Smorgas Chef is a cute restaurant down in the West Village serving up Scandinavian food. There are other locations in New York City which I have not tried yet. Frankly, I hope the other ones are better than what I dined on here.
I read a few Yelp reviews and arrived with some excitement to try a cuisine which I haven’t eaten much of in the past. They had a “restaurant month” special which added to my anticipation since $35 would get you a 4 course meal! My friend opted for the same deal with a glass of wine. I went for the Carlsbad Beer on draft which was quite good. You have a few options in your courses, so I tried to stick with what I remembered others praising.
First course for both of us was the pickled herring. Though you only get one, this was a tasty dish with some sweetness to it and a creamy sauce.
Second course my friend had the soup of the day which was some sort of lentil soup. I had the Aquavit Cured Gravlaks & Mustard Sauce which you could sum up as being similar to smoked salmon. The lentil soup tasted fine, but I don’t think it tasted familiar in a way that Progresso Lentil Soup tasted. Smoked salmon was quite good though nothing too surprising about it. Buy some smoked salmon in the supermarket, and voila!
Third course my friend had the Swedish Meatballs while I opted for the Cloudberry Duck which is a duck served with braised red cabbage, carrot ginger mash, and cloudberry reduction. The Swedish Meatballs definitely reminded us of Ikea Swedish meatballs which is kind of sad. They’re definitely still tasty, but at that price, they should be more than just tasty and reminiscent of Ikea. I felt like putting together some furniture after eating that. The Cloudberry Duck on the other hand was quite good! I am a big fan of duck, and I thought this preparation was the highlight of the evening.
For the fourth course, my friend had the all-too-well-known molten chocolate cake which is exactly how it sounds. Very tasty and very standard. I opted to be adventurous and tried the Scandinavian Soft Vanilla Waffles which were underwhelming. Just take an Eggo waffle, don’t toast it crispy but instead let it heat up and remain soft, and finally throw some syrup, cream, sugar, and strawberries on top. It didn’t taste bad or anything, but nothing too special.
All in including drinks, tax, and tip (20%), I had a $58 meal! Definitely not my most expensive meal (hats off to Per Se for those honors), but I was too underwhelmed to want to spend that much on a meal which I feel like I can create myself…buy using off-the-shelf products! Okay, so I probably can’t do the herring too well nor the duck. The rest though, is within reach.
The nice thing is they gave a coupon in the end to provide a 15% coupon if you fill in a feedback form online. I must say the waitstaff was courteous and pleasant so bravo on that. Please work on some new recipes though or improvements. There may very well be other amazing dishes we didn’t try, so if you’re feeling adventurous, give it a shot, but definitely order the duck and feel free to deviate from all other items above
Smorgas Chef West Village
283 W 12th St (between 4th St & 8th Ave)
New York, NY 10014