Black Truffle Gougeres, Summer Truffle Shavings
Seed Bread, House Danish Butter
Grilled Duck Liver, Apricot, Raspberries, Sichuan Pepper, Sauce Gastrique
Rosa Fried Pigeon, Confit Leg and Heart, Beets, Cherries, Rhubarb
Peaches Baked in Puff Pastry, Roses, Grape, Calvados Ice Cream
Baked Alaska Flambe, Rum, Lemon Sorbet, Licorice Ice Cream
With most of Copenhagen’s top tables closed on Sunday evening it was largely a case of limited possibilities that led to a reservation at Marchal Restaurant, though as luck would have it the decision also came with the backing of friends who’d recently stayed at d’Angleterre and dined there during their honeymoon.
Opened in 2013 and carrying a Michelin Star from the start, Chef Andreas Bagh’s menu largely modern French in a grand room befitting the stature of one of Copenhagen’s most prestigious hotels, diners arriving at Marchal will immediately be struck by the luxe confines featuring thick drapes, white tablecloths and polished stone beyond a bar clearly targeting the well-heeled, a strictly a la carte menu divided into Appetizers, Signatures and Desserts priced as high as one might expect given the environment.
Charging upwards of $1,500.00USD for a room at the property established in 1755, not exactly the sort of place a typical tourist stays or even ventures to enter, it is after greetings at a podium up front that diners are led to their choice of tables, the large window overlooking a walkway unfortunately under construction still good for people watching, though a pair of rich Americans flaunting their “Upper East Side Manhattan” address and making requests for a “big Salad” and several bizarre dietary restrictions immediately made one aware of the sort of entitled behavior staff here regularly has to deal with.
Doing best to ignore other diners, though the relative quiet of Marchal does make that somewhat difficult at times, it was with service from an English fluent young Captain that the meal got underway after asking a few questions as relates to portion sizes, the decision to order a single Appetizer and an entrée designed for two a good amount of food that still left room for Dessert(s) at the end.
Having wrapped their well-regarded Sunday Brunch buffet earlier, a tempting spread that another table could not stop praising as they sat down to sample Bagh’s cuisine for at least the fourth time on the trip, it was mere moments after placing an order that the meal got underway, three Gougeres filled with Black Truffle Cheese and topped with Summer Truffle shavings an elegant way to start things off with the basket of piping hot Spelt Loaves to follow another well-crafted item with the Danish Butter flecked in Sea Salt.
Fairly casual despite the elegant interior, servers showing a lot of personality to those who actually choose to interact rather than just treating them like ‘the help,’ it was not long thereafter than the kitchen sent out a sizable slice of Foie Gras perched atop Apricot with Raspberries and razor-thin slices of candied Blood Orange, the unctuousness of the Liver finding its foil in the Fruit’s sweetness while the acidity was kept in check by a Sichuan Pepper-infused pan Sauce.
Describing the Restaurant as offering “Modern Urban Food,” an odd choice of words as much of the repertoire seems to come from Nouvelle French ideas in its lack of reliance on Butter and Cream, the night’s entrée was presented and carved tableside with the sort of swiftness that indicates a well trained staff, two succulent Pigeon Breasts with a lot of smoke placed atop a bed of Cherries, Beets and Rhubarb while the Confit Legs were served on a separate plate, each inner thigh supporting one atrium and one ventricle of the hemisected Heart.
Told that the name “Marchal” references Jean Marchal, the man who originally opened the restaurant that eventually became Hotel d’Angleterre, it was on the server’s recommendation that the signature “Gold Bar” was passed up in favor of two alternative Desserts served simultaneously, the seasonal Peaches baked in Puff Pastry with a hint of Rose and Calvados Ice Cream very much like an American Cobbler while the Baked Alaska given a tableside treatment with flaming Rum took a distinctly Danish spin on things by pairing the toasty Meringue with aromatic Licorice Ice Cream and refreshing Lemon Sorbet.