It would be easy to write off Aska as another hipster, intellectualized, Scandinavian-themed foray into foraged fare if they didn’t execute it so well. Located in the Kinfolk Studios space in Williamsburg, across the street from The Wythe Hotel, Aska feels less like a restaurant and more like an art gallery that happens to sport a full bar and an 18-seat dining room. There, Swedish-born chef Fredrik Berselius is doling out roots, herbs and legumes in dishes that might look like miniature ecosystems but taste hearty and wholesome, accented here and there with something pickled, cured, soured or preserved. The bread and butter alone is worth the trip—an artful presentation of fluffy, fresh-baked caraway rolls and house-churned goodness. If the service staff seems overly excited about what’s on the plate, they might have had a hand in its procurement; Berselius and partner Eamon Rockey (Atera, Eleven Madison Park) organize foraging excursions for local botanicals. Those ingredients might adorn your herring, or they might wind up in one of Rockey’s cocktail inventions. He and wine director Shiraz Noor have also put together one of Brooklyn’s most exciting wine lists—deep in German riesling (a Weiser-Künstler Kabinett trocken handled the full tasting menu impressively well one winter evening) and offering a tour of Beaujolais crus, often with bottle age. If a Terres Dorées Moulin-à-Vent ’09 doesn’t do the trick, try a Desvignes Morgon Javernières ’05.
90 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, New York
This story appears in the print issue of April 2013.
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