To many, Copenhagen is a foodie destination. You can’t think of Copenhagen without thinking of Restaurant Noma. But Noma closed early this year. No worries. There are still two restaurants in Copenhagen ranked in the top 50 of the world.
Relæ takes reservations 60 days in advance, and I was right there online waiting to put in my request. Even 60 days in advance, we had a choice of 530 pm or 9 pm, the main dinner hours already snapped up. We took the 530 even though most of our dinners had been later and it is light until 10 pm.
Relæ is ranked #39 on the website http://www.theworlds50best.com/.
We liked that Relæ’s atmosphere was very casual. It might be high end food with high end prices, but the feeling was relaxed and comfortable.
We had a kitchen table, overlooking a food prep area. I wanted that, and it was nice to talk with the chefs.
The Relæ manifest is made very clear:
We chose, as usual, to do the full Relæ experience with wine pairings, approximately $250 for the food and wine.
They had asked in advance about food requirements, and I had responded with no red meat, chicken or pork. That seemed fine with them. They substituted fish for the lamb in the above menu. All your utensils for each course are handily stored in a pull out drawer right at your table.
Our first appetizer was a green strawberry tart.
As you can see in the photo, the wine was a bit cloudy. I hadn’t expected that. It turned out that I liked only about half the wines, and one I was unable to finish. If I had it to do over, I would have ordered the full food experience, and skipped the wine pairings. Some of the organic wine was just too organic for me. But several were quite good.
One of the chefs preparing frozen almond milk crumbles:
The green strawberry tart was followed by celtuce with oregano and almond. The celtuce was served on a bed of frozen almond milk crumbles, which began to melt immediately. As I took this photo the chef recommended that I not wait much longer to enjoy the dish, as it was melting. These details I would have missed if we hadn’t been seated at a kitchen table.
A chef preparing the oyster dish:
Oyster with cucumber, juniper and seaweed vinegar:
The oyster dish was awesome, and my favorite so far. But wait, there was much more to come.
The Buteo, an Austrian white, was one of the wines I liked. A 2015 Weingut Micahel Gindl, Weinviertel.
After the oyster we had trout with crispy skin and browned butter. This was much better than expected. The crispy skin was delightful.
Trout with crispy skin:
The next course was a fava and fennel creation, over which they poured fava bean oil.
The view of the kitchen from our table:
They chefs told us they love to work with vegetables and that the restaurant has its own farm. They concentrate on what is in season and grown locally. Our next course was carrots, with egg yolk and hollandaise.
As a little surprise extra, they had created a dish using turbot cheeks:
Instead of the lamb on the menu, they served us turbot in butter with kohlrabi.
One of the wines that I did like, Groll n’Roll ’16, Sebastien Babass, Chanzeaux (France).
After the eight courses of appetizers and fish, we had three types of dessert. The first one was a pancake with fresh cheese, rhubarb and black olives.
Another Austrian wine that I liked, a Sauvignon Blanc 2012 by Andreas Tscheppe, Glanz.
Second dessert was curd with whey, buttermilk sorbet and woodruff. The menu says “chervil”, but my notes taken right from the chefs says woodruff.
And we finished with strawberries and sage, a sage parfait with strawberries and strawberry powder.
You might think that we would be staggeringly full at this point, but the dishes were small and you are guaranteed the table for 2 1/2 hours.
It was delightful and the food excellent.