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Pete Wells Loves the ‘Oslo-on-Hudson’ Cuisine at Agern in Midtown

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Local ingredients get the Nordic treatment at this new fine dining restaurant in Grand Central Terminal

[The dining room at Agern]
[The dining room at Agern]
Nick Solares

Times critic Pete Wells likes the serene dining room at Claus Meyer’s Agern, and he’s impressed by the Nordic-influenced menu from chef Gunnar Gíslason and chef de cuisine Joseph Yardley. Most dishes put local, seasonal ingredients front and center. Wells writes:

Sign on for the Field and Forest menu, a vegetarian excursion through seven courses with a salvo of finger foods (the $120 price, like all the prices at Agern, includes service), and the plants you eat are mostly those you could buy at Union Square Greenmarket. What the kitchen does to them gives them an unfamiliar and often transporting cast.

There was, for instance, a potato salad that caused double and triple takes. The potatoes had a restrained but durable smokiness. They were served with shaved rhubarb, ramps and feathery red seaweed, which carried a memory of the ocean. Finally, long yellow bands of cured egg yolk had the salty, intensifying effect of bottarga.

Pete also likes the Land and Sea menu, which costs $25 more, but he notes that the menus "are not that far apart." The beet, carved table-side, is one of Agern’s standout dishes, and Wells also has nice things to say about the coffee program, the pastries, and Chad Walsh’s beverage list. Wells gives Agern three stars.

Agern

89 East 42nd Street, Manhattan, NY 10017 (646) 568-4018 Visit Website

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