The next morning we did’nt not wake up full but we did wake up late. We had just enough time to get ready and then walk to our next dining destination Radio.
the Restauranteur, Claus Meyer, formerly of Noma has a good thing going here. He has put the chef duo Jesper Kirketerp and Rasmus Kliim at the helm. These chefs not only no how to cook and experiment in the kitchen but they also know how to source there own food…all of which, besides the proteins, come from their own field on the island of Lilleø. The design on the restaurant was right up my alley! I would love to take that look home! The warm reclaimed wood flooring on the walls gave texture to the otherwise beautifully minimal, high contrast space of light washed wood and sleek black. This is a perfect example of why I am so obsessed with Scandinavian style! It is so wonderfully thoughtful and balanced. The food was delicious and a few of the dishes were on par with Geranium. The bread was perfect: crispy on the outside and warm soft and airy on the inside. There was a tasting menu but it seemed a little too much, we wanted to save our appetite for Noma, so we decided to split the tasting menu between us. ( I wish more places did this in NYC!)
Løg/ korn/ dild/ fløde (onion/corn/dill/cream)
Torsk / kartoffel / sort oliven / brøndkarse cod/potato/black olive/watercress
Sødamgaard kylling/kål/høost/persille Sødamgaard chicken/cabbage/høost/parsley
Un pasteurized cheeses
The cheeses in Denmark are incredible. I was not aware of their quality and flavor until our exposure to them the night before in Geranium. We fell in love with the Hay Cheese, so whenever we had the opportunity to try more, we took it. We loved the cheese so much that we bought some to bring back to the states. If anyone knows where we can buy it in NYC please let us send us the details.
Sød rødbede / mælkeis / karamel / malt Beetroots cured in cinnamon, over malt. and caramel ice cream
This Dessert reminded Jose and I a lot of dessert that Joel from Community table would make. The dessert looked like one thing but then tasted like something slightly different. It strangely reminded me of eating an ice cream in a cone. The malt had a similar flavor and texture. RADIO Julius Thomsens Gade 12; 1632 Copenhagen V by Rosenørns Allé
We were exhausted from all our walking around in the freezing cold and windy weather, but not exhausted enough to call it a night…It was Noma night! Arriving at Noma is a surreal experience. We opened the door and immediately were enveloped by the friendly staff. It reminded me of entering a traditional Japanese restaurant in the city where everyone stops to greet you as you come and go, only this time it was Chef Rene himself along with Noma’s star chefs from around the world. We were taken to our table, one of the nicest seats in the house ( in our opinion). Once seated it wasn’t long till the food started streaming out. The wonderful thing about Noma that we have not seen at any other place is that the chefs that cook the various dishes come out to serve and explain the food to the guests. This leads to a unique opportunity to meet and get the story behind each of the chefs and where they come from. One of these talented chefs was a handsome man from brooklyn (park slope). He previously worked at Per Se before going to Noma three years ago. He had to be one of the nicest guys we have met on our trip. Really everyone there was incredibly nice.
The interior of Noma is Rustic yet elegant. One can tell that the building has some serious history given its look, location. Matt told us that the building was originally used to hold whale fat. He mentioned that if there was ever a major kitchen fire he wouldn’t be surprised if the whole building went up in a matter of seconds. (thankfully he told us this after dinner)
Moss and cep.
Fried reindeer moss with Cep (“The Cep, Boletus edulis, (also known as Porcini, king bolete or Penny Bun) is a an edible basidiomycete mushroom that’s a member of the Boletaceae (Bolete) family of mushrooms. It is a native of Europe and North America and is Europe’s second most sought-after fungus (after truffles)”). To compliment the Moss and Cep was and a creme fraiche dipping sauce. This little snack was unusual to say the least. We were told that this moss is what grows during the dead of winter in Denmark,and is sustenance for the Reindeer population. The dried moss had an earthy flavor which neither of us have ever tried. I don’t believe it’s possible to forget this dish. This seems to be the snack that everyone is most curious about when we tell them our Noma story. The common response is …”You ate what?”
Crispy pork skin and black currant
Imagine if you will, a fruit roll up getting it on with a chicharrones (Spanish fried pig skin) got it in your head and in your taste buds? This is the best way to explain this snack. It was playful in its technique and presentation and the tangy fruit roll up type flavor was fantastically bizarre with the pork skin.
Cookies and cheese, rockets and stems
I love the presentation of this dish. This cookie tin reminded me of where my grandmother would hide her secret stash of her homemade unhealthy and decadent cookies. Not so secret once I knew what to look for. Hmmm where are those tins now… I must ask around.
Blue mussels and celery
The craft at Noma is not only it found in the creative progressive food but also in the variety and beauty of the vessels used to serve them. This plate was just gorgeous and must have taken a long time to craft and prepare in the kitchen. (Not to mention Maine again…but this snack reminded me of our summers collecting mussels on the rocks before dinner.) There was one edible mussel on the plate This Mussel was a bit different due to its eatable shell. I’ve seen this in some Spanish restaurants, where squid ink is used to color the mussel mix as if it was the shell. I don’t have to mention that this tasted like if I was eating the sea. Just amazing.
Caramelized milk and cod liver
Rye, chicken skin and peas
Potato and chicken liver
Pickled and smoked quails eggs
Radish, soil and grass
Ever eaten soil…not as a dare? Didn’t think so. This particular dish made me feel a bit like a rabbit or an experimental kid. In order to eat the dish one must pick up the tiny vegetables “growing” in a malt soil and then dip it (soil and all) into a creamy herb sheep milk dipping sauce. We had a lot of fun with this snack.
Herb toast and smoked cod roe
Æbleskiver and muikku
We had seen pictures of this snack everywhere. We also had the opportunity to try the little donuts during the Nordic event in Union square. So you can imagine how excited we were when this silly but intriguing snack came out. It was as wonderful as we thought it would be. Without a doubt one of our favs!!
Squid and unripe sloe berry. White currant and pine.
Sea Urchin and cream. Dill and cucumber.
Limfjords oyster and sea weed. Gooseberry and buttermilk
Chestnut and lojrom. Walnuts and rye
Jose and I were in agreement that this was one of our favorite dishes. It was rich, crunchy and the flavors were unlike anything we have tried. **We recently had a dish similar to this in Williamsburg at Frej. If you can’t make it to Noma this is the next best thing.
Pike perch and cabbages. Verbena and dill
Celeriac and truffle
Pickled vegetables and bone marrow Browned butter and parsley
Our third favorite main dish of the night! A classic at NOMA.
Once the previous course was done this mysterious ancient looking knife with sheath was given to each of us. Jose desperately wanted to ask if he could buy it from the restaurant. Anyone know where we can buy something similar? It would be a great bday present for Mr. Moran.
Wild Duck and beets Beech and malt
Gammel Dansk Cucumber, white chocolate, celery
Gammel Dansk is a bitters liquor and was originally created to become a competitor on the Danish market to other bitters such as Underberg and Fernet Branca. It is matured with 29 types of herbs, spices and even flowers, making it similar to other stomach bitters, such as Peychaud’s Bitters or Jägermeister – though it has gained no mainstream popularity, as last mentioned. These herbs and spices include angelica, star anise, nutmeg, anise, ginger, laurel, gentian, Seville orange and cinnamon, and several others. The complete recipe is kept secret. This dish was our second favorite of the night. The combination was amazing! (very similar to the cucumber white chocolate dish from Geranium. )
Carrot and sea buckthorn.
The carrots foam, with the dill and sun dried tomatoes made a very interesting combination for a sweet dessert. Another beautifully plated dish! While pretty to look at this was probably my least favorite of the night.
Petite fours: Toffee inside bone marrow.
The toffee flavor was infused by the smokiness of the bone marrow. Just great! Jose fell in love!
We didn’t think things could get much more exciting after dessert….but they did! Matt, Rene’s Right hand man, invited us back for a kitchen tour. On the tour Matt explained to us the organization of the kitchen, which seemed strangely simple given its complex and chaotic structure. Next onto the Snack Station, I wish this was renamed the “Gift Shop” cause I would bring out my wallet and take one of each home with me. Matt took us outside where he showed us where the composed rock plates for the oyster dish are kept nice and cold! It was great talking to Matt! We asked many questions given his Brooklyn knowledge…Like where will you go eat when you come back to visit. Matt’s response was Franny’s and Stone barn. We are hoping to score a reservation at Per se when he is the guest chef in April, lets see. I had a hard time sitting down and writing about Noma. What can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said. It is a very special place. One special enough to fly across the world for one weekend. I highly recommend anyone who loves food and being challenged by the notion of what food is, to make that reservation…yes waking up at 3am on the first Sunday of the month is worth it. Set that alarm. Do it!