You might be surprised to read this but that picture is not an avantgard painting. That is the most beautiful lobster tartare: look at that texture, those colours! Well, we think this picture represents Geist perfectly, our favourite restaurant in Copenhagen: Geist is surprising and innovative, full of personality and unexpected combinations.
The resturant is divided in two parts: one has a long bar where you can eat while admiring the cooks moving fast and magically preparing those delicious dishes or you can choose a place by the window, as we did, to enjoy the wonderful afternoon Nordic light. Here you will find designer bags paired with sneakers, younger customers and a general smart casual etiquette. The other area is a more traditional restaurant with round tables and candle lights for a slightly older public. The decor is dark, sort of baroque. A grey canvas with golden and white touches that provides a misterious and elegant atmosphere.
Right after we were seated we were offered the cocktail menu: advised by our lovely waitress we went for the Yuzu Nasturtium World Explorer and the Vinous Sage Bourbon Lavender. Both were fresh and zingy. Perfect choices. And that’s something you should know about Geist: the staff really knows everything about what you are going to order, so let them advise you and pay attention to their recommendations. They will guide you through the menu, the different surprising flavors, the textures and the ingredients. Do talk to them and let them help you decide.
It has to be noted that dinners at Geist start with a wonderful basket of warm bread and salty butter. This simple guilty pleasure contrasts with the sophisticated possibilities of the menu. But don’t be fooled: this is not the place to skip the bread basket.
While we mercilessly attacked the aforementioned spectacular bread basket we remembered how we discovered Geist: we stumbled upon it on a cold Sunday night in January. We were looking for a place to have dinner before going back to our hotel and the menu, full of vegetables, got our attention. We had never heard of Geist before and we couldn’t believe our luck!
At Geist you should order a few dishes to share. The portions are on the small side but they are pretty fulfilling. Every plate plays hide and seek, so you want to savour every ingredient, guess every hidden flavor. You must take your time and enjoy every mouthful.
And the first dish arrived. Tartare of Norway Lobster with Yuzu and Hibiscus. The incredible pink palette on the plate mesmerized us. It was simply beautiful. And out taste buds were equally surprised: the yuzu cream was acid, the lobster was incredibly tender and the powdered hibiscus had a bitter feel to it. But everything together was beautifully balanced.
A new bread basket appeared as if by magic in front of us. Keep them coming!
Our second choice were the most delicate Silver Onions with Tamari, Ginger and Sesame. You should know that Geist’s pantry is exclusively seasonal. So you will find a different menu every time you visit. In Winter you could enjoy a lovely crunchy kale with runny eggs (our favorite dish last January) and now these sweet, tender Spring onions were there to surprised us with the punget touch of the ginger and the crunchyness of the sesame.
The atmosphere was changing with that fantastic Nordic light. The sun was setting down, the kitchen was working on full speed and the customers were happier after the first cocktails and dishes. Funky music on, smiles everywhere.
And we couldn’t help but order the Grilled Squid with Black King Trumpets. We were happily surprised to see that it was still on the menu, since we ordered it back in January and we loved it. Again, it was all about contrasts: the fresh, salty and clean flavor of the squid was deliciously paired with the earthy taste of the mushrooms.
We continued with the Sweetbread of Veal with Morels and Salted Butter. You can’t deny that it looked intriguing to say the least. Well, we hadn’t ever eaten such a tender meat before. Immaculately white on the inside, soft and buttery, over a bed of the most delicious morels.
And my favorite time of the day arrived: dessert. Last time we had the wonderful Air on Air on Air Tiramisu, which we highly recommend, but this time we were feeling adventurous and we followed the advice of our waitress. We chose the Salted Wasabi Cream Toffee. But first, the mandatory cotton candy!
Yes, you will get that fluffly ball of sugar and childhood memories with your coffee. We just love it. It makes us giggle everytime they put it in front of us. We have to confess that it’s one of the reasons we love Geist so much. It’s fun, it’s something you will never have as an adult but it’s just amazing.
But back to the real deal. Dessert was without any doubt the best part of the meal. The different layers made the flavors appear one by one: first the spicy wasabi, then the smooth sugar until you got to the creamy intense toffee. One of the best desserts we’ve ever had. We were really happy to have followed our waitress’ recommendation.
By the time we left the restaurant the moon was up, there were a few customers left and we were already thinking about our next visit. We had a wonderful time. The music was fun but not too loud, the food was excellent and the service was spotless yet friendly. Geist is one of those places that you love recommending but you are afraid to do so, because you want them to be your little secret.
If you ever visit Copenhagen, please do book a table at Geist. You certainly won’t regret it. That menu is something that you will never forget. A dinner at Geist is a whole experience. Be daring, be bold, choose something that scares you a little bit and discover new possibilities. You will love it.
KONGENS NYTORV 8 DK-1050 KØBENHAVN K
Book your table:+45 3313 3713 / MAIL@RESTAURANTGEIST.DK