F at East Broadway
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This venue is closed.
Given the insatiable appetite in the food world for all things Nordic, I suppose it was only a matter of time before an Icelandic restaurant popped up in the city. Never mind that Icelanders are mostly famous in the popular culinary imagination for ingesting vast quantities of rye bread and smoked fish with their local Reyka vodka, along with an occasional taste of that notorious local specialty called hákarl, otherwise known as fermented shark. I’m happy to report that there is no hákarl currently being served at Skál, a genial Icelandic-themed establishment, which opened not long ago, near the Boe Fook funeral home, way down on Canal Street. There’s an interesting version of pickled smelt on the menu, however, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can order a mess of hay-smoked duck wings, dressed with ribbons of red seaweed lightly pickled in a rice-vinegar brine. The beamy wood walls at Skál (“cheers” in Icelandic) are painted white and affixed, here and there, with antique china plates, like in a ye olde Nordic farmhouse. I wasn’t mad about the seaweed-covered duck wings, but the smelt had a sweet, palate-cleansing freshness that matched this clean, rusticated décor. So did the plump Cape Cod oysters, which, according to our merry, non-Icelandic waitperson, were dressed with spoonfuls of cucumber juice. Much of the other food (good grass-fed hanger with fingerling potatoes, underspiced spiced boudin with turnips, a greasy chunk of pike dressed with pickled plums, a delicious gourmet version of the Icelandic yogurt skyr) had a messy, tossed-together quality to it, which you may or may not object to, depending on how many of the tasty house cocktails (try the Gurka, made with Nolet’s gin and more cucumber juice) you imbibe.Ideal Meal
Oysters; smelt; hanger steak with fingerling potatoes; skyr with candied beetroot.