We have dirty water dogs. Creative franks from the likes of Crif Dogs. And classics from Gray’s Papaya to Katz’s Deli. Does NYC have room for another hot dog? Ben Spiegel, chef at Skal thinks so, which is why he’s calling his boudin sausage ($17) “reminiscent of the traditional Icelandic hot dog.”
This dog has no bun, but it does share a nicely browned casing and the appropriate snap when cut into. The taste is as homemade as an in-house sausage gets. The Berkshire pork and organic chicken mix is blended with cream and Armagnac, then roasted in butter and glazed with a reduced chicken stock. On the plate, it is dressed with emulsified mustard greens, toasted croutons, Tokyo turnips and fresh greens. A sauce of pork jus, apple and brown butter lends a wintry layer to the surprising lightness of the sausage.
Opened in August on a quiet Lower East Side corner, Skal’s cozy interior evokes a charming warming hut on a chilly volcanic landscape. To jibe with NYC’s seasonal change, the new Nordic menu is currently highlighting meats and a selection of hearty fish dishes, such as monkfish with cauliflower, cabbage and peppermint ($23). Come spring, however, we wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a street cart hawking those boudins, in true NYC fashion.