Nestled between Vanderbilt Hall and the 42nd street southwestern passageway entrance at Grand Central Terminal, Agern transports you to the heart of Scandinavia without the cost of a plane ticket.

Agern, meaning “Acorn” in Danish, is a season-driven Michelin star restaurant and bar by Icelandic Head Chef Gunnar Gíslason. The menu features farmed and wild ingredients from the New York State region exposed to time-honored techniques, and flavors rooted in Nordic Cuisine. Here we catch up with the team behind Agern on why this is a must-visit during a stay in NYC:

Nordic style service, with a New York flair

Agern provides warm and gracious hospitality commensurate with our New York Nordic menu.  Our knowledgeable team can guide you through choosing between a la carte and tasting menu options, our extensive all-American wine list, and our selection of small-batch beers and spirits.

The crafting that goes into the cocktails

Our craft cocktails are created from the highest quality ingredients: small-batch spirits, sourced as locally as possible, with an emphasis on NY State alcohols. We also make many infusions in-house with the same level of quality ingredients used in our kitchen.  Our No. 7 cocktail is a great example of this in that we macerate beets for two different lengths of time, add Birch Schnapps, a liqueur that Chef Gunnar Gislason makes, add some New York State honey and build that into our own take on a sour.  “It’s Agern in a glass” says our Beverage Director John Parson.

Local, seasonal ingredients used in your dishes 

Our founder Claus Meyer co-wrote the New Nordic Culinary Manifesto which both inspired and structured Nordic culinary innovation in the past decade.  The first principle is, “to express the purity, freshness, simplicity, and ethics we wish to associate to our region”.  That principle guides us through the most thoughtful local sourcing.   We work closely with a local forager to provide wild ingredients, a third-generation fisherman based in Brooklyn provides our fish, and we have relationships with independent farmers and purveyors to create simple and pure dishes from the best products we can.

Where to stay:

Stay at the nearby Renwick Hotel, a Curio Collection Hotel by Hilton. Take in the contemporary, newly re-imagined hotel housed in an iconic 1920’s brick building only two blocks from Grand Central Terminal. Or, take advantage of the incredible location of Hampton Inn Manhattan Grand Central complete with Hampton’s complimentary breakfast and select rooms with balconies to take in the bustle of Midtown East. If you want to enjoy some of the best NYC views over the East River, stay at the Millennium 1 UN Plaza by the iconic United Nations building, and only 10 minutes’ walk to Grand Central Terminal.

Hilton guests receive a complimentary glass of wine and a private kitchen tour (reservations required) of Agern, when booking the Weekend Like a Local Package.

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