Category Archives: Denmark

noma

Love, like an American supermarket, is a fascinating and scary thing.  To walk its aisles is to struggle to distinguish what you want from what you need.  To fully understand its intricacies is to know too much.  In a frustratingly beautiful way, its true nature can seem inscrutable.

Danish supermarkets aren’t much easier so far.  This is the fifth one we’ve been to in Copenhagen tonight.  My girlfriend and I have just eaten lunch — two days in a row — at noma, the restaurant some rank above every other one on the planet, and she is agonizing over which gummy candies to have for dinner.  It turns out that she is to gelatin and sugar what Robert Parker is to wine or Roger Ebert to movies, a connoisseur of the highest ilk, an unequivocal arbiter of quality.

I poke fun, but it’s actually quite fetching.  I’ve always had a thing for Sour Patch Kids, so the match was meant to be. Continue reading

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Kødbyens Fiskebar

My hands are frozen, my lips are cracked, my ears glow a flourescent red, and I’ve lost feeling in my feet for some time now. Vaguely skeletal objects occasionally impede our steps. They might be bicycles, but I can’t see anything, so who knows.

Though it kind of feels like it, we are not climbing Everest. We’re trudging through the snowy streets of Copenhagen looking for a restaurant.

Unfortunately our maps provide an insufficient level of detail. We haven’t seen a taxi in about an hour. And even if we found one, we’d be unable to direct the driver anywhere. I want to curse but am frustrated by my inability to do so. Why is Danish so impossible?

And why, my girlfriend asks, don’t we just stop someplace else? We’ve passed hundreds of places to eat, and we’re scouring a neighborhood called Meat Town for a restaurant whose name sounds a lot like Fish Bar. Continue reading

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Relæ

I remember a few years back my mother and I celebrated my birthday at a restaurant in New York. Caught up in a moment of reflection, she put down her fork. “Where do you see yourself in a year?,” she asked. Dreams, goals, personal and professional aspirations: this was the time to share them.

I responded with the name of a restaurant.

The name of that restaurant is not important (though if you know me personally, I’m sure you can guess). What is significant is that, a few months later, I enrolled in a graduate school just 90 minutes away from it. Three hundred and sixty five days later, I was there. In other words my answer, naïve or emotionally shallow though it may have been, was sincere.

Food is my guide.

I met my girlfriend at a gelateria. I signed the lease on the apartment she found me only for its proximity to a certain coffee shop. And last week we flew to a city 3,856 miles from where we live because I wanted to eat beets (which she hates). Continue reading

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