Lutfisk at Aquavit

January, 2011

The Saga of Gastrøgård and Gastrøgund:

A man named Gastrøknut ruled the town of Yorkstad. He was the head of a great clan by the name of Gastrøgoodes. He begot two children by the name of Gastrøgård and Gastrøgund. Brother and sister grew up fearless of any food, strong and iron-willed, and well-skilled in arms. They had many adventures.

One winter’s night, Gastrøgård and Gastrøgund sailed to a far island and raided the village of NyaStad. When they were finished, they had their way with the livestock, set fire to the village, and took the beer and all the codfish with them back to to Yorkstad.

Upon their return, they instructed the great Jernmak the Kock of Aquavit to use the burned and smoldering codfish to prepare a feast in celebration of their victory.

“Make us a dish that will prove our strength and the blows of our swords, and give praise how we smote our enemies,” they instructed the great cook. “Make us a dish that will put the fear of Thor in all, friends or foe alike.”

And so the cooks of Aquavit burned the fish, as the village had been burnt. Then they covered the fish in water and ash, as the village had been covered. And the kitchen smelled of death and foulness. Then they boiled the fish in the hottest of waters, as hot as the tears of their vanquished enemies. Then they added green peas and béchamel, because it made the dish even more fearsome looking.

Jernmak served the dish to Gastrøgård and Gastrøgund. And the clan of the Gastrøgoodes gasped when they saw what he had wrought. They could see how the enemy had suffered. Mia Berg of Aquavit poured them strong beekers of mead for courage, and they celebrated their victory long into the night. They called this dish, Lutefisk, and it was good. (Or somewhat good, or at least edible…if you hold your nose.)

Thus ends the Saga of Gastrøgård and Gastrøgund.

(For a menu of the feast, see below)


So put on your (nutria) fur coats and your horned helmets, and come with us to the icy fjords of Scandinavia. We’re going to have us a Viking dish of infamous origin and dubious smell, which will put (braided) hair on your chest and other places. So shave well beforehand, and come ready: you’ll earn your gastro-creds with this one. Oh, and it’s at Aquavit, so you know it’s going to be a good one. Look sharp people and get ready to pillage…


65 East 55th Street
New York, NY
(212) 307-7311