As I mentioned in my bio, I tend to talk more about food than anything else when I come back from a trip, even if I was astonished with what I have seen...For me, traveling is a whole experience: I will not go to, let say for argument sake, Italy and eat French food or a burger! I will want to eat some local food. Traveling everywhere is a nice wish, if not a dream. But eating different cuisines is not, especially in New York City, where there are so many restaurants that serve food I would have never tried before. For instance, you do not need to go to Ethiopia to eat Ethiopian food! Well, now, you do not have to go to Denmark to try Danish food! We wanted to try Danish food because Jodi has a friend, a fellow artist named Anne (you can check Anne's website here), who lives in Denmark and we were curious about the Danish cuisine. Anne mentioned Aamanns-Coppenhagen in Tribeca; so here we are!
I have to say that I did not know what to expect from that place. This place has a spectacular setting: the ceilings are very, very high and they have an incredible bar with a shelf that goes so high that I doubt anybody would try to get the bottle on top! The furniture is modern and looks a bit like the furniture you would find at Ikea in term of style (well maybe a Scandinavian style?). What I truly appreciated there is the fact that there was space between tables (great, I did not have to hear the conversation of the other guests)!
After we sat, they brought us a bottle of water that had a black stick in it.
At first, I thought it was some sort of licorice to give a taste to the water, but there was no specific taste. So we asked the waitress and she told us that it was Japanese charcoal, used to purify water. I am glad that I did not try to take a bite of it!
Of course, waiting for the food, I ordered a glass of Aquavit, a snaps distilled from grains or, in Denmark, from potatoes.
Aamanns serves different flavors. I ordered cranberry, but as they were out of it, I ended up with a lemon aquavit. This was good, but strong (it contains approx. 40% alcohol).
Concerning the food, what I really like about that place, is that they offer a tasting menu for $46 called Taste of Copenhagen ($34 for lunch). As we wanted to try different dishes on the menu, this is what we ordered!
The first dishes were Smørrebrød:
A Smørrebrød is an open faced sandwich. When we asked the waitress what it meant, she said that Smør is butter and brød is bread. It makes sense! So, we had 4 of them (from left to right):
- Salted brisket, horseradish cream, pear and parsley
- Kale “tartare” with endives, apples and walnuts in a creamy vinaigrette
- Roast beef sirloin with crispy onions, remoulade sauce and freshly grated horseradish
- Beet-cured hake, scallions, dill and rosemary
The bread used is rye bread, but not the typical rye bread you find here: it is denser and more like a multi grain rye bread. I really enjoyed the Smørrebrød, especially the layers of flavors. Well, in fact the only one I did not like was the Kale "tartare" one as I am not a big fan of kale...And on top of that, the rye bread is homemade!!!
Then was a Herring tasting. It was composed of:
I loved it! The first one was a little sweet, but they smartly put capers on it, that gave some saltiness to the dish. The taste of the herring was less strong than in the second one, where it really came through. I did not find the tomato compote to be spicy personally.
As Jodi does not like herring, they graciously accepted to serve her a fish cake:
This dish, called “Fiskefrikadeller” was a pan-fried fish cake served with remoulade, pickled cucumber on rye bread.
It was very good! The fish cake was not greasy and was a bit crispy. I admit that I forgot what the fish was...It was a white fish, flaky with a delicate taste, similar to cod.
Then, we got a beef tartare and a pork pâté:
The beef tartare was served with an egg emulsion, tarragon, cornichons, capers, onion rings and crispy potatoes. It was good but a bit bland. I think that the potatoes and capers were a nice addition as it gave some texture, crispiness and saltiness to the dish, that would have otherwise be boring!
The second dish on the plate was the pâté of pork served warm with parsley, aquavit, fresh hazelnuts, pickled apples, celery and watercress. I loved it! It had bold flavors that were fantastic and was rustic at the same time. It was definitely one of my favorite dishes!
Last, we finished with cheese served the Danish way with butter-fried rye bread and a sweet and spicy relish:
Although I love cheese, I was a bit disappointed because I expected some Danish cheeses. Instead, they served us Brie de Meaux and Mimolette from France and a German cheese similar to blue. I think that, as they did not serve any Danish cheeses, they should have proposed a dessert like the rye bread cake that is on their menu. The best part of this was the rye bread that was fried in butter! It was so good!!!
The meal at Aamanns-Copenhagen was delicious and the tasting, a great way to try different Danish dishes, probably a bit elevated for the restaurant, although I cannot tell you if it is like that in Denmark. The food and the atmosphere were nice, but I have to mention that the kitchen was a bit slow...
The real question after this meal is: now that I have eaten Danish food, does that make me a Viking?
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!