Pittsburgh’s Nordic pop-up dinner series keeps Instagram followers in the know with each ‘secret location’ announcement
As winter rages on, trade in the cold for cozy with Fet Fisk, Pittsburgh’s latest semi-private dining event. Hosts Sarah LaPonte and Nik Forsberg bring Scandinavian flavors to secret locales across the city. Signaled by a fish hanging above the door, Fet Fisk’s almost speakeasy-style dinners welcome fresh flavors and friendly atmosphere into Pittsburgh’s bleak winter.
Get Hygge with it
Fet Fisk is a private dinner event hosted every other Monday in various locations across Pittsburgh. Guests interested in attending should reach out to Fet Fisk on Instagram to secure a reservation as well as get the details on where that week’s dinner is being held. As a sort of roaming party, location changes nearly every time Fet Fisk occurs. Previous locations have included Workshop and Pigeon Bagel’s soon-to-open location in Squirrel Hill.
Due to the changing locale, every dinner is a different experience. Forsberg and LaPonte tackle each location with excitement, and working with limited time and space means Fet Fisk plans ahead as much as possible. To ensure there’s enough to eat to go around, reservations are strongly suggested. But, the vibe is anything but formal.
Long cozy tables, candlelight, and camaraderie in the space make Fet Fisk feel like a friend’s elaborate dinner party, explains LaPonte. “We’re not a restaurant, but we like restaurants.” LaPonte and Forsberg enjoy cooking, but at the end of the day, the experience is really about building community. “We want to have fun and make food and bring people together, in an unusual setting.”
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Holy mackerel yall!! So much appreciation for everyone who came out and supported Fet-Fisk last night. Things went swimmingly! The glög was flowing, there was magic in the air, and the taste of the sea in our mouths. One Peggy Swauger even said “I like this soup but why am I eating in a garage?!” . Eternal gratitude to those who helped out, and thanks to all the old + new faces who came, dined and donated. You made and the first fet fisk the best one yet! So looking forward to our next event- stay tuned for updates. . Fet Fisk no. 2 is 1/21/19!! . #fiskejournalen #jingleshells #wearenotarestaurant
If you’re unsure what to expect, take a look through Fet Fisk’s Instagram, curated by Forsberg, to get an idea of the atmosphere. With tongue in cheek captions and riffs on Scandinavian culture, Fet Fisk aims more for fun than formality. That’s been one of the biggest challenges, so far explains Forsberg: “It’s making it feel casual, approachable. That’s what we are, that’s what we would want in a dining experience.”
The Fet Fisk Menu: Swedish-ish & Seafood
The duo, who met while both working at B52 Cafe, initially brainstormed Fet Fisk during a road trip. “Seafood is kind of special thing people get excited about,” says Forsberg, who identifies as “Swedish-ish.” “That kind of played into the Nordic or Scandinavian food angle because while those regions aren’t necessarily known for really fine cuisine, they’re known for having access to really good fish and shellfish–cold water food.” Forsberg masterminds the menu each week; LaPonte designs the concept and runs the front of house.
The menu, which changes with each iteration, boasts a mix of Nordic-inspired foods and flavors, featuring fish and oysters. You’ll find classic menu items like smoked smelts, but also “Fjord Ramen” with pork belly and salt cod. Many menu ingredients are locally sourced, using bread from Crustworthy and produce from Tiny Seed Farm.
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dayum! protyping this dish for monday! carrot gnocchi+ oyster mushroom ragu + horseradish. in a broth of tomato + beet from last years farming season. HELLO! . remember this dish is VEGAN so make sure to bring a doctors note that sez you are too or your vegan passport if you want in. jk yall! . it’s not super nordic but I always make gnocchi for my grandma peggy when I go visit her in sweden. she’s got some chops in the kitchen but it always impresses her, much more than my tattoos- “whyyy nikkeyyy whyy???” she laments. . we still gots space for ff3 holler at us if you care to join. it goes down in the dm so hit us up there. #fetfiskandchill
While Forsberg and LaPonte co-own Fet Fisk, they attribute much of its success so far to their friends willing to lend their expertise wherever they can. Annie DeFazio, who met Forsberg and LaPonte through B52, and Emma Honcharski from Pigeon Bagel assist LaPonte with front of house responsibilities. Whitfield butcher and sous chef Steve Beachy helps on the kitchen side, Elliot Swauger owns oyster shucking, and Marshall Hart serves as the event’s carpenter when a new location calls for building.
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hip hip hurra! hip hip! hurrrrah! THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who showed up last night! we were so grateful to serve you in our new seaside shanty. hope you enjoyed! . here’s our wonderul team suckin down some ceremonial-style briney backs. fun! we were ål most honored to welcome some new members into our super-cool school of fisk last night! @dawes.matthew, you ol son of a shrimp! those smelts never saw you coming! and @steve_beachy. that masterful meat monger, who boarded our rickety raft without so much as a splinter in his sandals. unbelieveable! he must have echo-location or something cause he found his way straight to my heart. . we at fet fisk hope that we have found our way to your four chambered blood pumpers, or at least to your lovely stomachs. if not, we’d shore like to splash around with ya soon at our next dinner. get in touch! fet fisk 5 will be on the horizon before ya know it, ya cute lil guppies. 5 does sound a bit old for a fisk, but not for lobsters and stuff so dont worry. #brineybacks #fiskejournalen
The Details: How to attend the next Fet Fisk Dinner
Ready to get hygge with it? Fet Fisk’s next dinner takes place on Monday, March 4. Direct message Fet Fisk on Instagram for reservations and location information.
When: Every other Monday
Where: Various Locations
To attend a Fet Fisk dinner: Per the instructions on the Fet Fisk Instagram account, send a DM (direct message) to @Fet_Fisk for an invite.
More info: Fet Fisk’s Instagram