Almanak

Directly at the harbor front lies The Standard with its restaurants Almanak, Studio and a jazz club. And this is where we spent our Saturday evening. We had a dinner reservation for 8pm which didn’t help us with the queue though. What I found astonishing was that locals are treated differently. They can cut the line, get their table first and enjoy their first course already while we were still waiting for the drinks. No joke, we waited about 45 minutes and then got a measly apology while the couple next two us were on their second course already. That didn’t make me happy, so I had to get that off my chest first. But let’s move on to the actual meal.

We wanted to sample as much as possible and to achieve this (and get a ‘good deal’)  it is best to go with the set menu. As we had already done at Bror we chose the five-course meal while my vegetarian friend had to order á la carte. There were just not enough dishes available to have the Almanak menu meatless. When we finally started with our meal we were happy. Especially my friend Cat loved it since the dishes were easy and straight forward. No challenge here as we had it at Bror.

The restaurant is large with an open kitchen beside the bar and comfortably warm. I definitely got a hyggeligt feeling there even more so after starting to drink Gin&Tonic (once you forgo the notion that you have to drink wine with a meal, you realize that G&T is almost a bargain compared to everything else). Best of all the place was heated and not drafty. Loved it!

inside Almanak @Copenhagen

inside Almanak @Copenhagen

Our first course was crispy beer bread with lovage mayo for all and cod tails with buttered rye bread for us omnivores. I can’t really say why the mayonnaise was so green (avocado, come to think of it) and I cannot really say that it had any distinct taste, but the smørrebrøds were outstanding. Simple and perfectly seasoned.

crispy beer bread with lovage mayo @Almanak

Once we got our second course Susi got already both her side dishes. That didn’t work out well. Not only was the restaurant not prepared for vegetarians they also mixed up the sequence. Two warm dishes at the same time means you either have to ‘rush’ through your meal while later on you watch your friends eating two more courses while you have an empty plate. Or, as my friend did, you try to eat slow and savour every bite only to end up with cold food. Either way that did not look ideal to me and needs to be adjusted by the restaurant. There are also no pictures from the vegetarian dishes since they didn’t look enticing enough but I was told that they tasted good.

Cat and I got next a duck confit with garlic infused foam (here I have to apologize because I am not really sure any more. I promise from now on I will start taking notes). It’s also the last dark picture; afterwards we realized one could use her phone to illuminate the dish while the other takes the picture. Yeah, some things need time. To the dish itself I can’t really say anything, it was probably good.

confit of wild duck garlic infused foam @Almanak

Next up was beef tartar and then duck breast with celery and apples. I distinctly remember the tartar, it was an explosion of flavors on my palate. Closing my eyes I can still recollect the taste. The main dish was a seared duck breast with a smear of celeriac purée and apples. I think there were some berries in the sauce too. Lovely taste, well executed and pleasing to the eye. Nothing too demanding, Cat was totally happy.

beef tartar @Almanak

wild duck breast with celeriac and apples @Almanak

For dessert the menu ‘takers’ had flambéed mandarin sorbet with creamy meringue and roasted almonds. The combination was okay, mandarin is just not my favorite. Also the flambéeing took place while I was off to the bathroom, so I came back to an unappetizing plate of runny colors.  The other dessert was a trio of sweets from the chef which look a lot more inviting, only the picture turned out blurred. So I cannot put it up here.

mandarin sorbet flambéed @Almanak

Overall the restaurant is a sound choice. It is interesting that writing about Bror and Almanak in hindsight made me realize that Bror is so much sharper in my memory. Probably because the meal was absolutely unique while dinner at Almanak was pleasing for the moment but not remarkable. Except for the service which was slow all the way through the meal (apart from the dessert when they really could have waited two more minutes). Still, it made for a nice evening and the food was certainly good. And let’s not forget about the excellent Gin&Tonic. Yours, Pollybert

Almanak
Havengade 10, 1058 Copenhagen
Email: almanak@thestandardcph.dk
Tel: +45 72 14 88 08
Mon-Sun: 12:00-24:00
Lunch served 12:00-15:00
dinner served 17:30-22:00
http://thestandardcph.dk/en/almanak

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