NOMA – NATURALLY!
Noma Restaurant may not yet have been awarded its third Michelin Star (much to the chagrin of the Danes) but it was declared Best Restaurant in the World for the third consecutive year at the prestigious S. Pellegrino Awards on 30th April 2012 at The Guild Hall, London. Inaugurated in 2002, (and originally ranking just 50 restaurants) the annual San Pellegrino Awards now recognise the world’s top 100. The list is now universally acknowledged as one of the most influential in the world of serious gastronomy.
Under the inspired stewardship of Rene Redzepi, Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen, with its unique take on Nordic cuisine, now enjoys an international reputation and following.
Dining here is a holistic experience – the extraordinary artistry of the presentation, the culinary genius demonstrated in the unique combinations and the wonderfully authentic atmosphere, collaborate to create a totally indulgent and memorable occasion. There is a palpable vibe, an excitement, at Noma. The tangible sense of theatre is not of the pretentious kind – all present are totally engaged in the production, presentation and enjoyment of the “New Nordic Cuisine”. Testament to this is the recommendation to book up to 3 months in advance, such is its popularity.
Redzepi himself is quietly charming and modest, but at all times, completely the driver. Since receiving his first gong from Pellegrino he has been catapulted into the limelight. As well as becoming a household name, the 34 year old faces the challenge of maintaining Noma’s enviable position centre-stage. His philosophy, originality and inclusive creativity guarantee that he and Noma will retain a prominent position amongst the world’s finest restaurants for the foreseeable future.
Noma is a “Bucket List” experience which I am privileged to say I have ticked off! We were a party of eight on that occasion and as such, able to indulge in a comprehensive sampling of the menu. We were all seriously impressed and, as I recall, the food totally dominated our conversation!! From a personal perspective – I enjoyed the setting as much as I appreciated the gastronomic delights.
Footnote: Rene Redzepi was recently named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People!
North Atlantic House Cultural Centre
Both Noma Restaurant and Rene Redzepi are one-offs.
The passion and imagination of this innovative young star (he is only 33) have, in just 6 short years, propelled Noma to the position of World’s Best Restaurant in 2010, with the coveted S. Pellegrino Award. The restaurant opened in 2004 with Redzepi as Head Chef.
This renowned eatery (along with Redzepi) has garnered multiple awards and accolades, including 2 Michelin Stars and offers a gastronomic and sensorial experience like no other.
Noma is very much philosophy driven – it is about land and sea – origins and foraging – all ingredients are sourced locally or regionally and many forgotten natural edibles are finding their way back on to the plate – wild mushrooms, roots, herbs and flowers sourced from nearby woods and parks, seaweeds and other marine delicacies from the shoreline – all prepared and presented with great artistry. It is about creating the new Nordic cuisine – and all this with expert wine matching
To whet your appetite, below are some of the dishes from the special 4 hour gastronomic adventure – the 12 course “Noma Nassaq” Menu!
Deer with Snails, Forest Shoots and Chanterelle Mushrooms
Musk Ox and Smoked Marrow
Sea Buckthorn “Leather” with Pickled Rose Hip Petals
Beetroot with Sorrel Sauce and Malt
Langoustine with Oyster, Parsley and Seawater Emulsion and Rye Crumbs
The service at Noma is pleasant and polished and the setting is atmospheric – a converted 18th century harbourside warehouse with a spacious interior that is at once dramatic and uncluttered. The stark simplicity of rough walls, whitewashed beams overhead, wooden furniture on wooden floors and wonderful light from the deeply recessed windows lends a real authenticity to the elemental approach of the cuisine.
Noma is open for Lunch and Dinner – Tuesday to Saturday 12pm to 10pm.
Note: Reservations must be made 3 months in advance!
NEW YORK DINING
10 Columbus Circle
New York NY 10019
This interesting restaurant was recommended to me by more than one acquaintance, so on my last trip to New York, I was obliged to visit. Porter House has a great ambience – modern, sophisticated and moody, with lots of cherry wood, clever lighting and luxurious furnishings. A bonus is the brilliant view over Central Park. Whilst renowned for its classic steaks, the Porter House, with its acclaimed chef Michael Lomonaco (I adore his “The” 21” Cookbook”), offers a clever and diverse menu. I just had to have the prime New York Strip Steak (medium-rare) which was just – perfection! What really appealed to me, though, was the selection of imaginative salads and sides. The wine list offers predominantly (and of course, appropriately) an American selection, and we found two that kept us more than happy. The desserts were decadent interpretations of American classics, which, I confess, none of us could resist sampling!
The seating is flexible where, in addition to a café-style section, the main dining area, with formal tables, accommodates 140. We chose the intimacy of a sexy leather banquette. There is also a private function space for a further 50 (indeed, a dear friend of mine hosted a very successful 40th birthday celebration here).
Be you a New Yorker, or a visitor with an appetite for a quintessential Big Apple experience, I’m sure you will appreciate this indulgence.