I have to admit that I am a friend of classical tastes and strong flavours. Still, I have to accept the fact that my evening at Restaurant Relæ a couple of weeks ago was nothing but wonderful. It was as challenging and frustrating as I had expected on beforehand, but what to expect from a Sicilian-born chef with at background from Noma (sous-chef) and El Bulli (season of 2006) that decided to open his restaurant(s) on Jægersborggade, the coolest street in the super-hyped culinary city of Copenhagen?
I doubt one can find many restaurants in this part of the world, if none, being as simple yet creative and innovative as Christian Puglisi´s Relæ. The restaurant is as informal and relaxed as the people working here and most of the dishes (and wines) I had this evening were surprisingly good. The plates never consist of more than 3-4 components using very non-luxurious ingredients of high quality. The serving of turnip, chervil and horseradish was one of my favourites this evening, as well as the smoked beets with pickled elderflower.
Some of Puglisi’s creations were more daring than delicious but I guess this is a fact that you will have to accept if you come here. For example, a serving of cucumber with fermented cucumber juice did nothing to satisfy my palate.
My experience with natural wines has not been easy but I was happy to be in the hands of Kim Rossen (partner and co-founder) this evening, whose wine pairings were very clever yet challenging. Like the Commendatore ’11 from Octavin, Jura – absolutely undrinkable on its own, but beautifully paired with a dish of carrots, beef and söl.
Make sure you get a seat in the open kitchen counter, come here with an open mind, and hopefully you will experience an evening as wonderful as mine.
Adress: Jægersborggade 41, DK-2200 Copenhagen N
Phone: (+45) 3696 6609