Nordic-influenced Midtown restaurant Aquavit is sprouting a London spinoff. The UK outpost of the two Michelin star restaurant will be located in the city's St. James's Market redevelopment. Executive chef Emma Bengtsson will oversee the menu, and head chef Henrik Ritzen will run the kitchen. Bengtsson tells The Upcoming: "I cannot imagine a more exciting city than London to make us another home. The London culinary scene is one of the most vibrant in the world and I am thrilled that Aquavit will be part of that community." It's slated to open next winter.
Aquavit has had an unusual run in New York City. Hakan Swahn's restaurant opened 29 years ago with a menu of refined Nordic-influenced cuisine. It was the restaurant that made Marcus Samuelsson famous in the late 90s. Following his departure, Aquavit developed a sharper New Nordic influence under executive chef Marcus Jenmark. Bengtsson, formerly the restaurant's pastry chef, took over the kitchen two years ago, and Aquavit earned a second Michelin star shortly after the changeover. In his three-star assessment from 2014, Ryan Sutton called Bengtsson "a serious gastronomic force to be reckoned with," while noting that Aquavit was still "a breeding ground for important New York chefs."