Hello to the loyal Two Bears and A Fork readers, a slightly different review (and reviewer) here! My name is Alex, I have been a part of some of the reviews the Bears have done in the past, and they have been kind enough to let me share some of my restaurant experiences here as I travel through Scandanavia!
I’m starting out with Restaurant GEIST in Copenhagen, the restaurant of Danish celebrity chef Bo Bech. Chef Bech has been somewhat of a phenomenon in Denmark, thanks to his appearances on the Danish ‘Kitchen Nightmares’, and running the Michelin starred Paustian before deciding to close it for a new challenge.
And so begins the story of GEIST (German for ghost, mind or spirit depending on context), a restaurant of seemingly simple food, hiding plenty of technique and thoughtfulness. The menu is laid out from light starting dishes through to more substansial offerings, with desserts being another page unto itself.
My lovely waitress recommends 3 dishes plus dessert per person, so naturally I ordered double that! I should also note that I decided against wine for this dinner (Very unlike me) but I did have a cocktail, a signature lemon on lemon on lemon. Delightful!
My first dish was the Tartare of Norway Lobster with Yuzu and Hibiscus. Angonizinly thin, beautifully seasoned and a gorgeous plate, this dish was a surefire winner! I quite like lobster, and the introduction of a yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit, similar looking to a lemon but much more fragrant and a litttle sweeter), almost mayonnaise and the hibiscus powder took a wonderful product to the next level!
Second up, Black Kale with Fried Egg and Sorrel. Again, a simple looking dish hiding something complex. A perfectly fried egg, surrounded by a nest of fried black kale and sorrel. Cracking the egg and adding it’s yolky richness to the nest made this dish, and left me wanting more!
Squid with Black King Trumpets was my third course, and my oh my did it deliver on it’s promise. Plenty of perfectly cooked squid and wonderful trumpets, I finished this in only four or five mouthfuls, each making me want another!
My final savoury course and by far my heaviest of the night, I chose Heart of Lamb with Red Grapes and Wood Sorrel. The Bears have dined out with me many times over the years, and know of my penchant for ordering things that may intimidate others. I am of the belief that I’ll try anything, at the end knowing at the very least if I like it.
It had been many years since I had Lamb Heart, to the point I really didn’t remember the taste at all. However, this iteration was magic, plenty of tender heart, the sweetness of the red grapes, and the sour, but not bitter, wood sorrel came together (With the help of some good quality olive oil) to form something very special for me.
Desserts hold a special place for me given my trade as a pastry chef, so naturally two selections were appropriate!
I ordered the Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Sorbet and the Caramelized Bread with Vanilla Ice Cream. I was told the Bread would be a fifteen minute wait, which turned out perfect, because it gave me time to enjoy the Mousse!
Chocolate Mousse is difficult to do justice to, given it’s reputation as a simple dessert. This iteration was light, but solid enough to be cut and then chocolate sprayed, all while supporting a quenelle of chocolate sorbet! I’m not sure what chocolate was used here, but I found it quite fruity, similar to Valrohna’s Manjari (A 64% dark chocolate) and it made a wonderfully rich couple of mouthfuls.
Next up, my final dish, is something I love. Caramelized Bread, or Pain Perdu is a wonderfully rich, delightfully sweet concotion, and with vanilla ice cream, one cannot go wrong. This dish was everything I wanted it to be. Were I not so full, I would have ordered it again!
Overall, GEIST hit a lot of high notes, all of the food was great, and the front of house staff did a fantastic job as well. I would highly recommend if you find yourself in Copenhagen!
(This blog was contributed by the Two Bears’ good friend – who is also a chef – Alex)
Address: Kongens Nytorv 8, 1050 København K, Copenhagen, Denmark
Tip! GEIST’s menu is quite large (20 savoury and 10 desserts) and it caters remarkably well to the vegetarian readers, almost half of the savoury dishes can be yours