My First Three Star Michelin Experience
Geranium – Copenhagen, Denmark
Fifteen minutes from the center of Copenhagen, nestled in the national soccer stadium (Telia Parken), is the nondescript entrance of Geranium, the only three Michelin star restaurant in Denmark and number 19 restaurant on “The Worlds Best 50”. Don’t let the stadium surroundings fool you, because as soon as the 8th-floor elevator doors opened, we were transported to a tranquil Scandinavian space. The design plan is an open concept with 11-tables, plus lounge space, with a maximum of 36 guests being seated for lunch and dinner. We were welcomed by soft greys, blues, and white, complimented by light wood furniture that was flanked in soft candlelight complete with a small stone fire burning at the bar. Floor to ceiling windows cover most of the space and while we dined during winter when the sun sets at 3:30 in the afternoon, we were told by the staff that in the summer, the restaurant has the perfect vantage for sunsets over the city. The center point for the restaurant is an open kitchen on display where you can see the chef’s busy at work putting the finishing touches on some of the best and most innovative dishes that speak to the heart of Scandinavian cuisine.
Upon arrival, we were shown to a table in the corner with couch seating complete with throw pillows. The couch faced directly into the restaurant and angled perfectly to be able to see the chef’s putting together each course. The large white round table in front of us set up the perfect canvas and space for each dish to be presented. The couch style seating made us feel like we were dining at a friend’s house as opposed to the sometimes cold set up of two chairs and a small rectangular table. We have been to other restaurants, especially when getting wine pairings, that the table becomes cluttered and crowded and at times that can create a sense of urgency during an experience that is supposed to go slow and take time.
Once settled at the table, we were presented with a champagne cart to enjoy an apéritif and given a love letter from the restaurant which provided information about Geranium as well as the “winter universe” menu. The menu changes seasonally, but a few signature dishes stay throughout the year. The chef may also become inspired and create a new dish for the menu that day, so you can never expect the same tasting experience. Ingredients are locally sourced as the restaurant prides itself on sustainability. The sixteen-course menu consisted of four appetizers, eight main dishes, and four deserts that took us on a gastronomic journey with a heavy focus on delights from the sea that are key to the cuisine of this small coastal country. It was not only the food, but also the presentation that had us rapt by each course. One of the appetizers, scallop “red stones,” were quarter sized scallops wrapped in beet gelatin, and sprinkled with edible wildflowers. The dish was served on a plate with smooth black stones that looked like the scallops were sitting on the bed of the ocean and had washed up on your table. This is only one example of how each dish was uniquely plated and presented. My personal favorite dish was the Marbled Hake (a white fish similar to Cod), with caviar and buttermilk. Each plate told a story hailing from the various regions of Denmark and were complemented with wines from around the world.
After dessert was served, all four courses worth, we were taken on a tour of the kitchens, the pastry room, dry aging room, the Inspiration Kitchen (that can also be used for private events for up to 16 people), and the wine cellar. The kitchen has top to bottom windows with a perfect view of the soccer pitch. Our waiter joked that it was a great perk of the kitchen staff to be able to watch soccer games for free. However, during a game or not, Geranium is open for business, and they said the games do not influence the lunch or dinner service.
We arrived for our reservation at 18:30 and made our way home around 21:30. The time flew by as we ate, drank, and laughed. Reservations are required and a deposit due upon booking that will be added to your final bill. There is not a dress code specified on the website, but many of the male patrons had on a suit jacket, and women were in dresses or business attire.
If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind dining experience, I highly recommend adding Geranium to your itinerary during your trip to Copenhagen.
Below is the full menu and wine pairings from our Geranium experience:
The Geranium Winter Universe
Lobster, Goat Milk, Juice from Fermented Carrots & Sea Buckthorn
Crispy Jerusalem Artichoke “Leaves,” Walnut Oil & Pickled Walnut Leaves
“Razor Clam” with Minerals & Sour Cream
Soup from Dried Cep Mushrooms with Pear & White Truffle
Scallop “Red Stones” & Horseradish
Celeriac, Dried Mussels, Söl & Juice from Smoked Yoghurt
Dried, Lightly Salted & Creamy Trout with Sauce from Grilled & Fermented Cauliflower
“Marbled” Hake, Caviar & Buttermilk
Crispy Grains, Bread with Old Grains & Bread with Seeds
Oven Roasted Winter Vegetables, Smoked Egg Yolk & Melted “Vesterhavs” Cheese
Grilled Limfjords Oyster in Essence from Dried Oyster, Seaweed & Parsley
Wild Duck, Pickled Blackcurrant Leaves, Juniper & Aromatic Herbs
A Bite of Beetroot, Blackcurrant, Yoghurt & Tagetes
Fallen Apples, Ice Cream from Beeswax & Pollen with Crispy Honey
“Naked Tree,” Prunes, Dark Beer & Cream with Beech Wood
Caramel with Roasted Grains & Frozen Chamomile Tea
Green Egg with Pine
Marshmallow with Rosehip
2017 Gemischter Satz Terrassen 1958, Martin & Anna Arndorfer, Kamptal, Austria
2016 Three Oaks Vineyard Chardonnay, By Farr, Geelong, Australia
2014 Bel Ouvrage, Damien Laureau, Savennières, Loire, France
NV Le Bois de Binson, Éric Taillet, Champagne, France
2013 Dalmau, Marqués de Murrieta, Rioja, Spain
2011 Riesling Auslese St. Aldergunder Palmberg-Terrassen, Weingut Stein, Mosel, Germany
2009 Malvasia Passito Vigna Del Volta, La Stoppa, Emilia Romangna, Italy