When we asked our contacts of recommendation for our recent weekend in Copenhagen, most of them agree in NOMA, Relae, Herman, MR and Geranium. We made reservations to all of them except MR that closed last year.
MR opened in spring 2005, with Mads Refslund as head chef. Backed up by a strong investor that did not hesitate to put the money on one of the co-funder of NOMA – now the Best Restaurant in the World according to St Pellegrino list.
Mads that is known as the most talented chef for seafood in Scandinavia, within 2 years won his first Michelin star at MR. Not only that but he also won multiple local Denmark prices (Årets Gericke née Årets Ret) for his dishes: 2007 dessert; 2008 starter; 2009 starter.
Unfortunately for him and for Copenhagen, the investor behind MR went bankrupt and close – reopening period MR had to close. What it seems as a story with a sad ending, has turned into almost a dream come true, when we heard that Mads was opening a new restaurant and this time we did not have to go to Copenhagen, this time we just had to walk a few block because the restaurant was in New York!
Having Mads cooking in New York is probably the most exciting restaurant opening in the last 2-3 years in New York. The Scandinavia scene in New York it is very limited, as far as I know mainly Acquavit and Smorgas….. and the soon to be open Aamanns that will bring the famous Smørrebrød to Tribeca in 13 Laight Street.
Mads is taking over the previous ACME restaurant, a neighborhood spot in NOHO, famous for its cajun style cooking. The outside has not changed too much, the change is inside. The chef and the owners have radically redesigned the interior and the menu, turning it into one of the hottest spots right now in New York.
We went on a Thursday night, we had a reservation at 10:00 pm, the place was packed and a little bit chaotic when we arrived and had to wait at the bar. The cocktail menu was very impressive, we loved the Sour Number 9 and Green Graffiti cocktail. No wonder why the bar was packed, each cocktail requires almost 5 minutes to mix. It kinds of reminded us of the first chapter of Portlandia and the mixologist. They were great! http://www.hulu.com/watch/317265/portlandia-mixologist-part-1
Short after the cocktails the food arrived. Just to set up expectations this is not MR, the chef needs to work with a limited budget and ingredients. The atmosphere does not help either, it is more like a cocktail bar than a fine dinning establishment.
But even with those limitations we really loved the food. It was refreshing to leave the common italian / french cuisines served in New York and try nordic flavors. More vegetables, earthy flavors and no pasta!
Duck in a Jar
Hay roasted sunchokes with black truffles
Pearl barley and clams
Overall a great food experience, a little bit too clubby but the food was something different. The service was very chaotic and it seemed like there was no structure. We hope that in the near future they gain better control of the front of house and start to work together as a team. We will look forward trying this place again.
New Acme Categories: Nordic, New American 9 Great Jones St (between Shinbone Aly & Lafayette St) New York, NY 10012 Neighborhood: NoHo (212) 420-1934