Food: innovative, high quality food, mostly originating from Scandinavia
Address: Per Henrik Lings Allé 4, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Phone Number: +45 6996 0020
Guide Michelin: 3 stars
What I paid: €500 (tasting menu, water, aperitif and wine pairing)
Visited: June 17, 2016
Denmark’s most famous restaurant, Noma, may have been voted the world’s best four times (according to theworlds50best.com), but it is no longer in top in its own home turf (Copenhagen), according to Guide Michelin.
The 2016 Nordic edition of the Michelin Guide awarded, for the very first time ever, two restaurants in Scandinavia with three Michelin stars: Geranium in Copenhagen and Maaemo in Oslo.
Geranium’s Rasmus Kofoed is a recognized top chef, with impressive merits on his curriculum vitae. Rasmus has for instance, as the only person ever, won both bronze, silver and the ultimate gold in three successive Bocuse d’Or (the most prestigious gastronomic competition in the world.).
The restaurant is, a little unexpected, localized on the 8th floor of the National Football Stadium (aka “Parken”), but offers pleasant panoramic park views of Fælledparken (Common Gardens) that surrounds parts of the arena.
Rasmus Koefoed grew up with a vegetarian mother and a large portion of his family members are complete vegetarians. Even though Rasmus at home, with his family, eat vegetarian food, he is not a 100% vegetarian. It is not that he cannot eat meat and choose only fish, but Rasmus consider people in general have been eating too much meat. Geranium is a therefore less focused on meat. That being said, this a trend nowadays that many restaurants are working towards.
Modern techniques and first-class organic and biodynamic ingredients are used to create balanced, tasty and gorgeous looking dishes.
There is only one menu to “choose” from (same for both lunch and dinner) and it costs 2000 DKK (roughly €270). Wine pairing is an additional 1400 DKK (about €190). A glas of Bollinger La Grande Année (2004) for an aperitif is another hefty €70. The wine list is indeed well-stocked but the mark-ups are remarkable high. As an alternative to the wine, the restaurant also offers juice pairing a 700 DKK (about €95).
THE SUMMER UNIVERSE
Lobster, Milk & Juice from fermented Carrots & Sea Buckthorn:
Personally, I could not identify that much taste at all from this lobster appetizer and therefore thought it bland. However, my friend joining me this dinner, said it was good…
Jerusalem Artichoke Leaves, Walnut Oil & Rye Vinegar:
The leaves had a very prominent taste and the accompanying dip (no pic) was really good.
Charred Potato in Aroma from Bark & Sheep’s Butter:
The charred potato appetizer is one of the signature dishes of Geranium and this for a reason. Good but not fantastic.
Served with a 2015 Alvarinho, Muros Antigos, Moncao e Melgaco, Vinho Verde (Portogul).
Tomato Water, Ham Fat & Aromatic Herbs:
When we were initially seated, a sealed envelope was put on the table. It contained the menu and was probably intended to be kept as memory after the the dinner was finished, but luckily enough I opened it. Otherwise, we would have missed one serving…
When I was looking at the menu after the third serving, I noticed that the dish just served (i.e. the charred potato) was numbered as the forth appetizer. But we had never been served the third one on the menu, namely the tomato water, ham fat and aromatic herbs dish.
Obviously not acceptable for a restaurant with three Michelin stars (or any restaurant for that matter, especially if you pay €500 for your dinner). That being said, after I notified the staff, the appetizer arrived and it was itself a truly sensible combination of tomato and ham fat.
“Dill stone” Horseradish & Frozen Juice from pickled Dill:
Another classic at Geranium. Inside the “stones” is a filling of mackerel and horseradish and the coating is a granita made of pickled cucumber. Good but not marvelous…
“Razor Clam” with Minerals & Sour Cream:
Razor Clams is a burrowing bivalve mollusk with a long, slender shell that resembles the handle of a straight razor. The Geranium version has an edible shell with a nice acidity. For me more “interesting” than outstanding, but still tasty.
I was served by chef Rasmus himself in regards to this Golden Beetroot dish (not on the printed menu) and I really liked the smoky flavors of the herbs and greens.
White Asparagus, Scallop & Dried Trout:
First course on the “Dishes” section of the menu. Very good, well balanced and a creative way of using asparagus.
I was initially not that keen of the wine, a 2015 Chardonnay, Hamilton Russel Vineyards, Hemel-En-Aarde Valley (South Africa). However, with some air and time, it developed.
Salted Haddock, Parsley Stems & Finnish Caviar in Buttermilk:
Yet another Geranium signature dish. Marvelous marbling before the sauce was added (first pic). A nice and well balanced fish dish. Very satisfied. Everything was on top here; presentation, taste…
Crispy Grains, Bread with Old Grains & Gluten Free Bread with Seeds:
Both breads were very good and while I had the one with old grains as my favorite, my friend had the gluten free as hers…
Creamy Summer Vegetables with Oyster, Peas & Pickled Elderflowers:
Again a well balanced, creative, good looking and delicious dish.
Paired with a 2005 Cuveé Robert Fleury, Fleury, Champagne.
Wild Herbs, Grilled Asparagus, Smoked Pork Fat & Melted “Vesterhavs” Cheese:
Pickled egg yolk, wild herbs, grilled asparagus, smoked park, fat and melted Vesterhav cheese that worked really good together with the herbs…
Served together with a 2012 Riesling Pfaffenwies, Grat von Kanitz, (Rheingau).
Morels, Sunflower Seeds & Truffle:
One more top dish… The morels, sunflower seeds and truffle dish was paired with a 2014 Morgon, Marcel Lapierre, Beaujolais.
Pork, Pickled Young Garlic, Pine & Black Currants Leaves:
Hands down the best pork ever! Sad that the restaurant do not serve more meat… The pork matched well with a 2009 Brunello di Montalcino, Stella di Campalto, (Tuscany, Italy).
“A Small Taste of Summer” – Beetroot, Rhubarb, Yoghurt & Tagetes:
A nice looking and at the same time very tasty little nibble started the dessert section of this dinner.
Ice Cream from Beeswax, Pollen & Honey with Cloudberries:
A good and interesting ice cream that worked very good with the Eiswein.
The 2012 Grüner Veltliner Eiswein, Tschida, Burgenland, Austria was the final wine and also my favorite this dinner.
Wood Sorrel & Woodruff:
The wood sorrel and woodruff dish was good, but not as good as it looks…
Delicious licorice presented in a fun way. That being said, the “shell” of the skull had an unpleasant flavor of butter.
After Dinner Sweets:
Green “eggs” with pine, pumpkin cakes, “lingonberries”, strawberry caramels…
Petits Fours are not always at same level as the food. However, on Geranium, those sweets were also top notch.
Beautiful, pure and balanced dishes characterize Geranium and it is definitely in favor of Noma, at least in my book.
The appetizers were good, but it were the “dishes” part of the menu that really stood out at Geranium.
Restaurants in this category are seldom cheap, but the markups in regards to the wine were noteworthy excessive, even for Scandinavia!
The interior of the renovated and redesigned restaurant with its open kitchen is not just sleek and good looking, but also very companionable.
A solid 3-star restaurant on the topic of the food and interior but I do not think the service was all that perfect. Apart from missing one dish on the menu and that we had to wait for almost 20 minutes to finalize the payment (after we got the bill), I foremost think that the service was a little impersonal. The personal was for sure well knowledge but they sometimes felt a little bit like robots and we never really “connected” and this definitely affected the overall experience. That being said, Geranium is a highly recommended restaurant!
I unfortunately forgot to take any photos, apart from on the food. Therefor I have included some “promo” pictures from restaurant Geranium (photos by Claes Bech-Poulsen) that shows some parts of the restaurants and the staff: