Barr – my favorite restaurant in Copenhagen
About a yeat ago I wrote a blog post entitled “A love affair with Noma”. I still have a love affair with Noma, but now I also have a mistress called Barr. While Noma is femine, elegant and very sophisticatede Barr is no fuss, to the point and bit more maskuline but also very accessable so in that sence it has some of the traits of a mistress.
Barr opend 6 months ago and as this was my visit number 11 some calls me a regular, others calls me addicted and some people think I am just plane crazy. My reason for visiting Barr has usually been wanting good friends to have the same amazing experience as I have had there which was also the case for this visit, but even more importantly this dinner marked my “goodbye” to Copenhagen as I am moving to New York early in 2018. Well it is not really goobye as I already have a booking in february with friends as I off course have to travel back to Copenhagen to eat at Noma.
OK I know that I at this point have rambled on a bit more than usual so now to the food. With 10 visits past me it is safe to say that both the waiters and chefs knows my preferencer both in terms of beers and food. That ment that this night I would just lean back and let them take care of everything as they had created a special menu for me covering both classic dishes that they know that I love and dishes on the menu that I had yet to try.
The first dish was actually new to me. A Danish Christmas cookie but made in a savoury version with delicious goose breast charcutteri, horrseradish cream and just a bit of juniper oil. It was fun to see a usual sweet cake turned savoury. Simple and delicious.
Parents say that you can´t choose between your children and I have the same way with some of my favorite dishes at Barr. With the løjrom dish I do however now have a clear favorite. The combination of the cold løjrom, the warm waffles and the dill and sourcream just works so well. It feels both luxurious and very delicious while still being a quite simple dish.
Hearing with barmite, mustard seeds and plums and just a bit of read basil. I Think that hearing is often quite misunderstood or just not appreciated for its qualities. I really like the fatty fish which opens up for a variety of combinations and grilled with the special barmite makes it even more rich and delicious. Every so often at Barr the inspiration from Noma is more apparat than others. The use of barmite is a classic case and this is also one of the more feminine dishes although the use of vegetables is still very minimal.
Next up is another of my children. A dish that I had on opening night and most of my visits to Barr ever since. A smoked and grilled bonemarrrow served with an acidic salsa made up of parsley and oil. When done best the bonemarrow is grilled very hard to give it a nice caramelized crust and the acidic salsa is just amazing to match the fat, which it basically is. I love this dish but it is a dish that devides people. And I can´t really blame them. Afterall it is basically just fat.
For the main dish I were to have the second new dish of the evening. Ribs with picked spruce and roasted chestnuts. And yes there were actually some vegetables to compliment but the endivie and pickles pear was not to my liking. It was way to acidic and bitter. But with juicy and delicious meat like this who needs it.
This was actually the last main that the kitchen had planned but Sebastian knows my love for their snitzel so he decided to push in an extra dish. At this point I can´t say that I needed more food but there is always room for a snitzel. This dish continues to amaze me. It is a very simple dish but it is still so rich and delicious and the horseradish cream gives the contrast and kick that is needed to the otherwise rich dish. I LOVE IT.
I have never really forgiven Thorsten for taking my favorite dessert “waffels and rasberrries” of the menu, but with the new version of their “old fashioned” icecream I am close to forgiving him. A dessert they have had on the menu since opening night but has changed with the season, but this version is my favorite so far. Made with sheep milk the icecream is just a bit more rich than usual which therefore matches the blackcurrants very well and how often do you get icecream made from sheeps milk.
At this point I was very full but they it seemed that our night was not over yet. About 2-30 cookies was served covering both traditionel cookies such as chocolade cookies and “kransekage” but also Christmas cookies. They were great but they were still “just” cookies and didn´t really blow my mind.
A long evening was at its end and it was yet another memorable evening at Barr. Off course they know me quite well by now so I do get just a bit of special treatment which is also one of the things I love about it. I love that they know my favorite beers, that I always have the same table (the best in the restaurant if you ask me) and the fact that I am greated with a hug from both waiters and chefs. This kind of relaxed and personal atmospherer just flow through the entire restaurant where the Danish word “hygge” is the best word I know to describe the unique atmosphere. I have heard several of the waiters hoping that they do not get the very well deserved Michelin Star out of the fear that the place will use this special relaxed and down to earth atmosphere.
I hope and think they will get it and if they do I am sure that even though the expectations of especially forening visitiors will change I am sure that they will find a Way to keep the original spirit of Barr so that I can still bring my nieces and nephews (age 6-10) who also loves the place without feeling out of place.