Cool as a dip in the Baltic Sea, this airy atrium that was once Nelson Rockefeller's town house is decorated with contemporary art, Roger Smith kites, and an inspiring waterfall. The nouveau Swedish fare of wunderkind chef Marcus Sammuelsson is dressed in chic contemporary garb, and offered only through a menu in the main dining room. Forget herring, smoked eel, lingonberries, and pea soup (although they're better here than anywhere else): think miso-glazed lobster in carrot-ginger broth and halibut in marrow crust. Desserts are equally creative and delicious. An upstairs dining room is less formal and less expensive. Appropriately, New York's largest selection of aquavits keeps company with the well-chosen wine list. Sunday brunch is literally a smorgasbord.
Address: 13 W. 54th St., between 5th and 6th Aves.
Phone: 212/307-7311. Reservations essential.. AE, DC, MC, V.
Good World Bar and Grill
This quirky Scandinavian bar/restaurant is located on the fringes of Chinatown in a storefront marked by an old sign for the Good World Barber Shop, the original tenant. Despite the groovy crowd of non-blonds smoking cigarettes in the shabby, bohemian space, the menu is traditional Swedish. There are, of course, Swedish meatballs, as well as fish soup and a tasting plate of herring; lingonberries are used liberally.
Address: 3 Orchard St., at Division St.
Phone: 212/925-9975. AE, D, DC, MC, V. No lunch weekdays.