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A Terra – a personal story about France

The restaurant scene has been thriving in Copenhagen with lots of new restaurant openings the last year. Many of these with have been of Asian influence. Every once in a while it is therefore also nice to have a comforting French meal. À Terre is within that category of delicious French food. It has been around for about 6 years but has recently taken the step to only having a tasting menu. 

The menu is build up around memories of French cooking from head chef and owner Yves whose father is French. Each dish would beside the usual technical presentation also be presented with a small note that explained which memory he was diving into with that particular dish. 

We would start with an impressive snack serving of 8 bitesize snacks. On the top classic fruit de mer and on the bottom what he called Tour de France as it was a small bite from different regions of France. A great way to from the start state that it’s a personal kitchen and not a regional kitchen. A clear favorite was the scallop with ponzu gel and a tomato Provençal that had just as many Mediterranean herbs as you could wish for.

The next dish takes its base in a personal favorite of mine and a very classic dish. Moules marine. Naturally it’s also the memory of his father making this dish that prompted Yves to use it as a base. It was served with pears and small pieces of pickled gherkins. I really liked the sweetness that it brought to the dish. 

It’s also easy to love a pan fried turbot. Especially paired with a nice acidic beurre blanc and artischoke. Again a use of a buttery sauce but a very balanced one. 

The next dish would be my favorite both in terms of flavor and story. Yves father grew up in Brest and the traditional local dish was buckwheat pancakes. So naturally as a child in Copenhagen it would be a treat to be taken out for buckwheat pancakes. Stuffed with cheese and topped with caviar it was umami heaven. 

To finish the savory dishes we would the o so classic duck a la orange. A beautiful dish where its power was very nicely matched from lots of fresh citrus. A very nice dish.

Naturally a cheese cart would be part of our experience this evening. It is a classic French restaurant after all. Very nice selections of predominately French cheese but also a few Danish cheeses made the cut.

For the first dessert we would have  ile flottante which was filled with rhubarb sauce. I loved the first bite of the dish, but by accident that one bite had more than half of the sauce so the rest of the dessert was way too sweet as it lacked the acidity to balance. An easy fix though.

Our final dessert would be inspires by his many trips to the French Caribbean where chocolate, banana and passion fruit was a traditional afternoon snack. Here it was merged with a bit of honey and olive oil as well. A very nice floral chocolate dessert.

As I mentioned in the beginning the French Brasseries have always been popular in Copenhagen. À Terre is not to be confused with any of them. It’s by far the most personal French restaurant I have visited lately. It therefore builds a nice connection with you as a guest. The food is nice and the French connection is clear but naturally he doesn’t serve the classic dishes and when he does he does it in his own style for a unique restaurant experience. 

Practical information

Location: Copenhagen 

Head chef: Yves Le Lay

Menu: 7 course tasting menu 200$


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