Monday, November 5, 2012

Eating Copenhagen - Geranium

When we first decided to go to Copenhagen this year our goals was to eat at Noma, called the best restaurant in the world for 5 years. So, that found Matt on his computer at 3am one July morning when the October reservations for Noma were open. After 70 minutes of not even getting into the reservation system he gave up. We hear approximately 20,000 people try to get a reservation each month they open up. We were a little disappointed, but we knew Copenhagen offered lots of other modern Scandinavian cooking.

Fast forward three months and we find ourselves at the national football stadium in Copenhagen. Yes, football stadium. We weren't there for a match, but to experience a meal we'll never forget.
Geranium
Around the back of the stadium a modern entrance and elevator whisked us to the eighth floor and a sleek, window filled restaurant called Geranium. Our meal started in the lounge of the restaurant for snacks and champagne.
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Danish design, candles and a modern fireplace give the space the coziness that the Danes so love. We'd settled in with our choice of bubbly and the courses began arriving. Each course was beautifully presented and described by the staff. We were given the choice of adding a wine or juice pairing to the meal, we went for the wine pairing (might has well go all out).We've got 22 course so let's dive in.
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Seaweed chips with a little creamy dip on them. Crispy carrot and seabuckthorn. The carrot was a delicate shell around the seabuckthorn filling. We had seasbuckthorn at a few places in Copenhagen, an ingredient we'd never had before. It has a flavor a bit like persimmon. The silver dish
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Bread sticks with sea salt cheese and ramson. Ramson is a form of wild leek not too unlike ramps. Dried flowers and apple. Edible flowers were something we were to see in a few dishes throughout the evening and looks so lovely as well as tasting good.
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Pickled mushroom soup served in an egg cup. "Razor Clams," really these were a clam salad inside a cracker shell, so clever. Jerusalem artichoke "tree" and walnut oil. I love jerusalem artichokes and they made for such a wonderful cracker. Plus the presentation of the edible branches and leaves with the real was stunning.
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Burned Potatoes and sheep's milk butter. This dish had a fun story about being a boy scout and cooking potatoes over an open fire until they were black on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside. These were not burned on the outside, but soft and perfect with the spoonful of butter.

Now that we were done with snacks, it was time to head into the dining room for the rest of our meal. I can't say enough about everyone who served us during the meal, they really added to the experience. You are served by a handful of servers and chefs from the kitchen. We didn't realize until after the meal that we were actually being served by the head chef and co-owner, Rasmus Kofoed.
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Jellied ham and tomato water, a light little jewel of a soup with surprisingly crisp flavors. "Dillstones" and fermented vegetables, such a stunning dish. The dillstones are actually a dill gel filled with smoked salmon. They were served with a fermented vegetable dip.
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"Elements from Ocean & Beach" was certainly a wonderful scallop dish, but the way it was served was the highlight. The broth is aerated in special two chamber glass which makes it all frothy like the ocean hitting the shore. Then it is poured into your bowl.
Heather-smoked hake, picked heather and moss. The heather smoke add such flavor to this and the moss was quite a surprise with a lot of texture.
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Rather than leave bread out through the whole meal this warm emmer and spelt bread is served as its own course with some beautiful butter. Next came a course that could have been our favorite, onions and melted hay cheese. A cheese soup studded with pickled onions. Bread crumbs are sprinkled on top from the inside of a horn. The mild cheese with the pickles was a perfect combination.
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"Irons and Minerals" consisted of types of cabbage topped with an oyster sauce. Lobster and hay aroma was presented with the lobster on a cover tray and a smoking bunch of hay. We were so surprised at how much flavor that hay added to the lobster even if it was just the scent.
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For the next course, herbgarden, the broth was seeped at the table like a tea and then poured over a bed of herbs. This was actually the least successful dish for me as I found the herbs to be overly bitter. The final dinner course was venison, red leaves and stems. Beautifully cooked venison was served with beets and a vanilla bean. I thought this would be heavy after so much other food, but the little bit of red meat was actually just want we wanted.
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Next we were invited into the kitchen for a palette cleanser. The kitchen was pretty calm as it was later in the service, but it was really fun to be back there and see everyone at work. I love the picture with their Bocuse d'Or awards watching over them. While in the kitchen, we were served and elderflower soda, really a jelly with a foam on top.
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Now it was time for desserts. First was a frozen herb tea with white chocolate, bright and light with a cold you don't expect with those flavors. The next dessert was gorgeous, "Flora Danica" and goat's milk cream. Look at those beautiful flowers against that white cream and dish. It tasted good too.
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The green chocolate eggs looked almost too pretty to eat on a bed of pine needles. Finally, we were served thin sweet carrot leaves to end the evening.
Geranium
As we left, we were both given a folder with the menu from the evening and list of the wines we had (we had twelve wines throughout the meal), plus a box of sweets to take home for later.

Details: Our dinner reservation was a 7:30pm and we were there until almost 11:00pm, we were eating or drinking something that whole time. Geranium has one Michelin star and was named 49th best restaurant in the world this year. Eating there is an amazing experience, but one you will pay a lot for (Copenhagen is a city where a coke can easily cost you $6), Matt and I gave this dinner to each other as an anniversary present. They have a set tasting menu, but are will try to work around dietary restrictions. I think it would be very hard to eat there though if you didn't eat fish and seafood. They take online reservations and we had no trouble getting one a couple months out. Lastly, we found Geranium and a few of the other great restaurants we visited thanks to the wonderful Danish blog, Very Good Food.

I still have one more Denmark post for you, next time we'll visit the meat packing district...

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski
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