I had a late debut visiting Søllerød Kro. My first visit there was just 4 months before moving to Peru and I fell in love with the place from the very first bite. My second visit was just 2 weeks before moving to Peru and was equally impressive but then it took me almost 4 years to return.
This time I had returned with my wife to show her a different side of Danish cuisine then I had previously showed her. Simply the fact that the building is from 1677 is a vast difference to any other fine dining restaurant in Denmark. The hospitality and the personality and craftsmanship that they possess is also something unique. Being greeted by the warm and hospital Jan Restorff is something that just always makes me smile and feel at home. Feeling at home at the Inn as it is simply called is very common as it could appear that at least on this night everybody there was a regular. A testament to just how good a restaurant it is and why I had to share the experience with my wife.
To begin the dinner, we were given a series of small snacks that showed both luxurious products such as the caviar served with avocado crème and creativity in the form of the pear pressed with yuzu. So, 20 minutes into the meal I was still spot on in my description to my wife. The food was very delicious, so was the Pol Roger champagne that accompanied it and we had spent a couple of minutes catching up with Jan bringing a smile to both of us.
In the first dish of the menu they gave us their heart in the form of a heart shaped mousse made of horseradish and kefir while surrounded by both sturgeon and oscietra caviar and topped of with just a bit of dill oil. Naturally a beautiful and very delicious dish that is both inspired by past classical Søllerødkro servings but also showing that I was going to be dead wrong that the food was going to be to the classic side. The small change was the introduction of the horseradish despite its low level of heat. Something I don’t think you would have seen 3 years ago.
Caviar was also present in the next dish that topped the previous dish in pure deliciousness. A small bed of potatoes would be topped with fermented cabbage cream, parsley oil and naturally generous amounts of caviar that was balanced very nicely from the fermented cabbage that brought a nice twist to an otherwise classic dish that with a few changes was anything but classic.
Next up we were visiting both northern Norway for a raw scallop but paired with both sorrel, grape and lichi it felt very tropical and could even have been served in Latin America without raising eyebrows. A very nice detour into the fresh and acidic flavors.
The next dish was so good that I unintentionally ordered a second round or at least I made such a positive comment about it that they brought out a second round. A small piece of halibut served with yuzu, tapioca, bonito and a smokey element. That was probably from the fish being cooked over charcoal. What I just absolutely love about the dish was the acidity that completely dominated the dish but still had the proper elements to keep it in check. Simply just delicious.
Going from one of the best dishes of the year is always hard. Next up was an extra dish from the kitchen that did its best to live up to the previous. Squid that had been treated like pasta served with a bit of pine, sauce nage, Piemonte hazelnuts and a cheese that had been infused with caviar. The blue cheese like flavors that it gave was great to balance out the fatty squid. Another dish showing how they are willing to push boundaries.
We were now back in classic territory with a lobster, a mouse of tomato sauce and small pickled mushrooms that provided a very nice acidic moment to balance the mouse. End to end delicious but it did not stand out among the other amazing dishes.
One of my favorite dishes at previous visits to Søllerød Kro was their dish of celeriac with Piemonte hazelnuts. I was therefore very curious to see the new version of the dish that now incorporates both a walnut crème, a crème made of Unika 30 cheese and to finish a generous amount of truffles was going to be. It turned out very delicious. A dish that once again celebrates pure uncompromised deliciousness in flavor.
The same could be said for a morel stuffed with shitakes and other mushrooms and to balance a small pickled onion and an aromatic gel. Definitely a heavy serving but we were also well into the menu and the pure umami of the dish was that of dreams.
The last main was a big surprise for me. A small slice of beef was topped with a thin slice of beetroot and topped with a warm sauce that once again had healthy amounts of gold caviar. It’s not often that you get caviar warm but here it actually made sense to balance the earthy tones of the beetroot and the sweet tones of black currants. Simply just a great match.
We would finish our meal with two also outstanding deserts. First a dessert that won dessert of the year and when tasting it I understand why. Unripe pickled green strawberries that was matched by a pistachio ice-cream and the final round of caviar of the evening with just a hint of olive oil. The way the caviar and olive oil helped put the pistachios front and center was simply just impressive as was the dish.
The final desert was a refreshing mouse of citrus fruits with hazelnuts and caramel. Yet another very enjoyable dish that was just a pure joy to both look at and to eat.
Now it has been almost 4 years and a bunch of lock downs since my last visit, but it’s obvious that the head chef Brian is broadening the spectra of both ingredients and techniques in the kitchen. My wife was very surprised by the flavors and techniques as I had introduced the restaurant as classic and maybe it actually isn´t. Regardless the current state of Søllerød Kro is incorporating a bit more international ingredients and techniques besides the classic Nordic and French and it really suits the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong it is and always will be a very pleasing kitchen which it should be, but they are definitely still keeping up with the time while maintaining the identify. When I think about how good the restaurant is, I always just ask my self how much do I want to go back and to answer that question for Søllerød Kro is easy. I already tried to get a table for their Christmas lunch but unsuccessful so I have a feeling that I will want to experience eating in the courtyard on a spring or summer day.