A new eatery and take-out place, boasting restaurant quality at fast food prices, just sprang up on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The name of it, Bröd (Swedish for bread), highlights not only its main focus, but also an unmistakable Scandinavian twist.

On my visit in early January, Bröd Kitchen bustled with activity. The customers seemed very much at home, making me assume that this was a place that had been around for quite some time. Not so. Much to my surprise, I learned that it opened just three months earlier.


Some of the 10 different types of bread baked at Bröd — all of which are made with unbromated flour and live, natural yeast — are semolina, fruit and walnut, olive and rosemary, challah and sourdough.

A Scandinavian starter
For a starter you may want the signature smørrrebrød, a delicious slice of gravlax, with pickled cucumber and red onion, mounted on the kind of rye bread you normally get only in Scandinavia. Another smørrebrød comes with a topping of baby tomatoes, crème fraiche, balsamic glaze and basil. Why not pick avocados on rye, or a healthy, most satisfying salmon salad?

The restaurant area is relatively small and gives a glimpse of the kitchen, where two dozen chickens are roasted every day. On display are also the soups of the day, each one richer and creamier-looking than the next. What do people order to go with the rotisserie chicken? It seems that beets, sour cherries and plums is a popular flavor combination.

Pastries and - lo and behold - 'sweet smørrebrød'
The pastries are many, varied and well crafted. There’s also something called sweet smørrebrød, which is rye heaped with all kinds of goodies, such as honey, hazelnut, strawberry, apricot and pistachio.
Apart from the bread, the Scandinavian twist manifested itself in the form of a crushed Daim chocolate bar on top of a layering of crème fraiche and a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar. Daim — I haven’t heard of it since I grew up in Sweden several decades ago.

“So what inspired you to develop Bröd?” I asked Hugo Uys, chef and culinary director and one of the people who organized the establishment. “We believe in healthy delicious food,” he said. “And let’s face it, how can you not love dishes like smörrebrød?”

Bröd is doing well, and I am not entirely surprised to hear that it is about to open in two new locations: on West 4th and Greene streets in Manhattan and in Hoboken, New Jersey. Lucky neighborhoods.

By Bo Zaunders

The first Bröd is located on 1201 2nd Ave./corner of 63rd Street. More info, see www.brodnyc.com