Relæ* – Copenhagen
Chef: Christian Puglisi
If you plan a Copenhagen food trip including most probably award winning restaurants Noma & Geranium, a visit or start in restaurant Relæ is an advisable step! The concept is quite similar to the gastro-bistros which have been opened successfully in Paris in the last years. Insiders promoted Relæ even better than Le Chateaubriand.
The talented chef Christian Puglisi was born in Italy but raised in Copenhagen. He gained experience in Le Taillevent, El Bulli and off course was 2.5years sous chef in Noma. Together with the world wide experience of Kim Rossen, maitre and sommelier (also Noma) he opened this fine dining brasserie in the Nørrebro area.
As stated by the 2 food passionates, the focus is on gastronomy and everything considered a waste of time and energy is cut off. Great cuisine in a cool ambiance, funky design, a dynamic but casual atmosphere & really fun ambiance! The interior is stylish but basic with plain wooden tables and chairs. At the right of the tables you will find a drawer with inside your menu, napkin and tableware for the evening. At the entrance of the restaurant you have a bar with partly open kitchen and high bar seats were also several guests can eat.
Concept wise very right also Relæ serves one fix menu, 4 courses for 345kr (45€), but in addition you can also choose the very attractive 4-course vegetable menu. A great value for money in a creative interesting cuisine! When reading a lot of negative Tripadvisor comments you can see that many visitors have been mislead by the gastronomical message, you have to like this funky Bistronomie concept and be open minded. Otherwise better go to a classical restaurant. This is not a Alain Ducasse or Pierre Gagnaire place, don’t go there for good acoustic ambiance, no tie in this place, no gourmet fine dining but young and experimental food fun.
As our dining friends from the Belgian restaurant Escabèche were announced in Relæ, the chef Christian Puglisi came to present us that he would like to serve a walk through both menus as also the vegetarian one is great. The amuse was straight away a top tasting moment: Jerusalem artichokes baked & finished with lemon balm spread, just perfect.
1) Mussels, seaweed & allumettes. Personally is like this dish but other friends that did not like mussels could not get any alternative although announced at order taking. The food was accompanied with a great glass of Guy Bossard Muscadet sur lie Expression d’Orthogneiss 2009. Nice mineral touch, perfect with the mussels.
2) Pickled kohlrabi, apple granité and watercress crème. A glass of chardonnay ‘bouchat’ -Mâcon-Guy Blanchard 2009 gave nice apple hints.
3) Baked carrots, rapeseeds and Chenin blanc. I really loved the intense taste of the carrot and the sauce chenin blanc was just perfect. For this dish again a very special and not typical one. From the Loire we were served ‘sauvageonne’ les griottes, anjou. This wine had the acidity and fruit to balance the sweetness of the carrot. Great food pairing.
4) Kale, walnuts and salted pear. It looks like a very basic dish but this was really my topper of the evening. Taste and texture outstanding, nicely crispy and great flavors! This dish was served with a glass of ‘savagnin pressé, Etienne Thiebaud, Côtes du Jura.
5) Veal tongue, grilled sauce and anchovy. It was served with salsify and very lovely, the veal tongue almost melted in the mouth. The veal was served with a biological white wine from Roussillon, 2009 Isadora ‘jolly ferriol’. This atypical French wine is made from 100% macabeo grape and gave in the nose very ripe yellow fruit with toasted almonds, perfect with the grilled sauce.
6) Cheese havgus. The shavings of the havgus cheese can be compared with a aged comté cheese and where flavored with olive oil and buckwheat seeds. The white 2006 cuvée de garde, ganevat assemblage from the Jura made also this course purely and outstanding.
7) Mandarin, buttermilk and egg yolk. Is the chef crazy serving raw egg yolk as a desert? Well great creativity and yes it was delicious.
During the evening we were extremely well hosted and served, way too much wine and the Michelin Bib gourmand received last year is a well deserved award. We had really fun amongst friends in a great setting. Cool atmosphere and innovative dishes full of crazy creativity. This place is a little too loud but the wine choices increased my personal score. I would definitely recommend Relæ if you like to be surprised. The two “Food Passionates” also opened last year a second hotspot just across the street “Manfred’s”, a wine-bar and take out restaurants where you can also taste several creative tapas dishes.Relæ Jaegersborggade 41, 2200 Copenhagen, DK TEl: +45 36.96.66.09 http://restaurant-relae.dk Sunday & Monday, Tuesday closed Be-Gusto score: 16/20