Merry Boxing Day!
I had been having rather a lot of evening fun in NYC making my morning state of wellbeing rather patchy. Accordingly, I tried to find somewhere for a classy lunch that was relatively nearby.
I soon hit upon Agern, a one Michelin star Danish restaurant located within the stellar confines of Grand Central Terminal.
Grand Central is a bit of a rabbit warren so it was helpful that they’d included some information about the best entrance to approach the restaurant in the booking material.
I found things alive with lunchtime punters in the main dining section, but with a quieter area near the bar. The hostess offered me a seat in either and I opted for the quiet side as my head was a little fuzzy.
I was brought their lunchtime set list which offered two courses for $40 or three for $48. I quickly settled on the beef tartare to start followed by the seabream for main.
I gave their Seedlip carrot martini a go and it was pretty enjoyable. It could have used just a drop of two of saline to amp up the seasoning. I nibbled on really good garlic sourdough as I awaited the arrival of my starter.
The tartare soon appeared looking pretty neat. Served with the usual suspects along with a smoked egg yolk and a little fish stock, this was a high quality opener.
It was then on to the seabream main which arrived topped with a profusion of bitter leaves and looking just a touch messy. The cooking on the fish was superb, though, with excellent crispness to the skin. The accompanying celeriac puree and beurre noisette were very good, too.
I rounded things out with a high quality espresso served with a little gingerbread acorn which was rather lovely.
Overall, Agern served me a very good lunch. However, I was a trifle baffled by a restaurant in this style located at the heart of a busy train station. There’s a solid tradition of high quality dining in stations – not least within Grand Central itself with the famous oyster bar – but this kind of understated Scandi cool didn’t feel entirely the right fit to me. However, I guess it’s great to have such variety on offer and the lunchtime deal at Agern is definitely worth checking out so add it to your list for a look next time you’re in these parts.
Blythe scores Agern
4.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16/20
I ate: beef tartare, sea bream
I drank: carrot martini, sparkly water, espresso
I wore: blue jacket
Total bill: $62.06
Address: Grand Central Terminal, New York 10017