JBF Trip Planner: CopenhagenMitchell Davis and Anya Hoffman
December 21, 2012
For in-the-know food lovers heading to Copenhagen this winter, there are some obvious places you probably want to hit (and at least one of them rhymes with "MOMA"). But instead of speed-dialing René Redzepi's foraging temple, or waiting on line at Relæ, check out these slightly more under-the-radar restaurants that are just as deserving of attention.
Contrary to our original assumption, this place is not owned by a pair of old, Jewish friends. Marv and ben translate to "marrow and bone," and this modern Nordic bistro lives up to its name with a meat-focused menu of dishes like pork neck with beets and rosehips, veal tartare with celery, chive powder, and a coddled egg yolk, and the B.L.T.-reminiscent fried rice bread with smoked marrow.
This simple but chic smørrebrød restaurant serves modern interpretations of the traditional, open-faced Danish sandwich. Highlights include chicken salad with scallions, chives, and bacon; marinated mackerel with sliced raw onions and spicy tomato sauce; and roast beef with fried shallots, rémoulade, and freshly grated horseradish, all served on a slice of the chef's homemade rye bread. Good news for those of us planning to stay stateside this winter: after a lengthy delay, Aamann's has finally opened a New York outpost, and the buzz is good.
A beautiful, glass-enclosed restaurant in Copenhagen's Royal Gardens (think Tavern on the Green, Danish-style), Orangeriet is a relaxed and lovely setting for sampling a blend of new and traditional Nordic cooking, including great smørrebrød at lunch (that's all they serve on Sundays). Make sure to leave room for phenomenal desserts like warm apple tarte tatin with Armagnac cream and cinnamon and spice cake with cream, grapefruit "gel," and yogurt powder.
Looking for a splurge? This romantic restaurant set in an 18th-century pavilion within beautiful Frederiksberg Park offers a lavish, modern tasting menu that's worth every penny. Chef Jakob Mielcke, who trained with France's Pierre Gagnaire, oversees the exquisite and impeccable food. Don't miss this place: it won't be under the radar for long.
Copenhagen's best (and perhaps only) macaron bakery is run by a Greek ex-pat who left his home country and moved to Denmark for love. Strangas, who only uses Valhrona chocolate in his macarons, offers a creative selection of flavors, including lightly salted caramel, lemon and violet, and strawberries and basil. His artful cakes are equally delicious.