Visited on 24 June 2007
Søllerød Kro is an old inn about 20 kilometres North from Copenhagen in the old village of Søllerød. A beautiful building from 1677.
What characterises Søllerød Kro is elegant and classical dishes combining the French and the Danish traditions, excellent waiters and adorable surroundings.
To celebrate seeing again two dear old friends, who I don’t see very often, Søllerød Kro was the perfect choice for our reunion place and a nice lunch. The food was very delicious, but it didn’t really surprise me. Well, except from the dessert, of course.
The sky was beautifully blue with a few white puffy clouds, sunbeam and the dominant green colour of trees and greenery, the herbs in barrels cut in half, green pillows on the chairs and the huge parasols forming a roof over the tables in the outdoor courtyard. From time to time I saw a chef’s cap with a cook under it pipping off spices from the green plants.
Jan Restorff met me at the courtyard entrance and was very sweet, welcomed me, and told us all about the various selections of the food and wine. We all chose the Søllerød Menu comprising five courses, three dishes with fish and one with pork plus the dessert. I had a look at the wine list and although I had spent hours at home studying and dreaming of what kind of wine I would like to pleasure my palate with, I immediately felt completely lost and disillusioned. It wasn’t a wine list. It was folio size thick book. I needed help.
Naturally, Jan was more than happy to assist me and provided several suggestions ranging from the Austrian Grüner Veltliner over to the top-notch wine of all the whites Le Montrachet. Hard choice, and then again no, actually. I have recently read about the Le Montrachet and since my new passion is Burgundy, I just had to explore the Chardonnay grape now that I have found myself completely in love with the Pinot Noir from this French region.
I’m not a millionaire, so I had to restrain myself. I selected the 2004, Domaine Leflaive, Puligny-Montrachet, a Village.
All right, I throw in the sponge. It is a lot of money but goodness how much I enjoyed this wine. I absolutely loved it. I was surprised by the first sip of it because what popped into my mind was the thought of whisky. I am fascinated by the the smoky nose and what is also reflected in the taste of this wine, the fruit and full-bodied power, it’s well-balanced, intense and yet elegant, not to mention the characteristically mineral flavours. Yes, I guess I could ramble on forever.
The Søllerød Menu
Raw marinated scallops with radish and asparagus
Steamed halibut with “Peas á la Francaise”
Roasted zander with white asparagus, mousseron, and mushroom essence
Grambogaard loin and breast of pork with cabbage, carrot and verbena sauce
Strawberries and elderflower
The raw and marinated scallops with the green asparagus and the white cream of smoked fresh cheese was first of all a delicate starter. I furthermore found it interesting this match of smoke flavours in both the wine and the food.
A piece of halibut with the sweetest fresh and gently boiled peas á la Francaise. A nice dish with a little more bite than the first one.
This dish was wonderful and was brought to our table by Jan and two other waiters one carrying a little pot containing the hot sauce with mushrooms. The fish skin was crispy and the delicious white asparagus were firm and cooked to perfection. It was the balance of this food, the bitterness in the asparagus and the mushroom with the sweetness of the very hot zander fish that made it wonderful.
The firsts three courses had made a nice crescendo to the main course consisting of tender pork loin and breast with cabbage, fine carrots and caramel sauce. It does look like caramel, doesn’t it? But of course it wasn’t that, it was a very nice verbena sauce, which suited the meat by adding tasty power without steeling all the attention from the delicate pork.
And now, my favourite dish of this afternoon: Strawberries and elderflower jelly, that’s the white stuff underneath the strawberries and elderflower foam on the red ice-cream. I would have thought the elderflower to be too overdosing sweet and scented, but this was in fact wonderful. It had what a like so much a lightness to it. The sour of the fresh berries and the sorbet ice cream were perfect balance to the elderflower and the little bit of caramelised bread crumbs underneath providing the full sweet experience of the dessert. I was fantastically surprised and I loved it.
Finishing our delicious dessert it had started to rain and we decided to have the coffee inside the charming rooms of this old inn. I was lucky and had a nice strong cup of espresso, but no chocolates or sweets accompanied it a part from the sugar in various forms. This disappointed the child in me.
All in all a lovely lunch, classic and comfortable. Perhaps too comfortable, because the food didn’t really bewitch me, or made me fell seduced if you like. That’s what I search for, and now more than ever. A restaurant in that region, not geographically speaking, has to do that. It’s the purpose of their business, or should be at least.
Jan Restorff was fantastic with his friendly but professional way of serving his clients, so the service was great, and also my favourite waiter was amongst the men regaling our table, so on that account I couldn’t ask for anything more. Jan had even noticed that I hadn’t drunk the wine I had ordered as fast as the other two ladies, so when pouring our glasses the last time he was particularly generous to me. This made me feel special, and I love places that has that affect on me.
The wine at Søllerød is priced a little bit above the general level of fancy Copenhagen restaurants, but I guess this is the price you pay for their offering such an enormous cellar as well as providing the perfect service. That’s what I did, I guess. Anyway.