We are going to have to keep this Nordic theme going for one more post. We must share our experience at Frej in Williamsburg, a pop up restaurant created by two very talented chefs, Fredrik Berselius (Corton) and Richard Kuo(Corton and WD50). Aaron Oster, manager at Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is also a temporary contributor. We saw that this project was happening a little after we returned from our Noma experience and booked the reservation immediately. A word on reservations…you must email the restaurant directly to hold your spot. The restaurant is currently only open three nights a week, Monday-Wednesday. The menu is a four course tasting menu, no a la carte as far as we know. The wonderful thing about this new venture is the quality and value. The menu costs only $45.00 which is low! I believe this menu should cost at least $75.00. (The food is really deserving of this kind of price tag)
Before I talk about the food I would like to chat about the Interior and the overall vibe of this pop up. Frej is located in Kinfolk Studios, a bar/cafe/venue on Wythe. It is warm, cozy and perfect for an intimate date or dinner with close friends. There are only about 7 or so tables, so you can imagine the level of attention each table receives. The service has always been outstanding, not to mention warm fun and fantastically friendly. Aaron is such a sweet and funny guy and really makes the dining experience a pleasure. Everyone that works there clearly loves food and seems happy to be a part of such a small but significant start up.
The menu at Frej is creative and like most Nordic cuisine we tried on our trip, prides itself on the local and seasonal ingredients. Fredrik and Richard go to the farmers market daily and manage to find some things I have never been able to spot. Like these little potatoes that are the size of beans. (It is clear that I need to look more closely when doing my shopping over in Union Square.) So YES the ingredients are super fresh, at times unusual, and always a treat to see how they are paired with one another.
Amuse: celery root, pork jowl, bitter cress
Trout skin a mouse
Burnt hazelnuts, sunchoke skin and beef liver puree.
Soft poached egg, scallop, hen of the woods mushroom, cauliflower puree
This dish was by far one of my favorites. I’m down for a perfectly cooked egg for any meal, especially one paired with such earthy and rich ingredients. The addition of the seaweed was a wonderful surprise!
Beef cooked in hay
rutabaga, apple cider
Every dish we tried was impeccable! The team putting on this venture were perfectly on point yet fun and laid back! The atmosphere is intimate yet casual and hip. And the details, all thought through down to the plates which Jose has recently become enamored with…so much so that he is driving out to Jane Herold’s (the potter) studio to pick out a set for our kitchen at home.
We were worried that the world of dining would get boring after experiencing Noma but clearly that has not happened. Now we can bypass the rape-a-scan security lines at the airport and simply walk down the street to get an inspiring taste of Nordic cuisine…much easier wouldn’t you say?
To reserve a table:
Tel. (347) 286-6241
Located in Kinfolk Studio 90 Wythe Avenue at North 11th Street