2020 seemed to become a year full of exiting trips, but due to a Chinese virus, it did not end up that way. I have felt so sorry for all the suffering restaurants around the world and it has been devastating to see so many great establishments close down for good due to Covid-19. I wish you all the best – hopefully, you will all be able to rise and shine when this pandemic is over.
I did manage to travel a little bit to countries like Russia, Norway and Germany before and during these crazy times, and in all of these countries, I experienced world-class cooking worth mentioning in this article. Apart from that, my dining experiences have taken place in Denmark, which – as you know – is not the worst place in the world to get stuck when it comes to dining well. I hope you’ll enjoy the list and continue to support your favourite restaurants in 2021. Note: The dishes are presented in a random order.
Cod a la Rossini – perfectly cooked local cod served in an intense Madeira and truffle sauce and topped with frozen foie gras. Falsled Kro, Funen, Denmark.
Mille feuille of fried celeriac served with celeriac purée and white truffles. Relæ, Copenhagen, Denmark. Sorry to se this Copenhagen institution close down for good.
What cooking is all about: World-class produce exposed to proper craftsmanship. Monster size langoustine served with black currant leaf sauce at Maaemo, Oslo, Norway. The best langoustine serving I’ve ever come across.
One of the best bread servings, I’ve ever had. Perfect brioche dipped in lamb fat and lavender sirup. So good, that I had to order another serving. The new Maaemo is on fire. Maeemo, Oslo, Norway.
Terrible picture, splendid dish. Spaghetti in a creamy butter and anchovy sauce topped with caviar. Comfort food deluxe. Barabba, Copenhagen, Denmark.
This dish instantly made me smile and almost laugh due to the happiness that it created in my brain. Lobster, white asparagus mousse, grapefruit jelly and a rich, buttery sauce with lemon oil. Jordnær**, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Read more: Review of Jordnær
Is that even legal?! Takoyaki (or æbleskive in Danish) filled with langoustine and topped with caviar and truffle. Elegant hedonism when it’s best. I could have made an entire list only with Jordnær dishes. This restaurant is seriously on fire. Jordnær**, Copenhagen, Denmark.
German Peter Knogl is famous for his sauce skills. After having tried his sauce beurre blanc in Basel, I understand why. This perfectly rich and acidic sauce paired so well with the gently cooked lobster. Classic cooking at its finest. Cheval Blanc***, Basel, Switzerland.
I have been following Brace in Copenhagen since the beginning and it is been wonderful to see Nicola Fanetti and his team steadily develop the cuisine at this Nordic Italian restaurant to a level that without any doubt deserves a Michelin star. This risotto with pine shoot pesto and black truffles (from their own import) was absolutely marvelous. Brace, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Read more: Brace continues to improve their cuisine
Dehydrated celeriac served with a pine shoot infused sauce nage and caviar. Brian Mark Hansen is going crazy with vegetables at the moment. Søllerød Kro*, Holte, Copenhagen.
Read more: A tribute to Søllerød Kro
Trout, white asparagus sauce and caviar. Soft, creamy and utterly delicious. Renaa**, Stavanger, Norway.
This is one of the most intense appetizers I’ve ever had. Vol-au-vent filled with heavily reduced lobster stock, fresh lobster, caviar and sauce americaine with plenty of piment d’espelette. I adore head chef Alan Bates’ cooking. So down to earth yet so refined. Studio, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Read more: Splendid cooking and top notch wine pairing at Studio
During the lockdown in Denmark. the people behind Geranium in Copenhagen decided to open Angelika, a vegan, family-style restaurant, still with the attention to detail that Rasmus Kofoed is famous for. These tiny potatoes served with a purée of potatoes and leeks as well as olives and salted lemons were divine. Angelika, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Read more: My review of Angelika for Gastromand.dk
Japanese wagyu, caramelised onion purée and caviar. I was amazed by the level of the omakase menu served at Fusion in Aalborg, Denmark. One of this year’s biggest surprises for me.
Just before Denmark closed down, I managed to travel to the Mosel wine region in Germany to visit Christian Bau at his three Michelin star restaurant. These asparagus from Provence served with yuzu confit, sumak and miso hollandaise took asparagus to a new level. Victor’s Fine Dining***, Perl-Nennig, Germany.
We stay in the Mosel region, where I also got to visit the other three star restaurant in the area, Waldhotel Sonnora. Here, I had this amazing “layer cake” with pommes rösti, tartar of beef, creme fraiche and caviar. Old school luxury par excellence! Waldhotel Sonnora***, Dreis, Germany.
Stunning codfish served with mussels and ice plant. The quality of the cod was second to none. Twins Garden, Moscow, Russia.
Another Aalborg restaurant has made it to this list with this humble yet stunning serving of new potatoes and white asparagus in a buttery sauce mixed with fermented garlic liquid. Tabu, Aalborg, Denmark.
This summer salad with strawberries, tomatoes and herbs at Noma was an absolutely mesmerizing dish. So fresh and complex. Noma (summer season), Copenhagen, Denmark.
Sheep milk mousse surrounded by berries and pickled pine cone – a beautiful and delicious dessert. Noma (game season), Copenhagen, Denmark.
That’s it for 2020. Denmark is experiencing its second lockdown in several bigger cities this year, thus I will not be visiting more restaurants in 2020. Let’s all hope that 2021 will turn into something much better. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!