Monday, August 11, 2014

Relae (07/05/2014)

I've reached the last post on Copenhagen!  Because I never completed blogging either Seattle or San Francisco (our two most recent prior food-focused trips), I was worried that I wouldn't power through this one.  But here I am!

So, Relae -- our last lunch.  I'd been excited to try it because of its excellent reviews (including from some bloggers whom Adam follows who were kind enough to respond to Adam's emails asking for advice between the options to which we had narrowed), its influence on Oxheart's chef, and the enthusiasm from staff at other Copenhagen restaurants.  We'd been cautioned that it was on the more experimental end of the Nordic style, and therefore it wasn't to everyone's taste.  That's a fair warning; I didn't love everything, but I did enjoy the meal overall and that there were some interesting elements to it.  I'd definitely be interested in going back for the more extensive dinner menu.

The amuse was some sort of preserved or pickled cucumber.  I can't remember what it was wrapped around.  My memory is that it was tasty and sort of interesting (although apparently not that memorable).

I was surprised by the first bite: the strawberries were warm.  It was interesting, but not my preference.  Minced pickled strawberries on the bottom added bits of saltiness; I would have liked if they were more integrated throughout.  I appreciated the creativity, even though I didn't love the result.
unripe strawberries and nasturtium

I loved the next course.  The sunflower seeds were pressure-cooked into a risotto-like consistency, which was predictably fantastic with the cheese and truffle.  (It was a lovely truffle.)  The creativity of sunflower seeds instead of rice elevated it above your typical truffled risotto.  I particularly enjoyed its heavy richness as a contrast to all the light, vegetable-driven dishes that we'd been eating for days.  For all that I love that style of cooking, sometimes I just want something satisfyingly cheesy and rich.  My one complaint was that this course was so much heavier than the next that I think their order should have been reversed.
sunflower seeds, kornly and truffle

Reminiscent of some of the grilled greens dishes that we had at Radio the day before, we enjoyed the lettuces with a distinctly goaty, milky sauce.  The tiny blossoms were elderflowers (I think), which were cool.  Very pretty course, if oddly placed in the meal.
vegetable bouquet and grilled goatcream

We opted for two of the cheese course supplement to share between the four of us.  The blue cheese was served in frozen granules, which was interesting in theory but because it melted so quickly, wasn't particularly interesting in execution.
Bla Kornblomst with green herbs

The dessert was less interesting than I'd hoped from the description, as it mostly tasted of the vanilla ice cream.  The specks of mustard added an extra element to the dried raspberry powder that I will had been more prominent.
vanilla, dried raspberry and caramelized mustard

Bits of white chocolate with blueberries were good, although the impressive-looking infusion of lemon peels and leaves was not strongly flavored.

Relae is on a charming street in an out-of-the-way area (or at least so it appeared from the cab ride over and the dearth of cab traffic; our server ultimately ordered a return cab for us).  We spent awhile wandering into the little neighboring shops, including a caramel shop where Adam bought edible souveniers for his office.  (I was particularly pleased that I had correctly deduced the meaning of "Karamelleriet" on the signage that I could see from our lunch table.)


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