The old Manfreds (Christian Puglisi’s neighborhood restaurant) shuttered at the end of 2020, but new life bloomed on Jægersborggade this spring. Inspired by his time cooking in Nice, Danish chef Mathias Silberbauer transformed the Nørrebro venue into a cozy French bistro, where he serves traditional Niçoise dishes and local seafood. We broke the news about Silberbauers Bistro back in February, and we visited the new restaurant on opening weekend to experience it ourselves. With affordable prices and constantly changing seasonal dishes, this is definitely a place we will return to again and again.
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From Michelin-Star Restaurants to Casual Bistro
Mathias Silberbauer started his cooking career at Manfreds, Relæ, and Bæst in Copenhagen, and also worked at The Clove Club in London, and Pure & V in Nice. Despite his Michelin-starred fine dining background, Silberbauer has gone much more casual with his new concept. The setting at Silberbauers Bistro is quite rustic, with red checkered tablecloths, a handwritten blackboard menu, and a playlist of Silberbauer’s favorite songs playing over the speakers. It feels cozier and more intimate than before; the bar stools have been removed and tables are set up in an L-shape along the open kitchen and bar. Guests have a view into the glass-paneled wine cellar from the dining room. Food is served on charming vintage plates that make you feel like you’re having dinner at your grandparents’ house. Wooden picnic benches still remain on the street outside, but now they are also donned with checkered cloths.
Sure, this is a place you can spend hours and have a full meal (we tried practically the whole menu on our visit), but it’s also a place you can just pop in for a glass of wine or a quick snack and be on your way. The dishes takes no time to prepare; in fact, you’ve hardly ordered before the plate has arrived on your table. That’s because it’s no frills food – just clean, honest produce cooked well.
What to Order at Silberbauers Bistro
The food at Silberbauers Bistro is simple, but in the best possible way. The chefs cook whatever they get from the fishmongers that day and when something sells out, it’s finished for the day and crossed off the blackboard. Snacks are 55 DKK, starters are around 100 DKK, and mains are in the 200 DKK price range. On the day we visited, they offered a daily special at 320 DKK, but literally only had one serving of that fish (John Dory) for sale. If you can’t decide what to order, there’s also the option to go for the “Carte Blanche” for 350 DKK a person and let Silberbauer pick a few starters, a whole fish, and dessert for your table.
Since we wanted to try as much as possible, we went à la carte. We kicked things off with a stunning serving of steamed mussels topped with individual dollops of aioli – we loved the ratio of sauce to shellfish here! The aioli had a perfect texture and a nice spiciness from the garlic. Next, we tasted the cod sashimi, which was served swimming in orange kosho. Silberbauer’s fresh twist on yuzu kosho combines a vinaigrette with soy, orange juice, and lots of chili. It’s flavor but not spicy – you only get the essence from the chili, you don’t feel any of the heat. The fresh taste of the fish, combined with the pop of citrus, left a clean, bright taste in our mouths – it was the perfect snack for a sunny day.
We couldn’t resist trying Silberbauer’s take on fritto misto – a mix of deep-fried seafood. On our visit, the selection included langoustine, cod throat, mussels, clams, and witch flounder. The batter is like a tempura, light and delicate, as opposed to the heavier, greasier style. The deep-fried bits are served with slices of lemon, sea salt, and a tomato mayonnaise that’s topped with paprika. Every bite was warm, crispy, and satisfying – we cleaned the plate in less than a minute. What really stood out for us in all of these starting dishes was the freshness of the ingredients. Pure clean flavors shone through, accentuated by a few ingredients – and nothing tasted fishy. On the side, we nibbled a French baguette, which served as the perfect vehicle for mopping up any remaining sauces.
There will always be some classics on the menu, but a lot of the dishes at Silberbauers Bistro will change with the season. One dish we tasted on our visit was green asparagus, served in a vinaigrette of capers, eggs, and shallots, and topped with sorrel. The flavors reminded us of egg salad – so buttery and good! Next up were the langoustines with ramson butter and Vin Jaune. The langos are lightly grilled on the plancha and served whole in their shells, so get ready to get your hands dirty. The seafood practically melted in our mouths and we could have bathed in that ramson butter.
For our main course, we shared a whole turbot, which was served with a veloute of elderflower, as well as sides of white asparagus, potatoes, and salad. Originally, brill was on the menu, but a small turbot had snuck its way into the delivery and we were offered that at the same price. The fish is served whole and on the bone, but Silberbauer and his staff are on hand to show you how to debone it if you need assistance. Unsurprisingly, the fish was cooked perfectly, but the star of the show here was the elderflower sauce. Incredibly rich and buttery, but with enough light, floral notes that you could keep dousing your plate with more. We didn’t even have to ask for seconds – Silberbauer refilled the sauce halfway through our fish. The sides here are bare-bones, just fresh veggies with minimal seasoning. (Of course, we drenched them in the elderflower sauce as well.)
In the future, you can expect to see traditional Niçoise dishes like barbajuan and pissaladiere making an appearance on the menu. Silberbauer also hopes to offer Sunday roast with a set menu: three starters to share and a roast (perhaps chicken, duck, ham, or a leg of lamb).
Save Room for Dessert
Three desserts were available on our visit: a lemon tart (which will be a permanent staple on the menu), an affogato, and a crème brûlée. We opted for the latter two as Silberbauer informed us they were only temporarily on offer. (We promise we’re coming back for you, lemon tart!)
If you love classic desserts, you will be in heaven here – Silberbauer has mastered the art of crème brûlée. It’s a dish of simple flavors, but Silberbauer clearly understands the importance of quality ingredients and therefore has sourced only the very best vanilla. He uses Ugandan vanilla from Mette Ravn, which has nutty, caramel notes that match perfectly with the caramelized sugar. There’s just the right amount of torched sugar on top of the rich custard – a nice layer that shatters when you dig in to reveal the vanilla-studded base. To top it all off, there’s a sprinkle of orange zest that balances the flavors and gives the dish a little lift.
Another dessert that relies on the top-quality ingredients is the affogato. For the ice cream, Silberbauer uses Mette Ravn’s Madagascar vanilla noire fendue, which is more fruity and floral than the other varieties. A bitter espresso can so easily ruin an affogato, but Silberbauer uses a Brazilian coffee from Coffee Collective that is not so bitter (or so Nordic) in style. On request, he also pours in a healthy amount of Amaretto, adding wonderful almond notes to the dish. The sweet and creamy coffee took away the strong booziness of the almond liqueur. All in all, it was the best affogato we have tasted.
A Small but Mighty Cellar of Natural Wines
Silberbauers Bistro offers a small but mighty selection of natural wines. Gut Oggau, La Sorga, Fred Cossard, and No Control are some favorites we spotted on the shelves. We started with a glass of Gut Oggau Theodora from 2015, which was a bit smokey and tasted almost like a Chardonnay after years of aging. For our next wine, we let Silberbauer introduce us to one of his favorites – a light and juicy Gamay from Jean Maupertuis (Les Pierres Noires 2018). We described the style of wine and price range we were looking for and Silberbauer guided us to the perfect bottle – and it was one of the cheaper bottles in the cellar. Most of the wine starts at around 500 kroner, and the list doesn’t have much above the 1000 kroner mark. Of course, there are a few wines available by the glass if you don’t want to go by the bottle.
It’s refreshing to see such a relaxed restaurant open in a city dominated by fine dining concepts. We felt comfortable and at home at Silberbauers Bistro, surrounded by good food and good vibes. Silberbauers Bistro is a welcome addition to the Copenhagen dining scene, and we’re already looking forward to our next visit.
Have you visited Silberbauers Bistro yet? Leave a comment below!