Where to eat in Copenhagen now that Noma is closing
A decade ago, you wouldn't have heard too many people brag about traveling to Copenhagen for the food unless they were on stage doing stand-up. Now, of course, the game has changed. The unofficial statistic around the city is that one in three tourists is there to eat. The restaurant at the top of everyone's wish list is Noma, an almost impossible dream. (Even before it announced that it was closing at the end of the year, Noma averaged 20,000 calls on the one day each month that it takes reservations.)
Still, if you visited Copenhagen in the past few years, you know that the worldwide obsession with Noma and the New Nordic cooking style it helped champion—hyper-seasonal simple (if sometimes off-beat) ingredients, foraging, etc.—has had a downside. Especially if you were eating in the city for more than a few days and had only a limited appetite for pickled vegetable tops and burnt grains. Food that's delicious and intriguing for a couple of meals becomes very one note after a while, and you start badly wishing that someone would open up a good Szechuan spot or even a hot sauce stand. And when even bath soaps start using the "New Nordic" label, well, that's a trend that's run its course.
Which is why a September visit to Copenhagen yielded some pleasant surprises. More diverse cuisine is around town now, from elaborate Japanese breakfasts to incredible late-night pizzas topped with just-made mozzarella. Noma itself is evolving. When it reopens in its new location in 2017, in a hippy district with a farm, chef and owner Rene Redzepi promises a different focus. His mantra is hyper-seasonality: He's dividing the year into three distinct food seasons, not the four we've all been brought up to believe in and shop for. Instead, there will be a seafood-focused winter; produce for spring and summer; and a hunting menu for fall.
Here are eight terrific places to eat and drink around Copenhagen now.
The original location of this astonishing restaurant is on Denmark's Bornholm island, a little hotspot near Sweden frequently described as the Montauk of Scandinavia. (“You have to visit," locals will scream at you if you mention Bornholm.) Here at the recently relocated, five-year-old Copenhagen outpost, a battery of chefs work in the wide-open kitchen and take turns delivering such dishes as a side of salmon that's been both cold- and hot-smoked, served with pickled figs and cherry blossom vinaigrette. King crab comes with fresh walnuts and fruit juice made with “all the berries we can find," finished with a butter sauce.
The 18-course prix fixe menu is about $350; the wine pairings are an extra $200. You can choose juice pairings for about $100, or, best of all, have them interspersed with wine and beer throughout the meal.
Wine drinkers around the world adore Ved Stranden 10. The place has no wine list; instead the staff will help you figure out what wine(s) you want to be drinking and set an open bottle down in front of you. Recently, the owners opened a restaurant around the corner that looks like a groovy, uncrowded Scandinavian furniture shop. At dinner, the menu features non-Scandi staples such as bouillabaisse and steak with smoked bone marrow vinaigrette. In the morning there's a savory Japanese breakfast with enough little plates and bowls to fill the table, including miso soup, cured mackerel and rice, and chawanmushi egg custard, plus fortifying green juice and coffee.
Copenhagen has one of the best cocktail bars in Europe; it's called Ruby. (If you're looking for Noma cooks after hours, you might well find them here.) Bronnum is the brand new spot from the Ruby team, and it's even grander, a series of six distinct rooms set in a building across from the Royal Theatre that was once a restaurant frequented by Hans Christian Anderson. Bronnum's ambitious 24-drink menu includes the "3 Martini Lunch," a flight of drinks that shows the evolution of the classic from sweet to bone dry, and the aquavit-based Memories of Aalborg, served with a nugget of cheese and hazelnuts that complement its flavors. There's also a cellar full of Champagne, with Dom Perignon 2006 poured by the glass.
Former Noma chef Christian Puglisi has built a mini restaurant empire in Copenhagen starting with the intimate, elegant Relae. (Its design, featuring silverware hidden in drawers in the dining tables, has influenced such restaurants as Manhattan's acclaimed Wildair.) Though he's a Scandi food star, Puglisi was born in Sicily, and his latest place, Baest, has a big wood-burning oven front and center. He uses fermented flour for his doughy, blistered pizzas topped with mozzarella that's made several times a day. There's a list of charcuterie and cheeses produced from the milk of cows that graze 30 miles from Baest. It's one of the few places that Noma's pastry chef Malcolm Livingston II goes out to in his limited time off. “I love the vibes, and the pizza is banging," he says.
One of the hardest reservations to get in Copenhagen is, perhaps unsurprisingly, at a place run by another ex-Noma chef, Matt Orlando. In a graffiti-covered building, Orlando cooks with ingredients from his huge garden. His epitome-of-late-summer dish is tomatoes—an unconventional ingredient in Denmark—made more unconventional with raspberry, wild rose, and burnt pine wood oil (because this is Copenhagen, after all). The chef is terrifically eco-minded: Amass is one Denmark's most sustainable restaurants, with a new gold organic certification, one of only two fine-dining places in the country to earn that achievement. Likewise, Orlando is launching a food rescue program with the Danish ministry of environment to cut down on food waste.
It's been billed as the more casual incarnation of Noma restaurant without Rene Redzepi in the kitchen; he's merely the co-owner now, with one of his former chefs, Kristian Baumann, doing the cooking. Some of the ingredients come from Noma's kitchen, a block away, but the place has its very own sensibility, with deceptively simple dishes. In a recent review, Bloomberg critic Richard Vines shouted out the raw lamb with last year's pickles, which he described as "Nordic steak tartare." Vines also liked the braised oxtail, glazed with fermented barley. In fact, Vines says, “The great thing is that 108 doesn't feel second-best. In fact, the buzzy dining room is more fun than at Noma."
Torvehallerne Street Food Market
As if your weekly greenmarket mated with an internationally minded Eataly, this five-year-old foodie destination in central Copenhagen has a terrific mix of 60 stands (not unlike the new Claus Meyer food hall in New York's Grand Central Station). In the outdoor plaza, Hija de Sanchez, run by Noma's ex pastry chef Rosio Sanchez, has a short menu that usually stars carnitas tacos on fresh tortillas. Within the two glass-walled halls, among the cheese and butcher and produce stands, are prepared food kiosks, such as Hallernes Smørrebrød, which specialize in glorious open-faced sandwiches topped with thick slices of smoked salmon and beef tartare. And in one corner is an outpost of the Coffee Collective, whose espresso-topped soft serve has a cult following.
This two-story modern Italian restaurant has been open for a while, but a recent renovation also brought on a rising star chef, Nick Curtin (from Rosette in New York). His lovely dishes include imported buratta with vibrant purple plums and pickled onions; handcut beef tartare with hazelnut oil, burnt lemon, and smoke; and spaghetti alla chitarra with brown butter and trout roe. (Take note: Copenhagen doesn't have a ton of great pasta.) The short wine list focuses on Italy with a little France and includes some orange wine, too. Spuntino's five-course menu is less than $50, which constitutes a bargain in Denmark.
©2016 Bloomberg L.P.
This article was written by Kate Krader from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.
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We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.
We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.
We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.
As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.
Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.
They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.
Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.
Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.
Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.
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It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.
On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.
Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.
"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.
"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."
Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.
The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.
Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.
Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.
Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.
"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."
When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.
For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.
Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.
That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.
"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."
The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.
About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.
"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."
When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.
"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."
On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.
"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."
For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.