I met up this week with a former coworker I hadn't seen in years. NYC is funny like that--getting around this small/huge city can be quite a trick, and you can go weeks, months, even years without seeing someone (thank goodness for email, FB, etc)! We finally picked a date to meet up for a late lunch, and my friend lives just around the corner from the Scandinavia House Cultural Center (in Midtown Manhattan), which has its very own Smorgas Chef restaurant!
I decided to go with 2 small appetizers--you have to have the Swedish meatballs here! The appetizer is 3 meatballs, chive mashed potatoes, and gravy with just a smidgen of lingonberry sauce. It's $9 and just enough for one person!
I also ordered the seafood chowder. This was super creamy, full of chunks of fish, mussels and more. While it was creamy, it wasn't greasy or heavy. Just right.
My friend ordered the Swedish meatballs entrée, which was just a bigger version of my appetizer (with some veggies on the side).
I don't drink a lot of soda (I don't really like carbonation, period!), but I had to try their housemade Lingonberry soda. This was interesting--it reminded me of bubble tea, with all of the tiny lingonberries sinking to the bottom. This was not as sweet as regular soda, which I actually liked. It was refreshing and just a little tart--I bet this is even better in the hot summer months!
We had a great meal and a great visit for not a lot of dough. The dining area is spread out and comfortable. There's a stunning birch tree in the middle of the room (we got to sit right next to it) with a plaque explaining its significance in Swedish culture. I have always loved birch trees myself, so I loved this bit of decor.
While the Wall Street Smorgas Chef is still my favorite (it's so warm and cozy!), this is a great spot for a midday meal, business lunch, or a quick catch-up session with an old friend.
Smorgas Chef at Scandinavia House
58 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10016