Ballin’ at Vandaag

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With a couple of favorite fellow foodies in tow, we made our way recently to VANDAAG (map!) in the East Village and lived it up a little. A beacon for all those seeking some good Northern European fare, with a “focus on Denmark and Holland”, this restaurant serves up some amazing dishes.

First, I loved the space itself. So open, so airy, so Scandinavian.

The drink menu was definitely created with a lot of love and creativity. In addition to blowing my mind by having Carlsberg beer on tap, they also served up something called “DANSK VIKING BLOD”.

Yea, that looks about right.

I chose the CB3 Sour (Flemish sour ale with rye whiskey, lemon, orange, and housemade grenadine), and it did not disappoint. It even came with a piece of beet for garnish! Yum!

We ordered our food to be served family style, so they gave us an assortment of beautiful plates which were changed with each course! What service!

Plates changed 3 times, only 1 plate design was ever repeated. Someone has a quite a large collection!

Our meal started off with an amuse-bouche (omg, a casual East Village restaurant serving an amuse-bouche ?? awesome!!) of smoked duck with blood orange gelée:

We then proceeded to dig into quite a good feast. Props to their Pickled Sausage, Dutch “ham” burger, and Winter Vegetable Hutspot. Our top choices though, were the Beef Shortribs…

The most tender piece of meat we have ever had the honor to consume.

…the Hete Bliksem (“hot lightning”: crisp fingerling potatoes, bacon, apple, and stroop syrup)…

Thanks for the recommendation, Sam Sifton.

…and the “OMG”-inducing wonder with a terrific name to match, the BITTERBALLEN (slow-braised oxtail croquet with mustard relish)…

Isn't that just BEAUTIFUL? One bite and it's love.

And of course, dessert. We chose the delicious Stroopwafel, which looks like the way it sounds, and couldn’t resist more ball-shaped food in the form of the SMOUTBALLEN:

I remember tasting hazelnut, and smiling A LOT...

I will be singing praises of Vandaag for quite some time. Good food, good drinks, good decor, good service. Give it a try and I know you’ll eat something new, different, and delicious.


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