Restaurant Sletten is part of the Formel B restaurant group. In addition to the one-Michelin-starred flagship in Copenhagen, they also have excellent eateries like restaurant Palægade – where we have enjoyed some of the finest Danish smørrebrød – and the latest addition the to the family which is restaurant Format in Hotel St. Annæ. Here, the former Geranium sous chef, Will Smith, is taking hotel dining to a whole new level.
Back to Humblebæk and restaurant Sletten, where we ate dinner one of our evenings in North Zealand. Immediately, upon entering the dining room, I got this strong sensation of Danish hygge. It’s sort of inexplicable, and something I rarely feel outside of Denmark, but there it was – that feeling of relaxation, enjoyment, and coziness at the same time. “Now, it feels like we are in Denmark!” I said to Hedda. The informal atmosphere, the neighborhood clientele, and the laughter and cheers that filled the room all contributed. However, it was when the first few snacks arrived at our table, that I truly felt at home (I might be Norwegian, but I regard Denmark as my second home). This meal was just what we needed to fall in love with Denmark all over again. Good produce, big flavors, and rustic yet pretty presentations. It was nearly flawless.
Two small snacks kick off the meal. A tapioca cracker with turbot and remoulade is salty, creamy, and very Danish in its flavor. Yet, the rye biscuit with pickled chanterelles, serrano ham, and a generous shaving of truffle on top is even better. It goes perfect with our Champagne. Warm sourdough bread rolls with a salty butter hits the table as soon as the snacks are cleared. Restaurant Sletten don’t leave their guests without a nibble.
A raw scallop is presented in its own shell with caviar, wafer-thin shavings of raw cauliflower, fennel flower, and almonds. Crunchy meets soft. Delicious. Green is the color of the next dish. Brill has company from green peas, green mint, and a green herb sauce. Perhaps our favorite dish of the meal. The quality of the peas, so fresh and crunchy, says everything about the top level produce that has been sourced.
A lemon sole has been cooked to perfection in caramelized butter. It comes with a tasty artichoke cream, but also, unfortunately, the only detail that wasn’t up to the standards this evening: a grilled little gem salad so bitter that we can’t eat it. Luckily, it is quickly forgotten when the tenderloin arrives, medium rare all the way through, with a butter-packed potato purée, new leeks, and sauce with truffles and morels. To finish this wonderful evening, we get a strawberry sorbet, mazarins, meringue, and vanilla sauce. Normally, I wouldn’t be a big fan of the sorbet, but this one is perfectly balanced between sweetness and acidity, and extremely fine and creamy. I suspect there’s a Pacojet in the kitchen. I also believe there are some damn fine chefs.
Which restaurant gave you the best feeling of Danish “hygge”? Share your story in a comment below.