A unique evening at Noma

Dinner, Wednesday May 21, 2008

Together with Trine, we decided as for our meal at Pierre Gagnaire and as we shared this Noma dinner together to post our reviews simulteanously. You can read her review here !

Let’s go back a few months in the past…

May 21 of this year : Guillaume and I are flying to Copenhagen for a 24 hours trip and 3 meals scheduled thanks to Trine. We had a great lunch with her just after our arrival at Geranium. For Guillaume and I, scheduling 2 meals in a day is not too difficult to manage, we were used to move from meal to meal after our trip in Bordeaux earlier in the month. But for Trine… question was is she would enjoy this day like us ?

We left Geranium around 5 pm (if I remember well…) and 2 hours later, we were on the road to Noma. Trine was of course there again, joined by Klaus her husband.

And dear readers, dear foodies, let me tell you that it was an incredible evening. An amazing dinner and an unforgettable evening. Many weeks later, i was still thrilled by this dinner at Noma.

It was my second visit there (1st one for Guillaume), my first one being simply one of my best meal ever.

So, after this great lunch at Geranium, we were ready, quite fresh enough (must reveal that Guillaume enjoyed a little nap in between), even hungry and excited more than ever to have this dinner at Noma. The location is so unique, as is the atmosphere and service, that i couldn’t wait to be there again.

This time, the sun was still shining and lightening the dining room with sweet and amber rays. Our table is set in the middle of the room (as for my first visit) and i’m taking the same seat…which is commented by Lau saying « welcome back… oh, you were seating there the first time right ? »… like i said.. unique.

And, cherry on the cake, at the table next to ours was sitting Heston Blummenthal himself (chef of the Fat Duck), the guy who gave me my best meal ever… until now. For us (Trine, Guillaume, myself), meeting Heston was really something unique. Some football fans are hoping to meet one day Zidane or Cristiano Ronaldo, movies fan have their secret hope to meet Angelina or Brad (i would go for the first mentioned :o), for us, it is about Heston Blummenthal, Pierre Gagnaire or Michel Bras.

But we succeeded to stay focused on our own meal and started to enjoy the evening…

Guillaume is immediately impressed by the atmosphere : woods, candles, furs, it is typical and nordic, but elegant and relaxed, and really charming when you look to the small harbour in front of the restaurant where boats are covered by the last sunrays. A few seconds later Rene Redzepi (noma chef) is joining our table, welcoming us and announcing that he has set up a specific menu for us… which was of course fine and we decided to go for the wine pairing menu as well.

At this very precise moment, when menus and wines are ordered, when you are installed and watching the people around, you are just enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, realizing how lucky you are to be able to live such ephemere moments.

Then started the menu with some first appetizers and a glass of champagne :

NV. Marguet Père e& Fils, Brut Rosé

Snack of Smoked and pickled quails egg

Bread crunch with herb cream, herb emulsion and vinegar dust

Lumpfish roes with cream and pressed by rye bread and chicken skin

Organic radishes

 

I’ll not go in too much details on each dish as i didn’t take notes during the meal and will not be able to be very accurate and detailed so many months later, so i’ll only focus on the dishes that highlighted the meal to me.

Razor clams and horseradish « snow », parsley and dill

Chablis 1er Cru Fourchaume, Domaine Fèvre, Bourgogne, 2001

The most orginal dish maybe : very soft tastes, fresh of course, very delicate, requiring some concentration to really appareciate the flavours. I loved it, but it took me some time to realize it.

Tartar and wood sorrel, creamed tarragon and juniper

Riesling Kabinett Seibach-Oster, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, 2004

This dish is now a classic of course. You eat the whole dish with fingers, in a delicate way obviously. It was fantastic the first time I ate it, it was fantastic the second one as well.

Fresh cheez and shoots of Axel berries, pine tree shoots and white asparagus

Riesling Kabinett Seibach-Oster, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, 2004

Langoustines and « sol », oysters and rye

Riesling « Steinmassl, Loimer, Kamptal, 2006

A wonderful preparation is offered here. The langoustines are of a superb quality, and were providing unforgettable tastes. A unique dish.

King crab and mussel stock, ashes and leek

Pinot Gris « Brandhof », Gresser, Alsace, 2006

Another classic dish for another great souvenir. I almost can’t get enough of this one. Wonderful again…

Onions from Loeso and chick weed, onion bouillon and thyme oil

Viré-Clessé, Denis Jeandeau, Bourgogne, 2006

This one was probably the most discussed one : the onion flavour is everywhere, and sometimes strong or let’s say very present, maybe too much at the beginning. But after some bites, you discover new flavours, some subtile touch of thyme. I loved it (i think i was the only one but not sure).

Turbot and water cresss, « Kodrivere » and ramsonion

Savennières « Les Genêts », Domaine Laureau, Loire, 2004

Salsify and milk skin, rape seed oil and truffle from Gotland

NV Le Mesnil sur Oger « Blanc de blancs », Pascal Doquet, Champagne

This was for me, beside the classic dishes, the best dish of the menu. For 2 reasons : the dish itself is a wonderful piece of art : never had such truffle taste so concentrated, not strong, but so pure. The sweeteness of the salsifis and milk offers a fantastic combination. And the second reason is about the wine. For the second time in the same day, we have a champagne paired with a dish in the middle of menu. And again, as we experienced it at Geranium a few hours before (sounds weird to say that… i agree), we were totally convinced and enjoyed a lovely wine pairing with this Blanc de Blancs on one of the most fantastic dish of the year to me.

Sweetbreads and seaweed, stems of vegetables and red currant wine

Riesling Spatlese « Wallufer Walkenberg », J.B. Becker, Rheingau, 1988

Was not really convinced by the cooking of the sweetbread, pure personal taste. Guillaume was totally under the charm of this sensual dish (from a picture perspective i mean, we stayed quiet at table).

Musk ox and beets, pickled elderly berries and bone marrow

Grange des Pères, Domaine de la Grange des Pères, Languedoc, 2001

For the main meat course, i asked to change the italian wine planned in the wine menu by this Grange des Pères. Trine heard about this wine but had never tasted it before. It was a nice opportunity, and instead of 4 glasses, we were offered the whole bottle. Great initiative we totally honored.

Garden sorrel and glazed sheep milk yogurt, anise and rapeseed oil

« Cuvée noble », Chateau Richard, Saussignac, 2003

Dried berries and dried cream, walnuts and dust of walnuts

Grüner Vetliner Eiswein, Nigl, Kremstal, 2006

While we are reaching the end of our menu, we have a look from our table to the kitchen where Heston and Rene are talking together. Some minutes later, in a quite sudden way, Rene is bringing Heston at our table introducing us. Wow, my friends, this was unexpected and surprising (i later realized that as Trine is a little bit at home here, Rene knew that it would please her to meet Heston… great initiative). We are shaking hands and Trine immediately starts to talk with Heston, asking how he found his menu. And here we go for a 15 min chat with Heston and the four us. Unique. When Heston starts to greeting us for leaving, i’m asking for a picture together with René and us… and they both accepted very kindly.

 

I don’t need to mention who Trine is…

We warmly thanked Heston and returned to our seats a little bit shocked by what happened. A few seconds later and here comes the next dessert :

Rhubard and wood ruff, yoghourt and beetroots

Grüner Vetliner Eiswein, Nigl, Kremstal, 2006

After this last course, we moved to the lounge room where a very nice and sweet appel liquor is offered to us. René is joining us with a glass too and we’ll spend 30min, 1hour maybe, talking together, discussing about Noma, food, gastronomy, France. I didn’t get this opportunity during my first visit to discuss like this with René. Thanks to Trine, this was feasible now and we really enjoyed it. We have discovered someone really accessible, friendly, simple, with great sense of humor, a little bit at the image of the whole Noma staff.

1:30 am. We are leaving Noma and are driven to our hotel by Klaus and Trine. We thanked them a lot for the wonderful evening we had, hoping to meet again each other soon, in France, Belgium or … why not Denmark – it’s a small small world… and foodies are capable of great things🙂

Once in our hotel, we were too much excited by this evening for going in bed directly. We decided for a last glass at the bar (molecular cocktail …. ooops, have no clue of what we drinked there).

A small hour later and we were in our beds, no time to step in than Guillaume is already sleeping… no comment. I can’t be that fast and need some time to recover from my dinner… a wonderful dinner, closing an unforgettable day.

For sure one of the best of foodie day of my life. Thanks again Trine. Thank you also René for your time and talent. Simply unique.

Laurent V

6 commentaires

  1. After reading my review over and over again I didn’t even notice I haven’t thanked you guys.🙂 Extraordinary for sure!
    Thanks for such a fabulous day, Laurent and Guillaume!

  2. Wow, what a nice dinner this must have been! Besides the great food pics I particularly noticed the Loimer Riesling: great winemaker crafting great Rieslings!
    Thanks for sharing this experience!

    Alex

  3. Oh vous étiez déjà assis ici la dernière fois ! ça c’est un soucis du détail plutôt impressionnant ! et je ne parles pas du reste, tu le fait si bien.. joli souvenir, un jour j’irais chez NoMa…

  4. well thanks a lot for this very interesting review :p bonjour laurent, je travaille à l’escarbille de meudon.Lors de votre précédent post nous apprenons que vous habiter dans le coin.Hors stupeur ! je remarque qu’il n’y a aucun post concernant cette adresse étoilé sur le « blog » … je serais tres heureux de voir un jour un petit papier sur le restaurant dans lequel je travaille qu’il soit bon ou mauvais mais, à la vue de vos précédent post,toujours constructif … merci et peut etre à bientot

    victor

  5. > Trine : should we do the next one in Paris then ? L’Astrance or Ledoyen would be interesting i guess.

    > Alex : thanks for your comment. Great riesling indeed this Loimer. I drinked it recently somewherelse too, very nice wine.

    > Walter : Merci ! Je te souhaite vraiment d’y aller en effet, et tant qu’à faire, essaie d’en faire d’autres là bas !🙂

    > Victor : Merci pour le commentaire. En fait, j’ai déjà été 2 fois à L’Escarbille, dont la dernière fois en juillet (déjeuner business). Et je vous le dis tout de suite, c’était un excellent repas, aggrémenté d’un très bon Cazeneuve blanc, pris en terrasse par beau temps. Mais je note votre proposition et je me ferai un plaisir de revenir (avec mon Nikon) pour une prochain repas, qui cette fois sera sur le blog (car je ne doute pas de l’issue !) Au plaisir !

  6. Gut!


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