Fine dining in Copenhagen.
We are going to be in Copenhagen the end of July 2012 for 4 nights. We love fine dining and would like to have suggestions on where you would go. We'll be staying at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel and would prefer to walk to dine, if possible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Does Denmark have regional or local wines available? We enjoy dry whites and about all reds, what would you suggest?
Again, Thanks for all your help,
re: Nancy S.
Aamanns is excellent. The beef tartare was one of the best things I ate in 2011 and presented in a truly clever way. Their smorrebrod was certainly tastier than run of the mill versions, but not my favorite thing to eat I found. My CPH contacts tell me Toldbod Bodega is a good traditional place for smorrebrod, and they seem to brew their own beer/aquavit. I think Denmark specializes in snaps/aquavit more than wine. They also seem to have their own kind of butter (cultured). I found the food surprisingly meat heavy when I thought it would be seafood rich. Bread was fantastic everywhere.
I did eat at some of the other places mentioned in this post in Dec 2011:
- Sollerod Kro is outside of the city and in a beautiful setting but was a bit traditional for my taste. I was also perturbed that they served a tomato course in December.
- I loved AOC's inventiveness and their wine pairings were excellent and extremely generous pours.
- I really wanted to enjoy Geist, but found the Robert Ryman-esque look to the food visually difficult (food all one color) and sadly not compensated by taste on my visit. However, one can see that they are not afraid to be experimental with food and others have had good meals there. Nice counter seating and lively vibe.
- A couple of places mentioned in NYT that looked very interesting but were not possible to get into during my stay due to holiday closures: Gronbech & Churchill, Mielcke & Hurtigkarl.
- Also, there are Michelin recommendations for CPH that anyone can access.
One thing to keep in mind is the cost of everything in CPH is very high, more than anything in the U.S. and I daresay London. I gather this is due to very high taxes on income (43%) and sales (25%) to fund social services. So to have a similar meal you would have in any other major city, it can cost 33-50% more in CPH. Oddly, it feels like you get more value if you dine on the high end. I traveled solo and lunch at Aamann's was US$60 for 2 smorrebrods, tartare, and a glass of wine. Lunch at Sollerod Kro was $200. AOC was $300 for the dinner tasting menu with a few glasses of wine. Dinner at a casual place can easily approach $100 for one. I think people who come just for Noma assume the high cost is due to its reputation but I found prices high throughout, down to the coffee ($6).
We stayed at that hotel in May 2011 and really enjoyed it - cool architecture and decor and a nice location near the train station, tivoli, etc. We were in Copenhagen for 3 nights and did Noma for one of them. It was as incredible as everyone says and you should try to get in if you can. Copenhagen seems to have a huge number of highly-rated fine dining restaurants for a city its size. Unfortunately, due to our budget, we had to eat fairly cheaply other than Noma. :) There are a couple of very nice places in Tivoli, which is right by your hotel - one is at the Nimb Hotel; the Paul looked interesting. Again, we didn't get to eat there, though.
From what we saw, Danes drink more beer and aquavit than wine - but again, other than Noma, we weren't at many fine dining places. The list at Noma has everything you can imagine - and I'm sure other fine dining places are the same. I think rieslings and other German whites are popular with Scandinavian food - at least from what we saw and what the sommellier at Noma recommended.
Try to have a lunch or two at some of the old school Danish lunch places - smorrebrod, aquavit, etc. Lots of fun.
Also, if you're into beer, we really liked Mikkeller - a laid-back bar owned by a famous Danish "gypsy brewer" who brews interesting beers from different locations around the world. But it was pretty much just a beer bar - I think the only food they had was dry sausages and crackers as a snack.
We really enjoyed Copenhagen - hope you have a great time.