It was only just November when this quaint Danish restaurant opened in New York City’s TriBeCa neighborhood. “Until recently, the open sandwich tradition of Denmark – known as smørrebrød – was not a thing that ambitious chefs or fashionable restaurants would put on their menus,” highlighted by Kasper Fogh Hansen of HonestCooking.com. That was the case until an up-and-coming Danish chef initiated an advocacy to save and promote what would be Denmark’s contribution to the culinary world. Hansen puts it straightforward, “smørrebrød is back in fashion in Copenhagen” and now, in New York.
Aamaans-Copenhagen is already a prestigious culinary destination if you plan on having an authentic food experience of the Scandinavian region. Now that it’s in New York, the newly opened foodie hotspot is already gathering hype just like how New York is already known for film festivals, as well as for its nightlife and casino entertainment. Just in surrounding areas you could find classy bars and joints that offer poker tournaments and other social leisure entertainment, never mind the well-known theatres you can check on. R Bar, for example, holds regular gaming qualifier competitions to world renowned events like the World Series of Poker, or even Partypoker sponsored World Poker Tours (WPT). Coincidentally, the same month Aamaans opened for business last November, WPT Copenhagen was held as well, specifically 12-17 November. If the success of the WPT Denmark Tour would be a benchmark, the newly opened Danish-themed restaurant surely made a right choice and is now growing fast in popularity.
The restaurant’s main protagonist, the reinvented smørrebrød, is the brainchild of the partnership between the ambitious gastronomy talent that is Adam Aamann, and the courageous business attempts of opening the joint by owner, Sanne Ytting. According to an article by Blogs.Denmark.dk, “The menu at Aamanns-Copenhagen in the US is similar to that of Aamanns in Denmark. They both offer herring, open-faced sandwiches, fresh baked rye bread, and a few hot dishes.” With Chef Adam realizing the spiraling decline of the once staple signature open sandwich of the Danish into just mere “antiquated and unhealthy, mayonnaise-loaded lifestyle”, the lack of craftsmanship, too much use of sub-par food products, and the sloppiness of its nature, paved the way for the young chef to reinvent the national Danish lunch into something innovative, fresh, healthy, and gourmet-worthy.
The partnership and operations of the restaurant work by passing on the original recipes done by Aaman, to his consulting NY-based chef and apprentice chef Carl Kristian Frederiksen. According to the Denmark blog, “before they opened Frederiksen and Aamann visited markets and shops in New York to find the best ingredients available to them here.” That resulted in the recreation of the traditional Danish menu using local and fresh produce around NY.
Chef Adam is proud in saying “each ’wich boasts a solid, four-tier architecture.” His attempts to reintroduce tradition to the modern world are now certainly paying off. What’s next would be for you to try out their menu over at 13 Laight Street, New York.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.