As the city becomes more gentrified, the prices rise.  Making money in a restaurant comes down to a few things and one of them is your monthly rent.  There is a reason that Skal opened up at 37 Canal Street, the rent is still affordable.  A worthwhile journey. 

I actually love that when you are sitting outside that the wall is completely graffiti covered.  Reminds me of the NYC that I once knew.

The chef, Ben Spiegel, is young and incredibly talented.  He has spent time working in Copenhagen at Noma including other restaurants.  His food is subtle yet powerfully complex.  The flavor combos are not something we are used to seeing in NYC.  The food is Icelandic. He is definitely someone to watch. 

We ordered a variety of things to split.  We began with the roasted heirloom carrots dribbled with burnt honey and sunflower seeds.  The carrots just melted in your mouth. 

The oysters were my least favorite dish.  They were sitting in a fermented cucumber sauce like a light vinegar.

Our second round started with duck wings.  These are so unique and absolutely divine.  Roasted until they fall off the bone and then washed with a red seaweed sauce and mussels.  Total winner.

Perfectly cooked artic char that melted in your mouth.  On the side was a dish of walnuts and some type of vegetable and a light brown sauce.  The white creme was made out of beer.  It is dishes like these that are reminiscent of places like Noma.  Using techniques with foods that are scientific and interesting.

The broccoli was roasted and covered with a green garlic and dried anchovies and there was like a creamy sauce under this.  Really good.  I am not a lover of garlic but this was completely different. 

There were two main courses to choose from and they are for two.  We went with the monkfish.   Roasted monkfish on the bone served with elderberries.  The cabbage on the side was amazing.  He roasted the cabbage and that creates different textures on each leaf.  He layered that with a cauliflower puree and elderberries.  So different. 

The desserts was more savory than sweet.  This was a yogurt with dried fruits.  I don't remember exactly but it was so interesting and good.

We went in to take a look at the kitchen.

And the refrigerator. 

There is a small private room for six that is available too.  The place is intimate and there are more seats than you think.  I am not a huge fan of the shared table but I understand why they do it.  We got a chance to talk to Ben and hear his ideas for what he wants to do there.  Impressive young man.  Oli, who is the owner of Ten Bells and now Skal made a nice score in bringing Ben to NYC.  Looking forward to going back. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Ag

    I find your aversion to garlic so interesting 😉 Food looks great and new. Putting it on the list.

    1. Gotham Gal

      It just permeates from the skin from some in my house so i find it seriously hard to tolerate

  2. awaldstein

    I’m in on this one soon.Huge fan of Ten Bells which as you know is the place that the wine trade goes when not working. With me along with them.

  3. andyidsinga

    Street art FTW!

  4. Stephen Fried

    so the sauce under the duck wings is a squid ink sauce. really different and earthy and works well with the super tender duck wings. this place rocks and has a great vibe. a must try for all. love the hood.