Danish chef Mads Refslund helped kick off the Nordic food craze in NYC with the opening of Acme in Noho back in 2012. His opening menu includes dishes like hay-roasted sunchokes, roasted carrots topped with lardo, and scallops & clams dressed with sea foam. And now, after almost four years in the kitchen, Refslund is leaving the restaurant to pursue other projects. He'll stay at Acme through the end of the year. Before arriving in New York, Refslund had an acclaimed Copenhagen restaurant called MR, and several years before that, he was one of the founding chefs at Noma.
[Jon Neidich and Jean-Marc Houmard by Krieger]
In a statement, Acme's co-owner Jean-Marc Houmard notes: "We knew this day was inevitable, and are very grateful for the inspiration and energy that Mads has brought to Acme in the past four years...His vision and creativity have been a defining factor to our success, but we also are excited and supportive of him on his next endeavor." Mads remarks: "Acme and New York have taught me so much and created amazing opportunities and I appreciate the latitude the owners gave me to pursue my culinary vision." Houmard and co-owners Jon Neidich and Huy Chi Le have another big name lined up, but they're keeping their lips sealed for now. Neidich explains: "Acme has always been a product of the chef and our new chef has a very different background and pedigree so the new Acme will no doubt be a very different restaurant." If you hear any good rumors about this mystery chef, please let us know.
Word on the street is that Mads was looking at real estate with some new partners this summer. Rumor has it that the team was specifically eyeing a space near the intersection of Broome and Mott streets. The chef has not announced any details about future plans, but this spinoff has been a long time in the works. In an Eater interview back in 2012, Mads talked about wanting to open another place on his own:
I have a lot of dreams! Before I was thirty, I wanted to have my own place and a Michelin star, and I was able to get that. Now, the new dream is to have two Michelin stars and more than one restaurant. Also, I want a comfy life where I can take care of family. My dreams aren't changing too much, I don't think, but they are just progressing as I get older. But I will tell you that I want a place that is foodie, in a way, but also for everyone.
The chef just introduced a new fall menu at Acme, and on Monday, November 2, he will cook a special five-course fall meal with Wassail's Jose Buenconsejo and Rebecca Eichenbaum, which will feature cider pairings. The dinner is $65 and reservations can be made via emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the restaurant.
Stay tuned for more details on the future of Acme and Refslund's next project as they become available.