Even before disciples of the New Nordic creed started making pilgrimages to Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant, it was clear that the winds of culinary change were blowing in from that direction. The ethos that has made this cooking so influential—fierce adherence to seasonality and respect for nature’s larder—may not seem groundbreaking but for many a chef and restaurateur it's a sort of epiphany. The good news is that, thanks to this jewel hidden in Grand Central Terminal, you don't need to fly there to find out more.
Agern has been designed with such understated elegance that you quickly forget where you are, so go ahead and embrace the hygge. Ingredients like havgus, söl, and ymer may not exactly roll off the tongue, but this team uses them along with pickling, smoking, and fermenting, to deliver sharper and more natural flavors. Behold the lobster tarteletter and bisque; or a dish of beets, slow-roasted to produce a concentrated flavor, then enriched with tart cultured cream, horseradish, and beet purée.
A selection of non-alcoholic beverages tailed by desserts, like a silky sorbet of skyr and lemon with shards of meringue, lemon cake, and dill oil, are thrilling and merit your attention.