Today sees the opening of Bo Bech’s new à la carte restaurant, Geist, on Kongens Nytorv: A smarter, more casual place than his previous venture, with a showy open kitchen as centerpiece.
Flashy chef Bo Bech is a well-known name on Copenhagen’s restaurant scene since the opening of his Paustian restaurant in 2004, in the Østerbro design showroom of the same name. Though his imaginative, experimental dishes earned the restaurant a Michelin star, he shut up shop in 2010, announcing instead to open a new restaurant with a more central location. Geist is the final result.
With Geist, however, the star cook—who can list top restaurants like Paris’ L’Arpège and Marco Pierre White’s ‘The Restaurant’ on his CV—is not looking for any Michelin stars. Instead, he hopes to create a place focused on good food and a warm atmosphere.
The location is certainly auspicious, alongside smart cafe Quote, hip trattoria FIAT and the stately Thotts Palace building owned by the French Embassy.
The focal point for the new restaurant is its large, open kitchen and expensive French Molteni stove, generally seen as ‘the Ferrari of the kitchen’. Unlike many of the city’s gourmet restaurants that focus on the private dining experience, Geist has built upon an extensive à la carte menu card of some 30 dishes priced between DKK 100-200 of which you can order as many, or as few, as your appetite and wallet will allow—the average meal costing around DKK 400 including a dessert. Examples range from, ‘Fjord shrimp toast with browned butter’ and ‘avocado with lightly-salted caviar and almonds’ to, ‘rack of lamb with caramelised leek’ and ‘smoked eel with creamed spinach and watercress’.
This style is in keeping with a recent trend away from the private dining experience towards a looser, less formal bistro set-up. In 2010, Vesterbro’s Cofoco restaurant changed its set meal concept to a four-course menu made up of 10 different starters.
Those partial to Bo Bech’s special sour dough bread need not worry; loaves continue to be baked at Bo Bech’s Bageri on nearby Store Kongensgade.
Image of a Molteni stove by Silvio Starr/ Flickr.