June 21, 2011
The Nimb Hotel was built at the edge of Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens in 1909. Its Turkish style fits in with the many exotic elements in the amusement park. It reopened in 2008 after extensive renovations, including a new restaurant named after its chef, Thomas Herman, a native of Southern Denmark.
We started with glasses of Guy Charlemagne Reserve Brut Champagne. We were shown the menus and ordered the tasting menu with deluxe wine pairings. The first hors d’oeuvre was an oyster leaf served from a plate of oyster shells. These leaves from the Hebrides have a definite oyster-like flavor. Cute.
The second hors d’oeuvre was a modern version of a classic pickled cucumber & herbs.
It was a chilled cucumber gel with small fresh herbs. Refreshing.
Third were Label Rouge oysters with smoked oil and pine needles.
I ate Linda’s. These oysters are raised with special care on France’s Atlantic coast. The oyster flavors were going very well with the Champagne.
Veal tartare with chopped oyster, chives and tarragon topped with sour cream in a hollowed out marrow bone.
Veal tartare is a classic Danish dish. Here it had been nicely enhanced by the garnishes.
This very light creation was served chilled on a cold stone. We were advised to pick up the stone and eat the “cloud” in one gulp. It was flavored with oyster water and green apples. It is topped with powdered dried seaweed. Fun.
At this point we moved from the terrace into the dining room, which has glass doors looking out into Tivoli over the terrace. Rain was predicted and it did arrive an hour later. We were served a fresh, warm, small version of classic Danish sourdough bread with oats on top. Alongside were pots of local goat cheese and butter.
The menu dishes started with
Langoustine & Chamomile Tea purée and lemon thyme
The large langoustine was extraordinarily flavorful and good. The chamomile tea dabs had a subtle flavor which contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the langoustine.
Bisque of chamomile flower & Scandinavian shellfish
mussels & chamomile caviar
This was served in a bowl with a hollowed section in the bottom from which emerged a chamomile aroma steam, adding nicely to the effect. The bisque was based on mussel broth, flavored with oil of chamomile flowers, usually used to brew herbal tea. Underneath were petoncles, or small scallops. On top were spherified “chamomile caviar.”
The first two dishes were served with Riesling “Halenberg” GG Emrich-Schönleber 2008. This as an exquisite wine with just the right amount of minerality to offset the seafood.
North Sea Turbot & White Asparagus
True sauce & ground elder
The piece of turbot was topped with a morel and a white asparagus stalk. Alongside was Béarnaise sauce with chopped morel and ground elderberry. Very good.
Chablis Grand Cru ”Les Clos” Domaine Christian Moreau 2008.
Frozen Foie Gras & Cherry Vine from Frederiksdal Gods
These two shaved freeze-dried concentrates were perfectly matched.
Seared Foie Gras and Cherries
Endive & nougatin
The warm, nicely seared piece of foie gras was topped with chopped endive, which added a little crunch. There was also a cherry-flavored powdered-almond wafer and cherry dabs.
Domaine Serene, Evenstad, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2007. I would not have thought of pairing a pinot noir with foie gras, but this excellent wine was quite fruity and worked well.
“Æbleskive” as Burning Love
Beechwood smoked bacon & vinegar marmelade
These beignets are a traditional Danish Christmas treat. Usually made with apples, these had a lovely bacon and onion flavor. They were topped with a grated cheese and served with a slightly sour marmelade which balanced the flavors.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Henri Bonneau 2003. This was probably the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape I have ever tasted. Complex and delicious.
Selection of Danish Cheese with Suitable Garnish
Rosehip marmalade & pumpernickel
The four Danish cheeses were accompanied by three different breads, a chutney and a marmalade. Three were made from cow’s milk; the blue one from sheep’s milk. The first one on the left was creamy and superb. The third was very well aged, rich, complex and delicious.
Vin Jaune Château Chalon Berthet-Bondet 2004. This “vin jaune’ from the Jura is aged with natural yeast in wooden casks for six years. It acquires a Sherry-like character and is perfect with cheese.
Liquorice & Raspberries
Marshmellows and hay
Rasperries and small marshmallows are coated and dusted with ash made from hay. Underneath are dabs of liquorice gel. The beetroot sorbet adds a refreshing touch.
Beetroot and Strawberries
White chocolate & skyr
The chunk of beet gel is garnished with strawberries, melted white chocolate and skyr, an Icelandic yoghurt-like cheese which gives the needed tart touch.
Château Rieussec Sauternes 2005. This classic sweet wine was superb.
We thoroughly enjoyed our evening. The cuisine was excellent and the wines superb. Herman’s style is the now trendy “New Scandinavian,” but he does not hesitate to use French or Spanish ingredients if he thinks they are better at the moment than the local ones which make up most of his produce. Serving some courses in pairs is a nice way to bring out the flavor combinations he is featuring. The service was always cheerful and efficient. The pace was just right. We didn’t linger, but had time to savor the wines with the food. Bravo.