Paper Takes a Dinner Field Trip to Nordic Hotspot ACME

Mickey Boardman
Mr. Mickey took the Paper editorial team on a little field trip last night to Acme, SoHo's super-hip restaurant-of-the-moment from Jean-Marc Houmard. We were celebrating the birthday of our bookings hunk Jordan Sternberg and were ready to let our hair down. Or in, my case, to flip my toupee!

Houmard is one of the geniuses behind Indochine, a legendary spot on Lafayette Street known for its succulent pan-Asian cuisine and its legions of loyal high-fashion fans like Iman, Carine Roitfeld and, well, ME. Acme is about as far from colonial Vietnam as could be. The décor is basic and utilitarian in a comfy kind of way and the cuisine is Nordic inspired. If you go crazy for pickles and artctic char, drop everything and run over to Great Jones Street immediately.

Chef Mads Refslund considerately gave us a puu-puu platter of menu items so we could get a real overview of Acme's culinary cuteness. I'm a vegetarian and with a little tweaking (no lardo on the carrots please!) there were plenty of dishes for me to enjoy (although watch out, cruelty-free carb loaders! The yumzy French-fries are fried in duck fat!).

The veggies and omnivores on our editorial team alike were gaga over the farmer's eggs with cauliflower and aged parmesan. They were chic little devils served in their shells with tiny spoons. The creamy cauliflower foam mingled with the sharp tang of the parmesan for a real taste sensation. I also liked the the hay-roasted sunchokes and thought they tasted a little like French toast (in a good way). And, meanwhile, what exactly ARE hay-roasted sunchokes?

The arctic char's sherry vinegar marinade and the chicken and eggs with delectable fingerling potatoes were also a favorite among our party last night. A special Woot Woot also goes out to the black heirloom carrots with pine and blood orange. First,  'Black heirloom carrots' sound like a new alternative hip-hop band from Greenpoint and, secondly, who knew pine could be such a tasty treat?

As dessert rolled around I confess that I suddenly forgot I had given up sugar. When the Danish donuts with quince & apple were plopped in front of me, it was all over. I mean, Mr. Mickey never met a donut he didn't like. Though we were nervous about trying the fallen fruits platter -- featuring dried pears and a wheatgrass granité -- we were pleasantly surprised. I recommend it for anyone looking for something light and fun after gorging on fries and a schooner of bread and butter.

Overall, Acme is a fun place to go with a special someone or a bunch of your work friends after a day in the office, as we did last night. It's chic but not stuffy and the food is delish but not daunting. Pass the house-cured salmon!

Photos by Mr. Mickey. Thumbnail photo of Acme exterior by Paul Goguen/Bloomberg.

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