaved over braised pork and ultrasmooth applesauce: sunchokes. A chewy amber sheet that tastes like candy from the ocean: a dried and toasted scallop chip.
· Guided by the Northern Lights [NYT]
· All Coverage of Aska [~ENY~]