Copenhagen, Denmark: A culinary alchemist on a Copenhagen wharf
S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants was just released and Noma in Copenhagen knocked the mighty El Bulli out of its top spot. That's great news for the superb Noma, not so great if you're trying to get a reservation there.
Take a little detour to Copenhagen's wharves—not exactly restaurant row—where you'll find Bo Bech at Restaurant Paustian.
At this lively, if unlikely place, you can order a la carte or one of the chef's tasting menus with names like The Alchemist and Coryphaeus. Mr. Bech is both. You'll eat creations such as avocado wafers with caviar and almond, braised leek with oysters and juice of green strawberries, langoustines in wild pine needles, and "ripped coconut fat with granulated Jerusalem artichokes."
Never had a craving for any of them, huh? That's the thing about Mr. Bech's cooking: he does surprising things with food (ripped coconut fat? with sunchokes?!) that are interesting without feeling contrived, personal without being coy, satisfying and delicious on many levels.
As with most things in this country, it doesn't come cheap. Entrees run from $50-$70. Yow! And the wine list prices are even tougher to swallow. The 8-course tasting menus, at about $140, are relative bargains.
If you can swing the cost, though, you'll get to taste the work of a remarkable chef at the top of his game in a jaunty setting. Unlike some expensive eateries, though, we bet you'll remember the experience with pleasure long after you've left this lovely city.