Celebrate the season Scandinavian-style at Tre Kronor
If nothing says "holidays" like ten varieties of herring, take note: Tre Kronor's annual jülbord feast has one week left, and only a handful of seats remain.
The Irving Park Swedish restaurant has prepared jülbord (Christmas table) feasts from Monday through Saturday ($55, Monday through Thursday; $60, Friday and Saturday) in the weeks leading up to Christmas. For more than a decade, the holiday smörgåsbord has had a cult following among those in the neighborhood and those in the know--and as an abundant Scandinavian spread, it has no rival.
Servers don the traditional seasonal garb of the Festival of Santa Lucia, white dress with a red sash and a crown of candles. They then guide guests along tables laden with cured meats, preserved fish, sausages, salads and more.
Bring your own aquavit or sip a glass of mulled glögg before hitting the buffet stocked with an abundance of house-made marinated herring, and other cold dishes like gravlax and goose-liver pâté. Jansson's Temptation, a cream-laden potato casserole, is a highlight from the hot table.
For a true taste of the region, there's reindeer meat and lutefisk, salted codfish preserved with lye. Finish off with a tier of festive pepparkakor (ginger cookies) and julgrot (Swedish rice pudding). Get the lucky almond and, legend has it, you'll be in for a good New Year.
Tre Kronor, 3258 W. Foster Ave.; 773-267-9888 or trekronorrestaurant.com. Seatings for the jülbord are at 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and reservations are required.