Smörgas on Stone Street
Call Smörgas on Stone Street, not a destination restaurant, because you would never go out of your way to eat here, but rather a location restaurant, because you may want to go out of your way to eat somewhere on Stone Street, and if Adrienne's Pizza, which I've heard is good, has a huge line or if, like us, you're only one man and his 12-year-old daughter and so don't feel like eating a ten-piece pie which is all they sell, then you could do a lot worse than enjoy the sun, the scenery and the festive air of this surprisingly pretty financial district alleyway with a plate of serviceable Scandavian fare from... Smörgas. A Good Location Restaurant.
Wait a minute... Stone Street, you say? Yeah, I didn't know about this little pocket of al fresco dining until recently. Here's the story: in the late 1990s a consortium of sorts decided to spruce up what is said to be the city's first paved street by cleaning the historic, mostly low-rise buildings, re-cobblestone-ing the entire area, opening up six or seven restaurants and shockingly restraining themselves from throwing up all kinds of that faux historic decor that makes the nearby South Street Seaport feel so sterile. Well, those old-timey lampposts are lame, but other than that....
Anyway, our lunch at Smörgas. Bo ordered the Fjord Smoked Salmon Sandwich and received a totally fine toast-scrambled eggs-nova combo, with a side of creamy mashed potatoes. I ordered the Chicken Snofrisk salad, received the Chicken Caramel Sandwich (same thing, different format), and was reasonably happy with the way the sweet meat (it really tasted like caramel!) worked with the crunchy asparagus and side of potato salad.
Just for fun, we also got the Swedish Meatballs, which came with more mashed potatoes and topped with what I'm assuming from my IKEA visits to be lindonberry jam. And, as you can see from the pictures, everything here gets sprinkled with chives. All of this was not bad at all—competently-made comfort food, with enough interesting twists to make it seem a little special.
Smörgas is on Stone Street, which is a pedestrian-only, two-block stretch between William and Pearl Streets. Because the restaurants are a little distant from the entrance on William, and sort of around a corner, you definitely get a bit of that satisfying feeling as you approach the maze of outdoor tables that you've somehow stumbled upon a city secret.