Things have changed a lot since my last visit to the Copenhagen Waterfront. The most obvious is the new Inderhavnsbroen, a bridge that connects the Nyhavn district with the waterfront, making travel across the water much faster and easier. The bridge ends directly at Strandgade, in front of the former location of Noma.
For many years, the site of the world’s best restaurant (according to the 50 Best Restaurants ranking), including the test kitchen and the Nordic Food Lab, is now home to the Barr restaurant. A joint project by chef Thorsten Schmidt and René Redzepi. Casual food with Nordic roots, plus craft beer and a casual atmosphere. More than enough reasons to stop for lunch during my last visit to Copenhagen. By the way, without reservation. Lucky. Unthinkable at this point just a few months ago.
Thorsten Schmidt explains the new concept as follows: “I have always been fascinated by the cuisine of the countries bordering the North Sea, classics like meatballs and schnitzel as well as British meat stews. We will continue to experiment and offer our own versions of traditional dishes.”
The compact menu includes a few small tapas, a few larger dishes, and a small selection of sharing dishes for two (or more) guests. For lunch I ordered new potatoes, roasted bone marrow, the meatballs of course, and an old school ice cream.
The new potatoes are served together with goat butter, lovage and bakskuld. Bakskuld is a traditional fish preparation of Danish cuisine, consisting of salted, dried and smoked flatfish.
Roasted bone marrow always seems a bit archaic. Here it is served with unripe berries, herb stems and parsley, making it immediately more elegant. So it goes perfectly with the homemade sourdough bread.
The two meatballs, which are hidden here under a large leaf of summer cabbage, have virtually become a classic of the house. A typical dish of Danish home cooking. Outrageously delicious, though, and subtly modernized thanks to the large blanched cabbage leaves and a wonderfully creamy sauce. This is how soul food works.
There are a total of three desserts to choose from. I opted for the old fashioned ice cream. A creamy melting little sin. Inside filled with a spruce needle oil, plus blueberries and spruce needles.
If I had a little more time, I would have liked to try more dishes. So the anticipation remains for the next visit to this tranquil neighborhood with a great view across the water to the Nyhaven. Right next door is 108, another new restaurant from the Noma neighborhood.