Review: Rønnede Kro Danish Smørrebrød at a Roadside Inn

This summer we drove from south from Copenhagen to the wonderful Hotel Frederiksminde. On the way, we stopped at Rønnede Kro. When I first visited this old in last year,  I was amazed at how high the level of cooking and creativity was at a simple roadside restaurant. Rønnede Kro is literally situated on a crossroad. There’s not much more happening in this town. Currently, you can’t even spend the night at the inn, although they plan to do something about that in the future. This is just the perfect pitstop for a classic Danish smørrebrød lunch if you’re road tripping through Zealand in Denmark.

Danish Smørrebrød at a Roadside Inn

I was driving and had no plans of drinking much, of course, but since we were in Denmark I thought one beer was ok. We had a long lunch ahead of us, anyway. My goodness that beer tasted great, even if we were just half an hour drive from Copenhagen. The menu at Rønnede Kro tempted us with traditional Danish open sandwiches, a good selection of lunch starters and main courses, and lastly some classic Danish desserts. All were made with local, seasonal produce of high quality, and I knew from my previous visit that the chefs here know how to prepare it to perfection as well.

Smørrebrød is the ultimate Danish lunch dish. It’s not the national dish (that’s pork belly with parsley sauce), but in my opinion, it should be. You never hear about crispy pork restaurants, but there are smørrebrød restaurants on every corner! Open-faced sandwiches can either be utterly boring or the most supreme of snacks – it all depends on the ingredients and presentation. We tried the classic chicken salad and the more contemporary sandwich with lardo and a rich emulsion of smoked mussels. At Rønnede Kro, they butter-fry the toasts, and that made all the difference. There was so much crunch in each bite!

The venerable Rønnede Kro.
The venerable Rønnede Kro.
Fried toast with smoked mussel emulsion, lardo, and lettuce.
Fried toast with smoked mussel emulsion, lardo, and lettuce.
Open-faced sandwich: Chicken salad with celery, apple, tarragon, and nasturtium on fried toast.
Open-faced sandwich: Chicken salad with celery, apple, tarragon, and nasturtium on fried toast.

The use of wild herbs and flowers on food is hardly innovative these days, but not everyone manages to use it to their advantage. Too many times restaurants just throw a lot of colorful flowers on a dish, seemingly without thinking about the flavor combinations. Head chef Kevin Tuuling at Rønnede Kro seems to know better. Each plate was carefully crafted, first and foremost around different flavors and textures, and secondly, to look inviting and fresh. We enjoyed the flavors of the Danish summer: ramson, new potatoes, and asparagus.

Two delicate and delicious desserts marked the end of our lunch. A pie with Danish strawberries was a piece of heaven, with seasonal Danish strawberries, and homemade vanilla ice cream. Rhubarb on the menu is not uncommon at this time of year either, but not everyone makes it very interesting. White chocolate, mazarin, and a classic Danish koldskål worked great togheter. Rønnede Kro: I shall forever stop by when I pass you!

Veal tartar with ramson, kohlrabi, and potato chips.
Veal tartar with ramson, kohlrabi, and potato chips.
Fried brill with Danish asparagus, lemon verbena and hollandaise espuma
Fried brill with Danish asparagus, lemon verbena and hollandaise espuma
Rhubarb with white chocolate, mazarin, sorrel, woodruff and Danish buttermilk "koldskål"
Rhubarb with white chocolate, mazarin, sorrel, woodruff and Danish buttermilk “koldskål”
Strawberry pie with vanilla ice cream
Strawberry pie with vanilla ice cream
Our hosts for the lunch. Head chef Kevin Tuuling to the right
Our hosts for the lunch. Head chef Kevin Tuuling to the right

Have you been to Rønnede Kro or other Danish taverns? Please share your experience in a comment.

Anders Husa

Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr are food & travel bloggers and creative content creators. From their base in Copenhagen, they operate the largest and most influential restaurant-focused travel blog in Scandinavia.

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