New Nordic perfection: The Restaurant by Kroun
You’ve probably seen on my Instagram that I was up the coast last week at Kurhotel Skodsborg – I’d been invited to try out their new restaurant, which opened late in January: The Restaurant by Kroun.
The hotel has been undergoing some big changes recently, and is currently still being renovated and modernized. We got a tour of the hotel and the spa (but unfortunately couldn’t actually enjoy the spa because I’d had the flu before and wasn’t quite on top again yet), which I’ll share with you separately. But the main event was clearly the dinner!
The Restaurant by Kroun is named after head chef Erik Kroun, who has experience from some of the best restaurants in Denmark, including Kong Hans Kælder and Søllerød Kro, under his belt. The cuisine is clearly Nordic, using local and seasonal ingredients of the highest quality, but heavily inspired by French classics as well (noteworthy: the squab confit legs with liver paté).
As luck would have it, the Skodsborg team had invited a fellow blogger, Alex, the man behind VirtualWayfarer, on the same day, and since we already knew each other, we decided to share a table (together with our respective handsome dates). We were welcomed by restaurant manager and sommelier Martin Troelsen in the beautiful interior – I really want one of those antler chandeliers!
We were about to be treated to the whole nine yards – champagne with snacks, followed by 8 courses, paired with 8 wines, followed by coffee, tea, and petit fours. We started sipping on some bubbly (a very elegant blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) while we studied the menu cards, which came sealed with a silver sticker.
The snacks came in two servings, one “from the sea” and one “from land”, if you will. I don’t recall exactly what each of them were, but I vividly remember the raw scallops with apple and ginger – absolutely divine. On the “land” side, there was a salty shortbread (excellent!), broccolini, and a crispy, flat bread.
And then it was time for the real dinner to start!
Our first course was clams and cabbage with a buttermilk “vinaigrette”, paired with an amazing French Chablis. I cannot get over the beauty of this dish, and I’m also completely in love with the tableware, not just for this serving, but the others, too.
Late winter/ early spring is the season for lumpfish roe (nicknamed “Danish caviar”, probably because the Danes love it so much!), so we were treated to this lovely dish of lumpfish roe, potatoes, and chips. The wine pairing was a velvety smooth Sancerre.
Normally, lumpfish roe is not one of my favorites, but I really enjoyed this dish. The creaminess of the potato mash worked very well, and the flavors were matched to not overpower each other.
At this point, I could already tell that the wine was going to be a bit of a problem – everything we’d tasted so far was absolutely delicious and matched very well with the food, and our super friendly and competent staff was eager to refill our glasses. And I still had six more to go! I tried to pace myself, but have to admit I wasn’t terribly successful!
The third course was, I think, my favorite: cod, butter sauce, and roe. The wine pairing, a Californian Chardonnay, elevated this dish to new levels of perfection.
We then moved on to red wines to go with our fourth course: sweetbreads, lobster, and onion in a rich bouillon. This was paired with a German Spätburgunder. I have to say that I’m not the best with sweetbreads; I have a thing about textures and therefore don’t love foods like snails, mussels, or sweetbread. The flavors worked together beautifully, though, and the plating was on point (as it was throughout the entire night).
Our main course was something I’d really been looking forward to: squab (aka young pigeon) and beetroot in a balsamico reduction. Before the actual birds came out, we got these “snacks” of confit legs (whole legs!) of squab with a liver paté. Freaky to look at, but so delicious!
The squabs were carved at the table and drizzled with the thick, flavorful balsamico reduction – I love balsamico, so I was catapulted to sauce heaven! The wine pairing was a Spanish Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, which had enough depth to hold its own against the strong flavors of the dish.
Next up was the cheese course, where we were served this beautiful plate of Comté and a strong blue cheese with macadamia nuts and quince jam. The blue cheese was a bit too strong for my taste, but the quince jam balanced the flavor out nicely, as did the Sauternes that had mysteriously made its way into our glasses.
This was followed by our first dessert, a sheep’s milk sorbet with caramel and tarragon, served with a French Jurançon, a sweet wine often paired with cheese, foie gras, or desserts. I really enjoyed the sorbet, as it was relatively neutral in flavor and therefore worked beautifully as a palate cleanser after the heavy main course and cheeses.
Our last course of the night was a cream of Jerusalem artichokes with hazelnuts and malt, paired with an intense Macvin du Jura (an unusual, but lovely wine – read more here). While I really did enjoy both desserts, I was born with a huge sweet tooth and could have done with some more classic dessert ingredients (such as chocolate, berries, vanilla) in at least one of the dishes.
As the night drew to a close, we were served our choice of coffee (two different types of beans were brought out for us to choose from) or fresh herbal tea. I’ve hardly ever seen a prettier tea serving than this one – and the tea came out in a soft pink color, too. Alongside, we were also served two plates of petit fours, but I only managed to try two – one was sort of like a profiterole, the other one a classic chocolate praline with raspberry (if memory serves, after 8+ glasses of wine…).
After this, all we could manage to do was stumble out of the restaurant into the waiting taxi!
The Restaurant by Kroun is definitely a place to go if you’re looking for an extraordinary dining experience in the greater Copenhagen area. The food, the wines, and the service were excellent throughout the night, and I’m absolutely positive that I’ll be back here to try different seasonal menus.
The Restaurant by Kroun at Kurhotel Skodsborg | open Thurs-Sat 18:30-23:00 | skodsborg.dk
Disclaimer: I was invited to sample the menu for free. I received no further compensation for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.