Copenhagen — Europe's New Gastro Hot Spot
If you’re going to go on a worldwide food tour, you need to add Copenhagen to your list (Photo: Kim Rittberg)
Stop working the phones fruitlessly trying to nab a table at Noma in Denmark, voted the world’s best restaurant for four of the past five years by Restaurant Magazine. Instead, eat like a local in Copenhagen! Last year, 13 of the Danish capital’s restaurants were awarded a total of 15 Michelin stars — which is more than any other Scandinavian city. Copenhagen’s certainly got plenty of top-notch options: dine inside a palace, stuff yourself with fancy sandwiches, or gastro-philosophize at a chic new eatery opened by Claus Meyer, the father of “New Nordic” cuisine.
Almanak at The Standard was opened by Meyer, a co-owner of Noma, with some of the same mantras: let hyper-locally sourced food and the seasons guide the kitchen. The atmosphere is more casual, and the design is in sleek whites and grays dominated by the modern furniture design for which Denmark is justifiably famous. Even the bread is delicious and fascinating: freshly baked sour mash bread with buttermilk, rose petals, and sunflower seeds. A prix fixe dinner (à la carte is also available) included quail with grilled romaine and baby carrots as well as mackerel with fresh peas and cucumber with oyster mayo and mussel juice. In line with their seasonal freshness rule, we finished up with a mouthwatering dessert of strawberry compote with meringue, granola, a burnt white-chocolate foam, and whipped cream, which tastes like the fanciest parfait you’ll ever see.
The mackerel is one of the prix fixe offerings at Almanak (Photo: Kim Rittberg)
The Standard building (which bears no relation to the American hotels) also houses the modern Indian restaurant Verandah, another New Nordic restaurant (Studio), and a jazz club. Perched on the Nyhavn Canal, the striking mint-green art deco building was built as a customs house in 1937 and converted into a terminal for the ferry to Sweden, which became redundant once a bridge was built.
The Standard is home to Almanak and some other fine restaurants (Photo: Kim Rittberg)