Super happy and excited for my friends and the debut of SKAL and also to bring a little bit of Iceland to NY. Before it was SKAL, the space used to be Les Enfants Terribles, which a lot of us had been to during our time in grad school.
If any of you had been to Les Enfants Terribles, you would remember that giant U shaped bar, which I thought was unnecessarily big for that tight space, and how dim the place was. So I was surprised, when I got a sneak peek of the place, at how airy and light the space is now. I totally love what my friend did to the space and it was great to see his vision of SKAL come to life. While there, we were also given a sneak peek of the drink and food menus. True to his Icelandic roots, there are a lot of seafood…raw and cooked.
Most of the items on the menu are seafood. Picture above is the wild scallop, green tomatoes and cold cream. It was fantastic. It tasted fresh and light and delicious. The cold cream was amazing. There were also few vegetable dishes, like the heirloom carrots with burnt honey and sunflowers. A must get is the broccoli with green garlic and anchovies.
Besides seafood, like the hake with grilled cucumbers, young potatoes and verbena (above left picture) there are also meat dishes that were just as good. Forget chicken wings, at SKAL they have duck wings with a red seaweed sauce and the boudin blanc with turnips and green mustard (picture below).
Oh and lets not forget the lamb saddle with grilled leeks, currants and bottarga. Wow. Lamb saddle for two and cooked to rare.
As for the drinks menu (sorry I didn’t even look at the wine and beer list because I was too interested in the cocktail list) there are about a dozen different cocktails with some with names that I couldn’t pronounce. Though the ones I were easier to say like Hofi and The Same Same, were sweet and delicious.
I have to applaud my friends and his crew. While it wasn’t exactly official opening night, the waitstaff was all smiles, helpful and tentative. Everything ran smoothly.
Please note, the above dishes may look different once they officially open to the public (TODAY!) since I went on a sneak peek night. I was told they’re still working on some of the dishes. But do go check it out and do go support my friends.
– SKAL 37 Canal St at Ludlow St., NYC