“Don’t mess with the pope, soccer or grandmothers recipies” is a famous quote by Massimo Bottura. With this in mind it is always very exciting when a restaurant wants to try a fusion including the Italian kitchen.
This evening I had to find out if a chef from Era (classic Italian food holding a Michelin star) who had staged at Noma was the right chef to combine the classic Italian cusine with the innovative New Nordic?
We were off to a good start with 4 different snacks. A twist on a Danish classic rhybread with anchoves and radisses was delicious and so was the crispy potatoes with oxtail. We found the “carbonara” too rich on bacon – yes that can happen while the “æbleskive” with capers was simply too sweet and should have had more capers to work as a salty dish.
The first regular dish was one of the highlights and showed how they can master the simple and delicate Nordic kitchen using classic Italian ingredients. Buffalo mozzarella with caviar and asparagus. So pure and simple. Delicious.
The next dish was equally delicious and in style and flavor very New Nordic. Grilled onions with a barley reduction.
From here on I thought it went a bit downhill. The next dish was not beautiful. Artischioke and norweigan langostine served with another “brown” sauce which was said to include chili, but I couldn’t taste it.
Morrels with beans and lardo was a nice rich dish which transitioned the dishes to the more heavy dishes coming up.
At this point I was wondering when the pasta dish was coming up. This was now. Ravioli with goatchese and neadles served with a mackel carpaccio and a fermented juice made from peas. This dish I simply didn’t understand. Peas calls out for delicate flavours and not a potent sauce or the deep flavours from the sea which a mackel provides.
A rabbit porchetta with lentals, different herbes and a fermented mashpotatoes. I enjoyed the spicey sauce which the rabbit was served with but I didn’t understand why the mashpotatoes needed to be made from fermemted potatoes.
We decided on a cheese dish before the sweet desserts. This was a good choice. A bluecheese icecream served on a parsley spunge cake. Worked really well with a French cider. The best winepairring of the evening.
First sweet dessert was strawberries with bergamotte with a bit of pepper and basil. I think this delicious will be very delicious in two months when strawberries are actually in season and one of a kind, but I don’t understand why it was served made with tasteless strawberries from a greenhouse. If they have ambitions for a michelinstar I am sure that they know that the first thing the inspectors look at it quality of the produce. Then they should serve what is in season.
Back to classic new Nordic with rhubarb icecream with milk textures and terragon dust. Really good and clean flavours. At this point we were however a bit critical and when the dessert had really big chunk of dild we noticed. Again mistakes which should not happen at a restaurant at this level.
After 4,5 hours the evening was at its end. The restaurant is beautiful and the service was really really good and capable. There were definently both hits and misses among the food, but unfortunately the winepairing in general was a big miss. In both my and my friends opinion they were more special then good.
Despite being a fusion restaurant it does however feel that it has an identity crisis. It was very unclear to me which profile I should expect from the restaurant. Is it an Italian restaurant which uses Nordic techniques and produce to interpret its history? is it a New Nordic restaurant where the chef likes the Italian produce? or restaurant who will choose either New Nordic or Italian to have more options?