Classic Søllerød Kro

Visited on 24 June 2007

Amuse Bouche

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.

A View to the Kitchen

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.

The Courtyard

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.

My White Love

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.

The Bottles

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 scallops

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.

The halibut with the peas

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.

The Zander

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.

Pork Loin

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.

Strawberries and Elderflower

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.

Interior of the Søllerød Kro

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.

24 Responses to “Classic Søllerød Kro”

  • Interesting, thanks for the information. At least it looks like the champagne glass that I bought is a good one. I believe so too.

  • Hi Allan,

    The Era Ora Champagne glass is great – you will love it.

    There was a Champagne glass contest some time ago – which Champagne glass was the best.

    Here is some of the story taken from a wine board.

    Tasters where Magaret Rand (author of the article, Simon Larkin, and Tom Stevenson.) The article appears in issue 9 of Fine Wine Magazine, which I commend to all readers (disclosure: I have an article in the issue, too). The results were indeed inconclusive.

    Eight glasses were tried: Riedl Vinum Chianti/Riesling, Riedel Vinum Champagne Cuvée Prestige, Spiegelau Champange Vino Grande, Riedel Sommelier Champagne, Riedel Sommelier Vintage Champagne, Reijmyre Juhlin, Spiegelau Champagne Willsberger Collection, and Schott-Zwiesel Top Ten Sommelier Collection Sparkling Wines.

    Seven Champagnes were tried: Roederer Brut Premier NV, Jacquesson Cuvée 729 Brut NV, 1996 Pol Roger Chardonnay Réserve, Drappier Nature Pinot Noir Zéro Dosage Blanc de Noirs NV, 1997 Bollinger Grande Année, 1995 Bollinger RD, and 1988 Henriot Rosé.

    One point was awarded if a glass was a taster’s clear or equal favorite resulting in a total of 28 points:

    7 each for the Riejmyre Juhlin and the Spiegelau Willsberger Collection Champagne,
    6 for the Riedel Sommelier Vintage Champagne
    4 for the Schott-Zwiesel
    3 for the Riedel Vinum Cuvée Prestige
    1 for the Spiegelau Vino Grande
    0 for the Riedel Sommelier Champagne and the Riedel Vinum Chainti Classico/Riesling.

    Moreover, preferences for glasses varied among different wines.

    In the end, nothing conclusive

  • Allan, you’re comment was spammed for some reason. I’ve de-spammed it now.

  • Weird, I wrote a reply to Thomas yesterday but it’s not here.

    To sum it up, while Era Ora might not be innovative it’s great food, great products, great service and all in all we had a great evening. I’ll definately come back!

  • Thanks for you remarks, Allan and Thomas, on Era Ora.
    Now, I had to add it to my wish list. 🙂

  • Thanks for your positive remarks on blog. Highly appreciated!

    I agree with you they probably cannot take it any further as it is about simplicity as well. You sense at Era Ora that they make an effort into selecting the best products, whether it’s tomatoes, wine, glasses or service in general and I love them for that.
    Italian food is great and Era Ora was great indeed. I know now that I shouldn’t go there expecting to be overwhelmed with innovativeness but to get a great dinner with just as good wine. I know now where to set my expectations and I’m confident they’ll live up to them in the future.

    You mention their hand blown stemware and I just have to comment on that. We decided to go there the following week and buy 12 of their “champagne glasses”:
    We haven’t used them yet but I’m looking forward to on Sep 22 when I’ll have a birthday party.
    I’m seriously thinking about buying more of their Eclisse selection which holds a lot of “Willsberger Collection” glasses from Spiegelau. Only thing is we already have a lot of different Spiegelau glasses …

  • Hi Allan,

    I have just read your review about Era Ora. Great article. Love the site also. You look like two happy people.

    It’s not surprising to me that you in some ways take notice of the simplicity in Era Ora cusine and the way it takes some of the innovative out.

    When I first visited Era Ora in 1994 it was by far (IMHO) the most innovative restaurant in Copenhagen. But back then, it was easy to be singled out, as most of the other top restaurant had a French concept. Also Era Ora had these small servings (like they still do) and only 1 fixed menu. Era Ora had back then also an air-conditioned restaurant – meaning that the wine was always served at the right temperature and in top class stemware.

    But much has happened since and now Era Ora is not at all innovative in comparison with some of the other top restaurants in Copenhagen. On paper this is not a plus, well for me it isn’t as I liked to be surprised when I go out.


    Read the August edition of Euroman. Here Jesper Uhrup Jensen reviews Era Ora and for me he is spot on.

    Era Ora is about simplicity. Italian food IS simple. Basically it’s vegetables, meat, fish and lots of olive oil. I think Era Ora has taken the innovative to its maximum of what the concept can hold, but still preserved the Italian touch. Whenever I am at Era Ora I want to go to Noma next to get a kick of the best innovative and brilliant Nordic cuisine. But when I have been around MR, Noma and Geranium I want to go back to Era Ora and have a simple meal with great Italian food served in top glass hand-blown stemware.


  • Thanks for your thoughts on Era Ora. I wrote a review on my blog if you’re interested Thomas.

    I’ll write one about noma now 🙂

  • Hi Trine,

    I have no relation to Italy other than a little Italian in my stomach.

    I love their food, wines, design, clothes, culture and the way they like no other approach life.

    But currently nothing beats Noma, when it comes to restaurants. I will go there again on September the 22nd.

    I have been to Rome twice. I have visited other restaurants, but nothing that I would seriously recommend.

    Looking forward to hear what you think of La Pergola.


  • Hi Thomas,

    Thanks very much for your comment and for sharing your knowledge about Era Ora and more! Over 30 times that’s really impressive. My one time only at Era Ora was in 2001, and I was absolutely thrilled about it. I had wanted to go there for years because it sounded, to me, like the quintessence of gourmet dining. Exotic. And it was.

    You say your love for Italy. Does it originate from Era Ora, or is it the other way around? Please, what relation do you have to Italy?

    Oh, by the way, can you recommend me something in Rome, where I’m going next month? Perhaps something less pricey than La Pergola 🙂


  • Trine,

    Almost forgot…great review about Søllerød…Jan Restorff is a fantastic host.


  • Hi Trine and Allan,

    I just saw this post about Era Ora.

    I guess I am too late to give you some advice, Allan.

    But it’s quit simple, just sit back and enjoy.

    Fell free to ask about Era Ora – it’s has been one of my favourite restaurants in Copenhagen for many years. I have visited it over 30 times now and have become close friends with the people there.

    My love for Italy, culture, design, food and wine is close related to my affection for Era Ora. In the 1990’s no one came close to Era Ora in Copenhagen. But now, things are different. Copenhagen is on the move and there are so much talent here. Era Ora has suddenly become a traditional institution, where it in the past was the most innovative restaurant in Copenhagen

    Best from,


  • Yeah, now re-reading Thomas’ review, I think I’ve mixed up something.

    I’m so curious about Era Ora – did you have the wines by glass or what? If so, was it good?

    Can’t wait to read your post about your experience there! 🙂

    No photos. 🙁 I’m disappointed.

  • OK, didn’t know if it was someone from another restaurant or whatnot.

    Anyway, don’t know if Thomas was there at the opening night, but the pictures added at belmaati isn’t what was served on opening night 🙂

    I’ll write a review on Era Ora in the coming days 🙂
    No pictures though …

  • No, Thomas isn’t someone who you should know. I don’t know Thomas either. But from reading Belmaati’s wine forum it seems that Thomas knows quite a bit about wine. And About Era Ora.

    (Thomas – if you’re reading this please feel free to comment 😉 )

    Two more days, Allan, for your superb (I hope) Italian experience. I look forward to reading your review!

    … and 8 days until my next gourmet dinner 🙂

    Ps. Oh by the way, I think that Thomas dined at Geranium the same evening as you did.

  • Thanks for the tip on Era Ora. Is it a Thomas I should know? 3 more days, can’t wait!

    The Burgundy/NZ tasting might be somewhat similar to when tasting Syrah/Rhone vs Shiraz/Australia. The Australian one might come out as the better choice at first hand because it has so much flavour, warmth and taste. However if you’re patient the Syrah from Rhone might get better due to complexity and might recall other/more different tastes.
    Then again one wine might be better one day with one dish whereas the other wine will “win” with another dish. Atmosphere might count as well, whether one like it or not 🙂

    I haven’t tasted everything, hence I can only say what I’m keen on from what I’ve tasted. I do like some wines from Ribera del Duero, Brunello, Amarone and some of the Australian Shiraz. I’m not that fond of French wine I think but there’s thousands I haven’t tasted. 🙂
    I prefer the ones with TASTE hehe

  • Allan,

    I just came across Thomas’ (Toga) review here of Era Ora ( I think that you can take his word for it when he recommends to choose the offered wine menu over a bottle selection! 😉

  • You know the thing you said about Burgundys being a girl’s favourite wine. That made me think, although not sure why. Interesting view. 🙂

    Although I highly appreciate lightness, I don’t think that it’s the lightness of Burgundy wine that fascinates me. It’s the complexity, and the fact that they composite so many various scents and flavours, the fact that they after a short while or for hours have turned into something completely different. The nose and the palate full of fruit but at the same time structured and not overdone.

    I did an experiment this weekend. I’ve heard a couple of times that wine from New Zealand has something that is comparable and like the expensive French but are better value for money.

    I blind tasted two Chardonnays one Puligny-Montrachet and one New Zealand. At first I mistook them to be the other way around. The New Zealand was the most interesting one to begin with yellow fruit, some oak, crispy but after a couple of hours it had too much oak and sort of fizzled out, whereas the PM was much more seductive, and to my surprise I even noted the taste of hazelnuts, which I have never experienced before. Conclusion, hard one, and not really fair by just one test, the NZ was surely interesting and pleasurable but this one doesn’t have the finesse and complexity.
    By the way, the PM’s price was the double of the NZ one.

    Perhaps I should test two Pinot Noirs…

    What kind of wine(s) are you keen on?

    When you go to Era Ora try and sneak into the wine cellar next to the loos in the basement. Fascinating 🙂 I could spend an hour there just browsing around imagining all the bottles were mine mine…. 🙂

  • I might not have put that right, but I didn’t mean that foam equals sauce. I just stressed that there are different kinds of foam, different textures to the foam that the different restaurants prepare.

    The very good burgundys (well those that’s payable) I like, but they’re not a favourite as I find them too light. I know this is a delicate wine and while I enjoy them they’re just not my favourite, but I surely understand why they’d be a girl’s favourite.

    I totally agree with you in trying to figure out which wines are great with what dishes, but I find the wine menus are great at exploring that. Anyway, I might have to try and go for something I select myself hmm 🙂

  • Hmm. Foam and sauce, I disagree with you. When the foam is liquid I prefer it without the bobbles. If the kitchen announces foam then I expect something that is nearly as stiff as whipped egg whites. Okay, this is really nerdy talk I suppose. 🙂

    I’ve had the wine menu a large number of times dining at gourmet restaurants, but for the moment I prefer to order bottle(s). The reason is that for the same money you can get a really nice wine that possibly is hard to find in any shop in Copenhagen. I’m in the middle of exploring (leaning about) Burgundy wines which I’ve found myself very keen on. And I think it’s good fun to try a wine that I have been reading about and to study how it evolves during an evening, and how it suits (or not) various kinds of dishes. But that’s just probably because I’m very analytical when it comes to experiencing food and wine. Weird thing, huh? 🙂

    So when I’m dining at noma early August I think that I’ll select a bottle. The question is though whether it should be a white or a red one…

  • I agree that foam comes in different textures, as e.g. sauce (or maybe the more thick sauce is glace, hmm). Anyway the differences in foam is evident and it’s great they’re capable of adjusting it to any given dish.

    Ah, hyldeblomst, it sure has found its place in the market for the last years, incl. various juices and drinks.

    With respect to Era Ora, I’m pretty sure we’ll go with the wine menu. We’re just two going there (me and my girlfriend) and ordering bottles would be too much/too difficult with all their dishes. I just hope they select something great, but actually I don’t doubt it.
    Very much looking forward to the experience – wondering what it costs, as I don’t really understand what they’ve written on their website with respect to menu/wine menu prices.

  • It’ funny that you mention the foam, because I was thinking whether or not to mention it. I’ve noticed two kinds of foam lately, one fluffy one, which is stiff in a way like whipped cream, and then an other one which is more fluid with texture as bobbles. The foam on the halibut here was more of the second type and in this case I would rather call it a sauce because of the lack of firmness to it.

    Elderflower is “hyldeblomst” in Danish, and the latin name is Sambucus Nigra.

    Domaine Leflaive is fabulous even “just” the village one. But I paid even less for the premier cru one, I had at “Tyven”. Same vintage same producer.

    My best of luck with your Era Ora dinner! I celebrated my birthday there some years ago and it was fantastic, but haven’t been there ever since. It was one of my first real gourmet experiences (as was Søllerød in fact) and it’ll thus always be kind of special to me. Do you think that you’ll have the wine menu or select the bottle(s) yourself?

  • A classic visit I must say. I haven’t been there dining myself, but attended a reception for a wedding for which they’d produced a lot of great appetizers. The restaurant is definately on my list, but I just find some other restaurants more interesting so far – it will be visited though. In a couple of weeks it’s Era Ora though, have you been there Trine?

    It seems Kroen is a bit foamy as well, just like your recent post “Mr. Foam). Out of curiosity, what’s “elderflowers” (Danish word?).

    Millionaire or not, Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet must’ve cost you close to one of the big notes, hence glad you enjoyed the wine.

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