Copenhagen’s dining options expanded in 2011 with the opening of several high-profile eateries and trends towards stylish Asian and vegetarian cuisine, Nordic ingredients, and casual bistro settings.
Nordic wave not over yet
The Nordic wave continued with New Nordic Cuisine pioneer Claus Meyer’s Restaurant Radio bringing seasonal, Scandinavian dishes to the people. Considerable hype accompanied the summer opening of the trendy folk kitchen and advance bookings pre-empted full tables.
Other high-profile restaurant openings included Geist, the long-awaited new restaurant of Bo Bech, formerly of Restaurant Paustian, a smart affair in downtown Kongens Nytorv. Paustian meanwhile reopened with a new owner and more traditional menu earlier in the year.
At the end of 2011, Kadeau København opened in the former premises of Den Sorte Hest in Vesterbro. Already popular as a summer restaurant on the Danish vacation island of Bornholm, Kadeau’s Copenhagen edition specializes in Bornholm’s rich cuisine and produce.
Local food empire Cofoco continued to expand, opening Oysters & Grill in Nørrebro and The Italian in the premises of now-closed gastropub Public House, the street level of Hotel Kong Frederik.
After decades making do with lukewarm Middle-eastern buffets, vegetarians now have a place to go in Copenhagen. Just across the road from the new food market Torvehallerne that opened in September, Firefly is a modern vegan eatery that is both eco-friendly and stylish. Less high-tech but equally meat-free is Nørrebro’s Cafe N, a micro-cafe on Blågårdsgade where the atmosphere is warm and the menu almost as wide as the premises.
Asian food is being reinvented in Copenhagen. Hot on the heels of progressive, stylish restaurants The Red Box and Dim Sum, Henrik Yde and partner Lertchai Treetawat Chaiwong of Michelin-starred Kiin Kiin opened Asian crossover restaurant Chai Wong in Frederiksberg in the fall of 2011 to rave reviews from local critics.
Not to be outdone, Claus Meyer takes a leap away from Scandinavian menus in 2012, when his own Singapore-inspired restaurant, Namnam—offering Peranakan cuisine “with a Nordic twist”—opens in March in Vesterbro.
One of Copenhagen’s top restaurants closed in 2011: Denmark was one Michelin star lighter when top chef Paul Cunningham opted to close gourmet restaurant The Paul at the end of Tivoli’s 2011 summer season.
Image: Duck on the menu at Restaurant Radio, courtesy of Meyers Group.