Alain Milliat “Rose”
Egg, New Potatoes, Truffle, Asparagus, Bread Crumb
Apple, Lemon Verbena
Asparagus, Smoked Cream, Avocado, Duck, Prune
Yogurt-Oat Bread, Dark Beer Spelt Bread, Unsalted Buttermilk Butter, Salted Cow’s Milk Butter
Watercress Ice Cream, Parsley, Green Strawberry, Gazpacho
Oscietra Unika “En Surprise” – Asparagus Gel, Razor Clams, Horseradish Crisps
Gillardeau Oyster, Caviar Søllerød Selected, Vermouth, Butter
Scallop, Ginger, Green Asparagus, Seasonal Flowers, Horseradish “Snow”
Black Lobster, Cabbage, Red Curry, Thai Basil
Foie Gras au Torchon, Kumquat, Cocoa
Turbot, Ramson, Black Garlic, Edamame, Broad Beans
Venison, Truffle, Aromatic Pepper, Purple Asparagus, Cabbage
Lemon-Ginger Tea, Lemonbalm-Thyme Macaron
Cherry, Woodruff, Almond
Pancake, Almond, Amaretto
Mango, White Chocolate
Lemon, Lavender Honey, Meringue
Located approximately thirty minutes outside of Copenhagen by car, an additional forty for those using a combination of Public Transportation and foot, Søllerød Kro is said by many to be one of Scandinavia’s very best Restaurants, the “White Guide” recently awarding it a top 5 position behind the likes of Michelin 3* Geranium and Maaemo in Oslo.
Described as “French Cuisine” using local ingredients, though recent reports of Chef Brian Mark Hansen’s cooking suggest an increasing element of New Nordic influence, Søllerød Kro is located inside of a 1677 Inn in the middle of a forest, the walk from the bus stop a pleasant one that takes no more than 15 minutes at a steady pace, though most guests during this particular meal appeared to be nearby locals or folks who made the drive from Copenhagen.
Awarded one Michelin Star since 2007 but with a lengthy history, part of that being a Sunday lunch tradition of opening up the space to families and kids of all ages, it was just prior to 11:45am that the first guests arrived at the lengthy white building in Holte, the early moments everything that fine dining should be with “Yes Sir and Yes Ma’am” aplenty and Champagne flowing, though what followed would probably be best described as a few steps above dining at one of the McDonald’s locations with an indoor playground.
For many a special event sort of Restaurant, the menu divided into a bargain Lunch and two Tasting menus, the Søllerød Signatur and Søllerød Inspiration at DKK1795 and 875, respectively, it seemed only appropriate as a first time visitor to place trust in the items on which the restaurant established itself, a Wine list said to be one of the best in all of Europe passed on in favor of one of Alain Milliat’s new Nectars, the pasteurized Cabernet Grape expressive and brisk in a way that pairs well with everything, though obviously a bit sweeter and less complex than serious oenophiles would appreciate.
Listed as an eight course menu, but in reality double that when accounting for several canapés, amuses, palate cleansers and mignardises along the way, it was just before the restaurant started to fill that things got started, a plastic ‘egg’ filled with boiled Potatoes, Summer Truffles and Bread Crumbs rich and creamy while the Asparagus in smoked Cream was a lot like that at AOC the night before, the small morsel of cured Duck around Prune a tasty balance of sweet and salty while the Apple compressed in Lemon Verbena was a refreshing single bite to refresh the palate for flavors to arrive next.
Offering what would turn out to be one of Denmark’s best Bread services at a pace best defined as brisk, a new Roll of either type delivered warm just as soon as the last bite of its predecessor was gone, it was with anything but a French classic that an amuse arrived featuring Watercress Ice Cream and immature Strawberries in a cold soup flavored with Parsley, the “Oscietra Unika En Surprise” that followed described as a Søllerød Kro ‘signature’ but in reality quite similar to something anyone who has dined at Joel Robuchon has experienced with a thin layer of sustainable Caviar stacked on Asparagus Gel and diced Razor Clams alongside a Horseradish Crisp.
Following up Caviar with more Caviar, the grilled Oyster topped in salty black Eggs specially produced for the Restaurant seemingly an odd decision to reuse a flavor profile so early on, course three was unfortunately a case of unnecessary ‘modernism’ creeping into the dining room, the nitrogen frozen Horseradish liberally added to a disc of Scallops topped in both Ginger and Grapefuit presenting a flavor so bitter and cutting that Hansen may as well have been serving Ground Chuck beneath it because no one would have noticed the difference.
Returning all but one bite of the dish to the kitchen, not one question or mention of it from the staff aside from “all finished?,” it was finally here that flavors got more interesting, the Lobster Tail served beneath softened Cabbage and Curry Foam infused with Thai Basil fairly spicy by Danish standards and yet another case of Chef Robuchon’s influence while the Foie Gras Torchon was a pleasant yet standard preparation putting the creamy quarter-hockey puck beneath Kumquat Jam and Dark Chocolate Crisps.
Clearly a restaurant dependent on using luxury ingredients to wow guests, a bronzed ounce of Turbot seared with Bear’s Garlic served next to a gelatin layer of Black Garlic atop Broad Beans coming next, savories finished with a slightly overcooked Loin of wild-shot Deer marinated in Black Pepper Reduction, the flavorless Summer Truffles served as a shredded cloud atop Cabbage more interesting as a texture than a taste beneath foamy Hollandaise.
Cleansing the palate with a warm cup of Lemon-Ginger Tea and a Macaron of complimentary flavor, a harmless little duo that arrived around 14h30 as several Danish children had long since been chasing up and down the aisles unrestrained by oblivious parents, Dessert one again took a post-noma turn by presenting halved-Cherries atop an Almond Caked next to a quenelle of fresh Woodruff Ice Cream, 2/3 of the Mignardises again featuring ingredients served no more than two courses prior while the Mango Popsicle intended to be dipped in White Chocolate was a fairly clumsy presentation that really did not seem to fit the meal’s concept.