August 31, 2008
At first glance Geranium did not fit any pattern. It has the garden ambience of a glassed-in porch projecting into a lovely park at the edge of central Copenhagen, almost like a country tea room, quite a contrast from noma‘s austere warehouse. On August 28, 2008, when Linda and I went for dinner, all the tables except ours and another couple were business dinners. Neither genteel settings nor expense accounts usually contribute to great cooking, but only a year and a half since its opening Geranium‘s reputation for good, inventive, Nordic cuisine is high and it has a Michelin star.
We were seated at a corner table with a view of the park and the other diners at the widely spaced tables. We ordered glasses of Champagne and looked at the menu. It showed seven courses for DKr 865 together or individually at à la carte prices. We ordered the full menu, a bottle of 2006 A. Christmann Mandelgarten (Pfalz) Riesling Trocken and a bottle of 2006 Domaine Monier “Les Serves” Saint Joseph.
The dry Riesling was full of character and went well with the food. The red St. Joseph was fine.
A plate of amuses-gueule arrived.
On the upper left you see rye crisps; below them are curved breadsticks which can be dipped in the nettle sauce in the middle. I do not recall what the pretty flat ones were on the right, perhaps a fish mousse, but they were tasty as were the delicate tomato flavored white puffs above.
This was a very good combination.
Sourdough bread with oats followed.
The bread was warm, light, crunchy and good.
The first course from the menu was
Monks Cress, Cucumber & Dill
We asked why the chefs were using Alaskan crab instead of a Nordic one and the waitress said the chefs thought it is better. The crab was prepared in two different ways served on a King crab broth. The combination with the cucumber and dill is classic and good. There was also a quail egg on the left; I would have preferred another piece of crab.
Smoked & Pickled Cauliflower
Fresh Hazelnuts & Scallops
The scallops and the cauliflower were both strong elements here and went well together.
Elements from the Beach
The fish, seaweeds etc all worked in the same direction. The foam is of brown butter and added a bit of richness along with its visual surf effect.
The King’s Herbgarden
Here we are supposed to imagine what the king’s chef would have picked in his kitchen garden in this royal park 200 years ago. Pigs would have been there and so the broth is of smoked ham. Hey, I’m just repeating what I was told.
Mushrooms & Watercress & Potatopeels
The piece of chicken breast was stuffed with a mushroom forcemeat and there were several different mushrooms in the garnish, including those amazing big and thin slices.
Hay Cheese Smoked with Hay
Herbes Sprouts, Crispy and Creamy Jerusalem Artichoke
This was a substitution at the suggestion of our ever-attentive waitress for the predessert Cicely & Yoghurt, Green Walnuts & Sherbet of Walnutoil. She noticed that we still had some red wine left and thought we would enjoy the cheese more. The bits of cheese are black because they have been hay-smoked. The Jerusalem artichokes are in the crisps and in a white cream underneath. A jar of hay was put on the table which we were instructed to sniff occasionally as we enjoyed this course. I did. This cheese course was inventive and delicious.
Frozen Elderflower Juice & White Chocolate In the top photo you can see the purple elderberry jelly topped with a cone of white chocolate. The granulated elderberry juice is then dipped out of a liquid nitrogen container and spooned on top, which creates a fog and a flavor that bursts open in your mouth. I was glad to see Geranium using its imagination on the dessert after MR and noma had served such ordinary ones.
We enjoyed a lovely evening in a calm setting with good service and interesting, well-prepared modern Danish cuisine. Bravo.