Copenhagen Dining Week 2012 recap
Copenhagen Dining week was over us a couple of weeks ago. 3 courses for 200 DKK and sponsor water was the deal. A lot of restaurants joined this time around, making the concept a bit too popular. When tickets were released at 6 AM in the morning a few weeks before the event server-hell broke loose making it impossible to buy tickets. A couple of days later it turned out several of my unsuccessful attempts had been approved in the booking system making me around 5.000 DKK poorer. I got my money back a few days later.
My dining week started with a late seating at Grønbech & Churchill. Having wanting to try the restaurant for some time, I was really looking forward to it.
The restaurant is situated in a beautiful basement across the street from the Churchill park – hence the latter part of the name. The first part is the name of the head chef.
One of the downsides to the Dining Week concept was the assembly line feel to dining. Normally, each table is served according to the pace of the table – at Dining Week it felt like all tables were waiting on each other to finish so the kitchen could serve starter/main/dessert for all tables at the same time. We had a good wait before our food started to arrive.
A very interesting combination of fluffy velvety soup, little salty pieces of cod, sweet vanilla and mild red peber.
Preserved prune, cocoa beans, caramelized milk gel
I’m not a big fan of panna cotta’ish desserts – so this was not to my liking. My fellow diners thoroughly enjoyed and praised the course though.
Service was somewhat hasty and didn’t go into details with the courses. I was a bit puzzled what the prune on the side was all about. Later I read it had been preserved for a year – a detail which wasn’t given to us.
All in all, an interesting meal with cheeky flavor combinations.
Next up was Nose2Tail – a restaurant in the meat packing district which has received good reviews. It’s a “food bodega” stating they use everything from the animal.
As the restaurant is located in a basement it does have a rather bodega-like fell to it – the room is dark and has no windows.
We started off with a plate of different sausages, Danish cheeses, pickled beetroots and lumpfish roe/cod roe.
Cheese and sausages
The main course was fatty pork belly, cale and potatoes with lots of cream and butter. Fat, but tasty.
Dessert was a trifle.
I liked Nose2Tail, though the acoustics was horrible. I could barely hear myself think, let alone have a meaningful conversation with my fellow diners.
Last stop on the Dining Week train was Aamanns Etablissement.
We were seated and the courses quickly started hitting our table.
Beet root with smoked cheese
A very simple, but well tasting combination.
The second course had salmon as main component. It tasted alright, but there was nothing interesting about it.
Aamann understood the concept of additional sale and chose to serve three savory courses. Cheese and dessert were optional for an extra fee. The tables were very closely placed and our neighbor – a teenage boy – was “mmm-ing” his way through the dessert so we went along and ordered a portion.
Chocolate ice cream and crumble
I’ve had very good dining experiences at Aamanns before, and this was a bit disappointing for me. Nothing wrong with the food, but nothing impressing either.
For me, Dining Week is an opportunity to try different restaurants. The low cost of a dinner also means less service and an assembly line feel. Though I had some nice meals, none of the experiences enticed me and left me wanting for more. If the strategy is for people to return to the restaurants at full price, it didn’t work on me. On the other hand, if the success criteria is just to increase their turnover in a week where many Danes are away on holiday, I guess the week was a success, though I am not sure it’s a feasible strategy in the long run.
Visited: February 2012
Estimated price: 200 DKK (Dining Week offer)