Scandinavians in New York have their own underground circuit of home-away-from-home hangouts. There's Scandinavia House, a multi-story cultural center with a birch tree-decorated modernist cafeteria (and much better Swedish meatballs than Ikea). It's hidden on an overlooked stretch of Park Avenue at 38th Street. There's the Mirjam Bayoumi Salon on East 78th Street in Yorkville, which, according to devotees, is the only place in town that knows how to properly highlight blonde hair—those of you who are obsessed with creating Scandianivian-style pale wood floors will immediatetly understand the complexities and pitfalls of the task. And tucked out of sight at 5 East 48th Street, there's Svenska kyrkan, the Swedish Church in New York, which has an all-white chapel and a homey cafe serving kaffe and Swedish newspapers; it's a secret haven just inches from the madness of Fifth Avenue.
Aamanns-Copenhagen is the newest Nordic arrival.
Photography by Marta S. McAdams.
Above: With its painted exterior advertising sild (herring), snaps (schnapps), rugbrød (brown rye bread), postij (pate), and aeg (eggs), the restaurant feels as if it was teleported straight from Denmark. It's located in the Tribeca Filming Building on Laight Street, a quiet, cobblestoned stretch just below the west side of Canal Street.
Above: Aamanns-Copenhagen was opened by Sanne Ytting, a native of Denmark who felt the flavors of her country were under-represented in Manhattan. She collaborates on the menu with celebrated Copenhagen restaurateur Adam Aamann, the man who made open-faced sandwiches chic again. All the pickling, smoking, curing, and bread baking is done in-house, and the offerings change every three weeks. Nordic dinners and Sunday brunch have just been added to the lineup.
Above: The restaurant seats 50 on classic Arne Jakobsen chairs from Fritz Hansen. The space was designed by Anders Busk Faarborg of Fobsi Studio in Copenhagen as a white-on-white showcase of modern and contemporary Danish style.
Above: The house speciality is smørrebrød, open-faced sandwiches made from dense brown rye bread artfully piled with ingredients. The chef went to great lengths to ensure that the bread tastes as richly malted and nuanced as it does in Denmark.
Above: Roast beef with remoulade, fresh horseradish, and onion rings.
Above: The aquavit is housemade and served in Holmegaard glasses. It's infused with flavors like beet and apple-walnut, leading The New Yorker's reviewer to comment: "It remains to be seen what kind of foot traffic dill aquavit will attract."
Above: The revolving art display comes from Galleri Oxholm in Copenhagen. Shown here, Circuit by Peter Max-Jakobsen.
Above: The micro brews on tap are from Brookyn's Evil Twin Brewing, owned by Danish transplant Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso.
Above: Plates and bowls are by Danish designer Anne Black. Water bottles are from Sort of Coal in Copenhagen; each comes with a stick of Japanese-style binchotan, a high-grade charcoal that acts as a natural purifier and turns tap water into mineral water.
Hungry for more? See our album of Scandinavian design, both in and out of Scandinavia.