March 28, 2010

Smorgas Chef at Scandinavia House Food Blogger Lunch

Fellow food blogger Jen was in town so we thought, what better way to catch up then with another food blogger lunch?  The last time we met up, lunch was so much fun and this time was no exception.  Together with Christine and Jessica, we decided to try out Smorgas Chef at Scandinavia House by Grand Central Station. 

The restaurant was sleek and modern (think upscale Ikea), but my favorite piece was the large birch tree in the center of the room.  Morten Sohlberg, Smorgas Chef's owner and designer, had found (after placing a Craigslist ad) this over 100 years old tree in the Catskills.  It took multiple tractors and cranes to transport it to NYC.  The tree was disassembled (to fit into the restaurant) and put back together with bolts, paper clay, and acrylics.  From starting to die on a farm, this tree now sits dramatically amongst diners at Smorgas Chef
Armed with cameras, we all took a few photos but spent most of the meal laughing and chatting.  Most of us opted for the Fixed-Price Lunch ($14.95), which included a soup (like the Smorgas Seafood Chowder above which was more veggies/cream than seafood) or salad (as Jen as about to enjoy), and a designated entree.  I've lately been enjoying spritzers (like the ones at Franny's) so I also order a Homemade sparkling lingonberry juice ($2.95).  Like a cranberry seltzer, it was fizzy but more sweet than tart.
Christine chose the Swedish Meatballs with lingonberries, mashed potatoes, and a carrot/zucchini medley.  It looked like the most substantial and tasty dish on the menu.
My friend (a non-blogger in town from Toronto) chose the Smoked Salmon Sandwich with scrambled eggs, sour cream, and 8-grain bread. 
Jen opted for this sandwich.  (Being too engrossed in conversation, I didn't get the name of the sandwich).
Jessica opted out of the fixed price lunch and instead chose the Smorgas Board ($15).  It was the prettiest in presentation and included a small bite of everything:  house-cured gravlaks, Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, pickled herring, scrambled eggs, etc.  Though it all looked good, Jessica was not blown away by the dish.
I opted for the Herring Sampler with four different herring preparations (plain, with onions, in tomato sauce, and in mustard sauce), potato salad, and potato wraps (lefse).  The plate offers an authentic pickled-herring experience and would be something my hubby (who likes sour, vinegary flavors) would have enjoyed.    
  Christine, me, Jessica, and Jen: The food was okay, but the company was great!  Ladies, thanks for a lovely lunch!

Smorgas Chef at Scandinavia House is located at 58 Park Ave (btwn 37th and 38th Sts.) in NYC.

Smorgas Chef at Scandinavia House on Urbanspoon


  1. The tree was my favorite part too! Nice story around it. Hope to see you again soon.

  2. What a fun lunch!!! I love that you were too engrossed in the conversation to take many pictures and remember the names of all the dishes - a sure sign of a great time had by all!

    You know I am about to start getting you on the case for picking a restaurant for a blogger brunch on Sunday May 23rd.....

  3. @Jessica: So happy catching up with you and hearing about your move!

    @Mardi: Can't wait for your visit! We'll go somewhere fun!

  4. Andrea, this is a GREAT review of Smorgas Chef. It was wonderful to catch up with everyone.

  5. Frank (non-blogger friend from Toronto!)March 29, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Thanks for a fun lunch everyone and a great review here Andrea! The salmon dish was delicious and the ambiance like a spring day away from the frigid weather outdoors. Oh, and I definitely loved the fact there were birds that were in that tree!

  6. There were birds in the tree?? I didn't even notice! Thanks so much for coming out to this lunch! Great review Andrea - I had no idea about the tree!

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