Tell anyone you are going to Copenhagen and invariably they will mention the restaurant Noma. With its status near the top of all restaurants in the world, Noma represents the best of what to expect in the Danish capital. Good luck getting a reservation.
The interesting thing about Copenhagen, which is admittedly a little unexpected, is that the food in Copenhagen all around is pretty spectacular. On a recent trip a friend and I had an incredible lunch at Geist which helped to further confirm the city’s status as one of the most enjoyable cities in Europe.
The restaurant sits overlooking a beautiful square (Kongens Nytorv) in the heart of Copenhagen, and it is perfectly set away from the tourist crowds down the road. The menu is arranged as a series of small plates that are centered around fresh ingredients. Not knowing much about the restaurant going-in, when we looked at the menu for the first time it didn’t make all that much sense. That wasn’t a huge problem, we were in for an experience, so we just started ordering small plates just to go for it and see what we will get. Our server advised that we probably ordered too much, but since we were such a long way from home and unlikely to be back soon, we figured “what the hell” and tried as much as we could in our short visit.
Every dish that came out of the kitchen was better than the last. Lobster took a shape I have never seen before (the purple plate seen below), so did potatoes and everything else. It was all inventive and everything tasted delicious. The meal turned out to be one of my favorites in 2013. And I’m not just saying that because it was enjoyed in a far off place.
The simple yet complex nature of the food in Denmark never ceases to amaze and inspire me. Every time I visit Copenhagen I like the city more and more. And after this trip I came back to New York telling people that the city is by far my favorite in Europe, and I stand by that statement. The people are great, the food is fantastic, it’s relaxed, easy to get around, not too crowded, there’s good culture and it is easy to communicate with the locals. Everything you want and nothing that you don’t.
As a New Yorker you get spoiled by all of the culture and good food that you live with everyday. When you go to Copenhagen and eat at Geist, everything flies out the window and you start to think your life in New York may not be so charmed. That’s why the perspective which traveling provides is so important to living a happy life. Not to mention those long lunches at Geist — they can help too.