Location: 94 Berner St a, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546. (760) 914-0962
Date: January 2, 2019
Rating: Excellent kitchen for Mammoth
Named for the Viking goddess of hunting and skiing, Restaurant Skadi opened on the winter solstice of 1995. The restaurant moved to its new location in the summer of 2015. The ten-table restaurant is intimate and inviting. Hand-carved Norse dragons adorn the ceiling beams. Art and photography from Northern Europe and the Eastern Sierra hang on the walls. Scandinavian light fixtures cast a warm glow over the open-kitchen.
Chef Ian Algerøen’s menu is carefully crafted to reflect his Norwegian heritage and his time working in the Swiss Alps. Featured menu items include a house-cured Gravlax, house-smoked trout, Canadian duck breast with spatzli and lingnonberries, and crispy skin salmon. The staff at Skadi is as passionate about food and wine as we are about the region. We look forward to serving you and sharing our mutual love for dining and the great outdoors.
From my cellar: 1993 Robert Ampeau & Fils Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières. 95 points. Perfect bottle, very golden.
Savory Crepes layered with Wild Mushroom Duxelle & Jarlsberg Cheese. Porcini mushroom and amontilado sherry coulis.
Special lobster salad with green beans. Bright fresh flavors.
Tartar of Japanese Hamachi & Scallops with Tamaki Rice. Ponzu, wasabi aioli, furikake, sricacha and tobiko. I tasted a bit of this. Strong Japanese influences of course and interesting textures.
Smoked Red Deer Heart with Cloudberries & Spruce Salt. Brunost goat cheese and knekkebrod seed cracker. Sounds scary but it tasted great. The meat and bread were quite dry, but the unusual umami cheese and the sweet jelly really complemented.
Pan Roasted Crispy Skin Salmon with Brown Butter & Lemon. Butternut squash puree with sage, spinach, fried capers and toasted pine nuts.
Special seared tuna.
Grilled Choice New York Steak with Cafe de Paris Butter. Dauphinoise potatoes, caramelized onions and haricot vert.
Pork Belly Confit & Roast Spiced Tenderloin & Smoked Sausage. Brussel sprouts, ciponlini onion, fingerling potato and cinnamon peach puree. Nice mix of flavors, particularly the tender confit and the very flavorful sausage.
Canadian Duck Breast with Arctic Lingonberries, Juniper & Aquavit. Spatli, haricot vert and rodkal.
The dessert menu.
Gateau Financier with Lychee Sorbet. Compressed Pineapple and Coconut meringues. Deconstructed, but nice flavors.
Tasting of Skadi’s Chocolate Desserts. Gateau Opera, wild honey dark chocolate mousse and chocolate meringues.
Frozen Caramelized Macadamia Nut & Vanilla Parfait. Dark Chocolate Sorbet, bittersweet chocolate & caramel. Basically a semifreddo, and I do love those.
Petite fours. In Mammoth!
Overall, we had a very nice time at Skadi. It was quiet, even during this busy weeks when lousy places like Campo have 3 hour waits — Mammoth folk don’t know fine dining. The service was comfortable and very friendly. I liked the food. It was interesting and Nordic. It might even be good enough to compete in LA — not that it would be pushing out Bestia or anything, but it was solid and had a distinct style. Most stuff in Mammoth is just lousy except as measured against the most casual pub fare.