Geranium, Copenhagen 2
July 12, 2011
Rasmus Kofoed is this year’s winner of the prestigious Bocuse d’Or chefs’ competition. He had previously won the silver trophy in 2007 and the bronze in 2005. Here he is showing his three trophies to Trine, Linda and me when the three of us went for dinner at his Geranium on June 10, 2011.
Linda and I had been to Geranium three years before, when it was located in the Rosenborg Gardens. It closed there shortly afterwards and reopened in September of last year in an office tower of Parken Stadium, home of the Danish national football team. The new restaurant is on the eighth floor with extensive views. The ground floor entrance to the elevator lobby is flanked by geranium and other plants.
On arrival we were seated in a lounge with a view over the outdoor sports field attached to the indoor stadium to the right.
Glasses of Blanc de Noir, Fleury, Aube, Champagne were poured and snacks were served on the low table.
The first of many snacks was
Carrot and Seabuckthorn
A thin layer of caramelized carrot juice enclosed a purée of carrot and seabuckthorn. This was a good start which woke up the palate.
Green Apple, Celeriac & Chervil
Celery root mousse was enclosed in a packet of thin green apple slices.
New Beetroots & Apple Vinegar
The fresh beet flavor came through nicely.
Crispy Pork Ear & Sorrel
Potato Chips & Seaweed
Visually intriguing, good potato chips.
Seasalt Cheese & Ramsons
Long breadsticks flavored with semi-hard Danish VesterHavsost cheese were served with a dip flavored with wild “bear’s garlic.”
We moved into the dining room. The late evening sun was shining in.
The dining room and wine service are run by Søren Ledet, a former chef at noma, who was Kofoed’s partner in the kitchen at the old Geranium.
There was a last snack
We were served a glass of 2007 In Gumpoldskirchen, Schellmann, Austria. This Chardonnay-Traminer blend from lower Austria went well with the razor clam enclosed in a squid ink crust and with the next two dishes.
The first menu course was
King Crab, Lumpfish Roe & Green Strawberries
Under the salty lumpfish row was flaked king crab meat with contrasting tart green strawberry bits.
Cold Tomato Juice, Wild Flowers & Gelled Ham
The flavor of good Spanish ham dominated this cold, frothy dish.
Smoked Cream Cheese & Verbena
There was a special beverage as part of this course: a wheat beer with an asparagus aroma. There were both white and green asparagus with the smoked cheese and verbena.
At this point we started on an excellent bottle of
2007 Chassagne-Montrachet, Les Morgeots, Leroux
Salted Mackerel, Frozen Dill & Horseradish
Good mackerel, well garnished.
Grains & Onion in Two Servings
A wheat bouquet was put on the table to announce this course. The butter was studded with ramps. The delicious warm bread was made with spelt and topped with oats. There was a variety of onions with different preparations served with a Swedish cheese. Excellent.
Lightly Smoked Peas
Green Pea Juice
Fresh, seasonal and good.
“Soup made from New Potatoes”
The new potato flavor came through nicely in the soup. The crispy potato threads provided a needed textural contrast with the same flavor. Nice.
We started drinking 2009 Meursault, Philip Pacalet
As you would expect, the Meursault had a bit more earthiness and substance than the more elegant Chassagne-Montrachet.
Chanterelle & Gooseberries
More good seasonal vegetables, but the gooseberries didn’t go well with them.
Sprouts of Cabbage Stalk
Langoustines & Rhubarb
It was surprising to see a good, fresh langoustine covered with sauce, but it was frothy with a light rhubarb flavor which went well with the sweeter langoustine.
A teapot was put on the table with a broth made from specially cured lamb breast bacon. A piece of the bacon was shown to us. The broth was poured under the pretty assortment of herbs and edible flowers. They had different flavors and levels of bitterness which were enhanced by the broth. It was too bad to have such a subtle dish so far into the meal, but it was necessary as it began the wine transition.
Stuffed Chicken with Burned Branches
Juniper & Morels
With the chicken we were served a glass of 2009 La Combe, Bernard van Berg, Red Meursault
Ice made from Carrot Juice
Chervil Stalks & Preserved Elderflower
“Synthetic strawberries”, rosehips and yoghurt
Wood Sorrel & Sweet Woodroof
With the desserts we were served
2009 Riesling Auslese Von der Lay, Trossen, Mosel
This auslese was elegant and just sweet enough. Excellent.
Milk in Mysterious Ways
Variations of textures and flavors in five milk-based creations. Interesting.
Grain Coffee & Cloudberries
This refers back to WWII, when chicory and rye grain was used as a coffee substitute. Their chips were served with a cloudberry mousse.
Caramel & Pine
They had a surprisingly strong flavor.
After the meal we had a tour of the kitchens and the private dining room.
Our meal was superb with many successful creative touches. We were at Geranium for over five hours, but the pace did not seem too slow. There was always something interesting to discuss with Trine or with Rasmus or Søren when they served our dishes. I am sorry I don’t remember many of the extraordinary details, many of which you can begin to appreciate in the photos; I was somewhat delayed in writing this.