Björk — Aosta, Italy
Björk, a handsome new brasserie in Aosta, has been creatively smîrgasborded together by Giuliana Rosset, founder of the Napapijri fashion label. Although snuggled into the steep mountains of Northern Italy (where foreign influences, if any, are almost exclusively German, Austrian or Swiss), the restaurant has plugged Scandinavia as its aesthetic and culinary compass. Swedish import Mattia Sjoblom oversees the authentically Nordic-styled food - including imported herrings served with Schnapps or wild deer and elk paired with lingonberry sauce - with support from a roster of recent grads from Sweden’s Grythyttan Cooking Academy. Served on Iittala ceramic, dishes get a boost from the strong selection of wines and the simple, clean design scheme conceived by Milanese Scandophile Nicola Quadri. Pine walls provide a light-filled canvas for Quadri’s larch tables, 1950s Borge Mogensen chairs and 1960s Torsten Thorup & Claus stools, and original Scandinavian design gems are scattered throughout the space. Don’t even think about ordering a plate of pasta.