05 October 2012

11 July 2012


It is three years to the day that I saw you across the room and fell instantly in love with you. I thank the gods every night for you, love of my life.

10 July 2012

25 June 2012

Las Puertas de Barcelona

We celebrated my 40th birthday in Barcelona. It was just as good as I thought it would be.

29 May 2012

New Camera

I love film best, but since I have relocated to Copenhagen, it is not as accessible to me. To get it processed, I have to mail it to Stockholm, so I tend to not shoot very much. Last weekend, my lovely husband bought me an Olympus E-M5 for an early birthday present. It has a lot of great options, and is light enough to carry in my purse. I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

Speaking of, here are some photos of me and my 'two' husbands and my 'two' dogs at the summerhouse.

16 April 2012

Dinner At Noma, Part III

And now..... dessert!

'Gammel Dansk'. We have a liquor here in DK that is a bitters made of 29 herbs, it's like our Jägermeister. They made a custard with it, and it had a dill sauce. This one came in as my least favorite dish of the night.

This one was called 'Pear Tree!', I like that they put an exclamation mark on it, that is so un-Danish. I wasn't so crazy about the stuff on the right - though it looks like a cake, it was actually a cold airy foam that tasted like pine. The pear had been barbecued, and was really good.

Two winners! I was suspicious about the first one. 'Brown cheese & sloe berries'. Boy, was I wrong! The pastry chef took a Norwegian brown cheese that is usually quite funky, and made these discs. There are also discs of shortbread, and discs of berries. Cold little morsels that dissolved on the tongue. Outstanding.

(Above right) 'Potatoes & plum.' What? Yes. Potatoes. Pureed and piped out with plum and a cream made from the pits. I cannot begin to tell you how lovely this is on the tongue.

We thought that was it, but no! A couple of more surprises. First, a little wrapped package of bone-marrow caramels. Yes, it does taste exactly like you imagine.

Next to last, bite-sized 'flødebøller'. These are traditional Danish treats, a little wafer with cream dunked in chocolate. Yes, it was the best one I've eaten. And for the grand denouement, chocolate-covered potato chips with fennel and another herb. I can't remember, I was crossed-eyed at this point.

I took sips of most of the wines. They were all fantastic, but I would like to give a special shout-out to a 2009 Rosé d'un jour, La Ferme de la Sansonniere (Mark Angeli) from Anjou-Loire. Dessert wine of the highest caliber. Fucking unbelievable. 

If I still have your attention, I need to tell you a bit about the treatment. The staff was simutaneously professional yet so warm. I got to linger in the kitchen, looking over the chef's shoulder, and since he knew of our place, he let me carry some of our dishes to the table, which amused me beyond measure. We also got a tour afterwards of the facilities. The manager, the kitchen staff, all the people who served us, (especially our main waiter, Roman) were above & beyond any service experience I have had. It might go without saying......

If you love food, come to this place. You will never forget it.

15 April 2012

Dinner at Noma, Part II

Part II, in which I discuss the starters, mains, and desserts! Sadly, this is also where the photo quality goes downhill, because it got dark.

I suppose at this point I should mention that I am nearly full. Those 'snacks' together were bigger than most of the meals I normally eat. Did I mention the speed in which they came out? Even though they were usually one bite, I was often still chewing when the next one hit the table. 

(Above left) 'Celeriac & unripe sloe berry. Gooseberry & douglas fir'. I wouldn't call this one of my favorites, but it was interesting. (Above right) 'Brown crab & coral. Egg yolks & herbs'. It was explained that the crab was picked RIGHT before it came to the table, so that it didn't have to be chilled, and therefore lose some of the flavor. That attention to detail is one of the many reasons that this is the best restaurant in the world. It was served with these delicious egg-yolks that had gotten the tea-egg treatment. It was like eating liquid velvet. 

This may have been my least favorite, though I am in no way criticizing this dish. It was simply not my taste. 'Dried scallops & beech nuts. Biodynamic grains & watercress'. The scallops were lovely, but the blend of squid ink & watercress didn't work for me.

The person who served this was not being cocky when he said, 'you will never taste a more delicious langoustine.' It is true I usually feel let down by them, they are so easy to overcook. This one had been seared lightly on one side, then carried to the table on this hot rock, cooking it so gently the rest of the way. I don't have the notes on this one, but the sauce dots were umami-goodness with rye-dust. Fantastic.

(Above left) This one was a crown pleaser,'Cauliflower & pine'. I believe the sauce had horseradish.

(Above right) 'Pike perch & cabbages. Verbena & dill'. In Bali, they grill fish inside banana leaves. It reminded me of that.

Oh, oh, oh. If you know me, you know I love pickles. 'Pickled vegetables & bone marrow. Browned butter & parsley'. I watched them put this together in the kitchen. The craftsmanship of each dish was exquisite. I truly thought I couldn't eat any more at this point in time, the previous two dishes I could only manage one bite each, but i polished off the plate. 

(Above right) This was, surprisingly enough, one of Dan's favorites of the night. A surprise because Dan does not generally like fish, but he says this is the best fish he has ever had. (He does try it now and again.) 'Roasted turbot & bitter greens. Celeriac & mushroom.' I could only manage a little bite.

I'm going to talk about the desserts, wine, and service in the final installment tomorrow!

14 April 2012

Dinner at Noma, Part I

This is one of those experiences that I must share. Last evening, Dan & I plus two visiting friends went to dinner at Noma 'the best restaurant in the world.' It was, without question, the best meal I have ever had, in a lifetime filled with great meals. 

I had not planned on taking photos, so I missed the first element of surprise - on the table was a floral arrangement, and in there were some branches, but the branches were 'malt flatbread and juniper'. After that, I made sure to take photos of (nearly) everything, though I only had my phone with me.

With my companions had a pork starter, they made me a leather of hawthorne and sea rose (above left). Sea rose is a smell from my childhood, so from the very beginning of this meal I was teary.

The next 'snack' (as they called them), came as I was still eating the first one, so I don't know exactly what it was (above right). It might be 'potato & chicken liver', but I am not sure. It was delicious though.

Next up was 'blue mussel & celery'. One removed the top shell, but the bottom shell was edible. Amazing.

Here are 'the freshest shrimp you can eat'(above left). These guys were still wiggling on the ice. We were instructed to pick them up by the tail, dunk them headfirst into the brown butter, and pop them in our mouths. I cannot lie - this one was hard for me. But I closed my eyes, said a prayer, and did it. Pretending I was a fox helped, and it was indeed a glorious experience.

(above right) 'Moss & cep.' My friend Elizabeth nailed it - 'it kinda smells like a Cheeto'. We all agreed, it tasted like one too, in a good way.

Back to back came two of my favorites. First (above left), is 'rye, chicken skin & lumpfish roe'. Salty & sweet & perfect. Next came 'dried carrot & sorrel'. These carrots were slow roasted on a grill for 8 hours, if i remember correctly. They are on a bed of hay ash, and one picked it up and dipped it into a sorrel puree. Have you ever wept while eating a carrot? I can now say a carrot made me cry. 

(above left) 'Cod liver & milk crisp'. At first it was strange for me, as the smell that hit my nose is the same as I get when I am about to take a swig of the oil, which I find quite nauseating. But once that buttery, crispy concoction hit my palate, all was forgiven.

(above right) 'Pickled & smoked quail's egg' arrived steaming on a bed of fresh hay inside a larger egg. They exploded inside the mouth. (I had a 'Tampopo' moment.)

'Neck fibers' (above left), I cannot remember what the little dollop inside is. Crunchy amazing. (Above right), we have the classic 'radish, soil & grass'.

This first one vies for first place. (above left) 'Æbleskiver & muikku'. For those that are not familiar, æbleskiver are similar to beignets, and we eat them at Christmas with powdered sugar & preserves. These were savory, and yet somehow still sweet. Inside was a hot cucumber center. The combination of salty & sweet, ocean & earth, old memory & new experience, I think I got a bit weepy again. 

(Above right)I think this one is 'herb toast & smoked cod roe'. I was still slightly wrecked over the previous dish, so I wasn't wholly listening. I did catch that the top layer is duck fond. Again, delicious.

Two more items of note - a loaf of perfect bread served with three spreads. From the top, counter-wise,is pork fat, goat butter, and the freshest cow butter ever. I believe they had someone churning in the back. Also, we had a juice pairing as well as the wine pairing, it was also very special. 

These were JUST the snacks, not even the appetizers. I will do the rest in another part. And I also have to tell about the service and the atmosphere, which was just as incredible as the food. Stay tuned!