The location where Salon is has been the home of classic French restaurants as long as I can remember. First it was Le Sommelier and for the past 6 years it has been Salon. For the first 5 of those years Rode Claus as he is called by his friends and known in the public but for the last year Julian Elkjaer has taken over has acting head chef.
This was the small change that would finally get me to try out the place. The restaurant also serves as an art gallery displaying art by various Danish artists so if you see any art on the walls that you like then it’s your lucky day as you can buy it as well. From the outside the restaurant looks small but looks can be deceiving. With the 4 private dining rooms the restaurant can set up to 200 people at the time. On the cold thursday night in November that I went it was almost full.
As we were sipping our champagne lots and lots of small snacks started to arrive. Luxurious and bite size as you would expect from a Michelin star restaurant including amazing products like baeeri caviar, oyster, truffles and tuna. This was an obvious strong start both in terms of flavor and presentation.
From here it would turn a bit more classic, but again with a luxurious touch. A big piece of pan fried and crispy turbot with sauce blanquette, a bit of potato pure and again topped with generous amounts of caviar. There is not that much more to say than that it was naturally executed perfectly and it was just very delicious.
From here to the only dish that would disappoint of the evening. A tortellini with fat from ibérico ham served in an oxtail and chicken consommé. Despite a good effort it just didn’t have the same elevated flavors as the rest of the menu.
The most iconic dish on the menu has always been a dish called the whale. Known for its delicious flavors but also its massive size requirering 2-3 hungry people to finish the job. Now you can get a smaller version called the dolphin. It’s still a turbot and a bit of lobster in a puff pastry served on spinach in a lobster bisque. Here modern techniques have been replaced with craftsmanship and flavor. Just impressive.
For our last saveroy dish we would have steak with chanterelles, truffles and a classic jue with a bit of plum gel. Nothing fancy just good flavors.
That would also be the case for our final dish which would be a chocolate marquise. Again the craftsmanship that went into this dish was impressive as was the flavor.
End to end Salon really impressed me. It’s still a classic restaurant with classic flavors that won’t surprise you. Nor does it have to. It’s comfort food at its very best, but it has taken a step towards the finedining scene. This both in terms of the smaller snacks, addition of a tasting menu and the wine menu with with top producers from Burgundy that would dominate our pairing this evening. Despite the step towards finedining it’s still not a finedining restaurant nor will it be. It’s not meant for that. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere and at the heart is nice comforting flavors, but not the elaborations and use of technique that the Michelin guide loves. I therefore think they found a great balance between casual and elevated food in a manner that should please a large clientel. This also means that you can pop in for a dish or two at the bar or go all out with the tasting menu like we did. A concept that I am very fond of.
I was invited by the restaurant.
Location: Bredgade, Copenhagen
Price level: a la carte from 30$ and tasting menu 150$
Head Chef: Julian Elkjær