Skal is best visited for its long bar, where the service is smoother and the staff tend to be more friendly.
Raw Beef ($15)
I was floored by the beefiest Beef Tartare to ever cross my lips, served with toasted Balthazar bread brushed with beef fat. Chamomile pollen and fennel fronds are pleasant accents to the raw roar of beef made extra briny by finely chopped clams.
The roasted until just-burnt carrots are as sweet as carrot cake. The taproots are crusted with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, currants, chamomile, and lemon thyme, a textural joy to eat, and made even more carrot-y by a drizzle of caramelized honey. A side of yogurt encourages you to take your time and appreciate the black magic happening on the plate.
Oysters ($15 for six)
The oysters were small but sweet and meaty; if only they weren't overpowered by a pulpy cucumber juice spooned on top.
The dining room
Confit Duck Wings ($14)
These wings—ostensibly finger food—came mired in a puddle of terrifyingly black puréed mussels and underneath a mop of pickled seaweed, like some grim diorama of the Exxon Valdez.
Oily crowns of roast broccoli were surprisingly reductive—touches of green garlic, bread crumbs, and mayo didn't justify a meager portion or princely $11 price tag.
Grass-Fed Hanger Steak ($27)
The otherwise attractive hanger steak craved salt.
Note: This image is from an arranged photo shoot after my meals; my portion of steak was larger than seen here.
Leaves of roasted cabbage had more soul than the filet of monkfish they garnished
At $17, this foamy sausage is the most expensive dirty water dog in New York.
Note: This image is from an arranged photo shoot after my meals; my portion of sausage was larger than seen here.
Rear dining room
A private dining room is available in the back of the restaurant.