The place: Macao Trading Co.
The space: The Portuguese spice trade
The place: Aamanns-Copenhagen in Tribeca
The space: On Aamanns’ opening day last year, two important guests stopped by for the ribbon-cutting – the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark. That’s because Aamanns isn’t just another Danish restaurant in New York. It’s the only one. The airy restaurant reveals Denmark’s modern-design touch, with a high ceiling, blond-wood tables and floors, and a marble bar backed by a wall of white subway tiles. The spacious dining room resembles one of those cool-toned, vaguely haughty Chelsea art galleries – and in fact, the walls are often hung with striking minimalist artwork.
The ingredient: When the smørrebrød arrives, you might think there’s a Bon Appetit food stylist in the kitchen. Each open-face sandwich has the look of display-case perfection – bright colors and textures are carefully arranged on housemade rye bread, and crowned with a bright garnish. The pork pâté is offset by the crunch of hazelnuts and pickled apples. Beef tartare, with an egg emulsion, gets a tart kick from aquavit, and the beet-cured hake is tossed with scallions and dill. But the headliners are the herrings, pickled with juniper berries, layered with mustard tarragon cream, spiked with curry and ginger, and more.
The special: Order the trio of herring, a selection of Aamanns’ finest. To wet the lips, try Aamanns' aquavit, which is infused with a different daily ingredient, like beet, dill, and cranberry. This high-proof alcohol is Denmark’s special-occasion drink – the name means “Water of Life” – and its strong effect has been known to bring about impulse group hugs and conga lines, usually in the early AM.
Aamanns-Copenhagen: 13 Laight St., Tribeca, 212-925-1313, aamanns-copenhagen.com
Photos courtesy of Aamanns-Copenhagen