Here is a look at the menu for Agern, the new restaurant from Noma co-founder Claus Meyer and chef Gunnar Gíslason, that is set to open tomorrow in Grand Central Terminal. The news beyond the dishes themselves, which at first blush appear to steadfastly adhere to the Meyer's Nordic roots, is that service is included. In fact the menu is quite specific that tipping above the cost of the meal will be declined. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in a commuter terminal, which is a very different environment than other restaurants that have adopted the service included model.
There are two tasting menus available — the "Field and Forest ($120) and "Land and Sea" ($145), as well as a la carte options. Both tasting menus span seven courses, along with a selection of amuse-bouches. The Field and Forest is a vegetarian affair, while the more expensive option, as its names implies, features dishes like beef heart, cod, and braised and roasted lamb.
While the two tasting menus appear quite competitively priced, especially considering that service is included, the al la carte prices are on the high side. Appetizers range from $14 to $26, but most are above $20. The entrees start at $32 for the parsnip dish that is also featured on the Field and Forest menu. The cod is $38 and the cheapest of the three meat dishes is the duck breast at $58. It is hard to know the value of the steak for two at $98 without knowing the weight, which is not listed.
It certainly appears that the best value comes from the tasting menu options. With relatively expensive al la carte prices, it seems that the restaurant is not trying to generate broad appeal amongst commuters, but rather establish itself as a dining destination that just happens to be in a train station.
Here is a look at the menus, if you visit this week do let us know what you think.