During its six-month run, Frej was an unlikely phenomenon: a seventeen-seat New Nordic pop-up serving a $45 tasting menu Monday through Wednesday in a Williamsburg design studio. Aska, its newly expanded replacement, has gained two extra nights of service (Sunday and Thursday), an additional twelve-seat dining room, and a new partner, general manager Eamon Rockey, whose cocktails share a Scandinavian-inspired, herbal sensibility with chef Fredrik Berselius’s cuisine. The prix fixe menu, now $65 for six to eight small-plate courses, integrates plants like yarrow, lichen, and seaweed, focusing on vegetables and often treating protein as a garnish. As in his native Sweden, Berselius plans to extend the season by preserving: “We ferment, we pickle, we cure, and we smoke,” says the chef, who also bakes his own bread and sours his own cream. Daytime café and nighttime bar-food menus are forthcoming.
*This article was originally featured in the December 3, 2012 issue of New York Magazine.