I had wanted to try Vandaag ( 2nd Avenue and 6th St ) since I first noticed the grey brick facade last summer.
I remember going to the previous establishment and watching basketball in a massive sports bar space - so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw its transformation.
Opened by Brendan Spiro in late July 10’, the space is designed by Eric Mailaender of Resistance Design.
I met one of my best friends brothers for lunch on Sat, who happened to be in town from Seattle for business. Jon is super stylish, lover of all things fine and especially all things with a Scandinavian twist. The Vandaag website simply states ” We are a New York restaurant inspired by the culture and cuisine of Northern Europe.
Our explorations focus on Denmark and Holland. “
With my part Swedish friend as my partner in crime we set out to really have ourselves QUITE the lunch….
* bitterballen - slow braised oxtail croquet, mustard relish + Pickle Pot ( cucumber, scallions, radish ) and a salad of mustard greens, lobster legs and cumquats
The Bitterballen were fantastic and would be something I would order again and again as a snack to munch on while sitting at the bar having a bier or to share with friends.
The crispy shell and then the savory oxtail rillettes inside were complimented by a spicy mustard dollop on top.
The Pickle Pot was equally as sweet as it was sour and I really enjoyed the radishes.
Our salad of mustard greens, lobster legs and cumquats were lightly dressed and the long skinny ringlets of lobster legs were more of a novelty for me rather than a taste sensation. The cumquats which were caramelized and bursting with flavor + tart sweetness were a great addition to the bitter leaves.
Next up were the SMØRREBRØD or open face sandwiches.
Jon had the Gravlax - watercress, shallots, Roe, dill
Which he gobbled down in quick succession…. This, my friends, is a man who knows his Gravlax and he loved it.
I think Kit would love this one too….
I ordered the Duck Confit - radish, parsley, preserved lemon, espelette ( which it now seems is on the menu online as a HEN confit )
I am a sucker for Confit. If its on the menu I will probably order it. And it was delicious. The perfect balance of fat and nice bite with refreshing crunch from the radish on top.
We also had a latte and espresso, two beers and Jon had a very interesting horseradish and dill aquavit which honestly didn’t float my boat as much as his ;)
Chef Phillip Kirschen-Clark did a fantastic job of creating a simple yet flavorful and inventive take on this Northern European cuisine.
I will definitely be going back for brunch ( Sundays only ) and probably a dinner or three.
If you want to go solo during the week for a coffee and pastry too, I saw quite a few people looking blissful with their books sitting on the black leather banquettes.