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Friday, March 1, 2013

Relæ in Copenhagen

Pre-dinner snack of celeriac tacos

White onions, langoustine and fennel
Turnip, chervil and horse radish
Hokkaido hazelnuts and seabuckthorn
Celtuce (stem lettuce), pistachio and burnt leaves
Cauliflower, veal, sweatbread and basil

Fresh goat cheese and parsley
Art in the making
Say cheese!
Chanterelles, apple and granita
Personal cutlery drawer
Cloudy whites
Smoked beets and pickled elderflower
Squid, oysters and seaweed
Jerusalem artichoke, quinoa and coffee
Fried salsify and bergamot
Chicken broth, cod and leeks
Cheese - kornly and buckwheat
Sheep's milk yogurt, beetroot and blackcurrant
Herbal tea
LOCATION: Restaurant Relæ, Jægersborggade 41, 2200 København N, Denmark
CATEGORY: Danish, Nordic, gourmet, tasting menu
DRINK: (on our 2nd visit) Pinot Blanc '11 - Bruno Schueller, Alsace. Vin Montbled 09, '10 and '11 - Guy Blanchard, Macon.  Baco Pérez '10 - Noranjuez, Granada.  Equiss '06 - Julien Courtois, Soings en Sologne.  LE Bulle Gamay '11 - P-U-R, Beaujolais.
WE THINK: We have now been to Relæ in Copenhagen twice and both times forgotten to post pictures, so here is a delayed double post. Opened by Christian Puglisi, an ex noma chef (bla bla bla, the Copenhagen story) Relæ--now with 1 Michelin star--is known for its reasonably priced and innovative prix fixe (4 courses for 375kr with add-ons possible) and its great natural wine list (shared with Manfred's--it's sister wine bar across the street). Located in what used to be a dodgy neighborhood, made infamous by a prolific drug trade, disgruntled youths throwing molotov cocktails and occassional gang warfare, Relæ is one of the many hipster food-coffee-wine establishments which in recent years have opened in the Nørrebro borough and on Jægersborggade in particular. The restaurant itself is situated in a half-basement with a basic but practical decor. There are small cool details like personal drawers under the table which contain the exact amount of cutlery and napkins required for a tasting menu. The service was too cool for its own good on our first visit (like a waiter rolling his eyes at our wine choice, commenting that it wasn't to his taste as it wasn't rock'n roll enough--in fact if it were left to him, the wine we ordered wouldn't even be on the list…he was more of a "James Dean" type of wine drinker), though on our second visit the service was less self-congratulatory, less arrogant and quite friendly. The food is delicious and natural like the wine and tastes light and modern. Three dishes which we remember with particular fondness were 1) an otherworldly dessert of chanterelles, apple and granita which was a perfect marriage of ingredients consumed almost entirely with our eyes closed, 2) a very playful cheese plate of liquid goats cheese and parsley which aside from being delicious was fun to play around with and 3) a chicken broth, leak and cod dish - the cod so silky smooth it almost slipped off our tongues. A reliable spot with great possibilities for wine and coffee next door.

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