Appetite: NYC Food Cheat Sheet, part two - Page 2

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Fit for a goddess: Peasant salad at Taverna Kyclades in Queens
ALL PHOTOS BY VIRGINIA MILLER

SCANDINAVIAN FEAST
Aquavit Bistro - Aquavit, the restaurant through which chef Marcus Samuelsson left a mark on modern Scandinavian cooking, has become one of the great Scandinavian restaurants, a cuisine not easy to find in the US. I adore the region’s focus on fresh fish, salmon, caviar, herring and, of course, the namesake spirit, aquavit. Looking for deals, I dined in the spare, upscale IKEA bistro, versus the more stuffy, pricey dining room. Quality does not suffer in the bistro, while service is gracious and well-orchestrated. I ordered a $17 flight of three (or $7 each) of the house-infused aquavits, though narrowing down flavors was problematic, as all three were all lovely, from a crisp cucumber, hot mango-lime-chili, to my favorite: horseradish. Each dish delights and portions are generous. Gravlax is heaping slices of bright, cured salmon in hovmastar (a mustard/white vinegar based sauce) with dill and lemon. I equally fell for matjes herring: thin slices of herring with finely diced yellow beets, red onions and sour cream. Swedish meatballs were the best I've ever had, redolent with cinnamon and gentle spicing in the meat, piled next to whipped potato puree, pickled cucumbers, sweet lingonberries, and addictive cream sauce. This is a New York favorite and I’m more than a little sad not to have a place like it here in SF.

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