The Copenhagen Tales

Restaurant Alouette

· The newest member of the Copenhagen Michelin star gang ·

June 21, 2019 0 Comments

Copenhagen is blessed with an amazing restaurant scene - from street food to fine dining, you’ll find a selection and depth here that is pretty much unrivaled in Europe. On the high end of the spectrum, Copenhagen is blessed with plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants, ranging from one to three stars. So every year, when the new Michelin guide is published, everyone pays attention.

This year, there weren’t that many surprises - although people probably expected the re-launched Noma to get three stars instead of two. In 2019, the exclusive gang of Copenhagen Michelin star restaurants gained a new member: Alouette, located in Islands Brygge, got its star after only about 8 months in business - not bad at all!

After reading a few reviews, I knew this place was on my list to try, and after a few times of moving and canceling my reservation due to unforeseen circumstances and general busyness in the spring time, we finally made in last week.

My husband’s and my birthdays are only a few days apart, which allows us to bill any and all activity around that time as birthday-related. So after drinks on my birthday, dinner on his birthday, and a family birthday barbecue, we also had a fancy birthday dinner at Alouette. I feel like we’re playing this pretty well!

One undeniable cool-factor for Alouette is its location in an old factory building that still mainly houses shabby band practice rooms. They’ll pick you up out on the street because otherwise there’d be a slim chance of you finding the entrance yourself - through a back courtyard, into a dimly-lit hallway and a graffiti’d freight elevator, the feel is that of an 80ies movie about drugs, until they open a grimy steel door to reveal another, fancy carved wood door, behind which the restaurant is hidden.

The space itself is beautiful, with an open kitchen and plenty of windows lining the long wall, creating an almost greenhouse-like atmosphere. We were seated in the “cozy corner” of the windowless part of the restaurant (not ideal for my food photos or but definitely cozy), and started off with a glass of bubbles and some snacks: mushroom crackers with sour cream, tempura fried eggplant, and cheese crackers with radish, followed by buttery soft brioche bread with apple and bacon butter.

Ever since I stopped eating meat last year, I’ve been super interested in seeing if and how high-end restaurants cater for vegetarian guests. Alouette offers a vegetarian menu, but you have to make a note at the time of your reservation. I chose the wine menu, while my husband opted for the juice pairing (we originally agreed to share both, but someone really enjoyed the juices so someone else went home a little more drunk that expected).

Our first course was seasonal, grilled white asparagus with a pine needle glaze on fermented sheep’s yogurt with a reduction of almond butter and almond milk. This came with a chenin blanc (from a Danish winemaker in California) or a juice with apple, sorrel, and green asparagus.

Next up was a tartar from old Danish milk cows with caviar, while I had a beetroot tartar with salt herb. This was paired with a North Italian, crisp white and a pear, peach and lemon juice - loads of acidity to go with the tartar.

Our third course was pan-fried turbot with sauce from bones; my veggie version was a grilled parsnip with a sauce made from Japanese seaweed, double cream, and lemon thyme. If there’s one thing you must know about Alouette, it’s that their sauces are amazing - I told the waiter that I needed this sauce in an IV, and minutes later, the head chef and owner came by with two small cups of extra sauce for us. Yes, it’s good enough to drink! Also, all restaurants should offer this service.

Next up was a course of guinea fowl for my husband, while I got a lovely dish with leeks, maitake mushroom, rocket, and mushroom broth, paired with a young pinot noir from Burgundy and a juice with beetroot, blackcurrant, raspberries and pomegranate.

Finally, dessert was “a study in strawberries” from Rokkedyssegaard, who have hands-down the best berries in the greater Copenhagen area - the only ones I use in my Rumtopf! The dish was a medley of fresh, grilled, dried, and candied strawberries with just a tiny bit of rhubarb - a favorite combination. At Alouette, they like to use the same ingredients in multiple ways in one dish, and it really works well. The wine pairing was a Sauvingon dulce blanc from Spain, and my husband let me try a sip or two of his rhubarb juice with bergamot and Sri Lankan lemongrass tea.

We finished with a glass of cognac (me), a double espresso (also me) and two types of petits fours: a marshmallow and a dark chocolate macaron.

If you’re looking for a fun and delicious experience, I would highly recommend Alouette - it’s down to earth and unpretentious in its approach, and staff are all super nice and fun. The food is amazing, creative, and absolutely delicious, and the prices are in line with what you’d expect for Copenhagen (the full experience with a bubbles, snacks, five course menu, wine or juice pairing, coffee, petits fours, and avec is DKK 1,500).

August 11, 2019


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