A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.
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HORST TAPAS

HORST TAPAS

Published August 20, 2004

On a hot and sultry day like this it is particularly appropriate to enjoy a round of Tapas. The only restaurant in Reykjavik specialising in this Spanish culinary delight is Tapas Bar, located in the cellar of Vesturgata 3b. The central location makes it an ideal place to visit after spending a sunny afternoon in Austurvöllur, which is exactly what Grapevine did on this hot August evening. We elected to sit outside, although a decidedly un-Spanish evening gust was starting to make its presence felt in downtown Reykjavík. Being young, adventurous and obese, we decided to select the chef’s choice of a large selection of small dishes. We didn’t have to wait very long before the dishes began to arrive, one by one. Among the delicious and often exotic-looking delicacies on offer were scallops, baked salted cod (the strongest economic and culinary link between Spain and Iceland), almond roasted trout with bananas, meatballs with romesco sauce, grilled pork and roasted crabs (delicious, although for the editor they brought back uncomfortable memories of his unfortunate bout with crab lice in the late 90’s)(not true, I didn´t even get to have sex in the late 90´s –ed.). The spices and sauces were savoury, but always played Garfunkel to the main ingredients’ Simon.
For dessert we had the most exotic item we could find on the menu: Baked goat cheese with jam, honey and crisp bread. We were not quite sure what to do with the honey but the goat cheese was delicious, although its taste was a little too reminiscent of the smell in the goat shack in the Reykjavik farm animal zoo. Perhaps a bit like having sex with someone who reminds you of a close relative.
While we ate, we discussed the effects of weather on national character and the Icelandic national character in particular. Our waiter, who turned out to be Portuguese, had various things to say on the matter. Icelanders, he said, are willing to accept any indignity from their government, but if they get cold coffee with their dessert they demand loudly to get the whole meal for free. We couldn’t help but be a little concerned for him, as he chatted with us for several minutes outside in the evening breeze while holding a half-full pot of cooling and potentially rampage-inducing coffee. However, no cold coffee frenzies resulted that particular evening. Perhaps it will be safe to give us beer coolers. Any year now.



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Food
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Rural Evolution

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This summer saw the birth of two food markets. One of them, a fully fledged outdoor market in Fógetagarðurinn where street food and high-end restaurants mingle. The other, an ongoing series of grassroots pop-up markets with a focus on ethnic cuisine. This new rise in food markets called for a sitdown with the representatives of each—a sort of boozy state of the union for the Reykjavík food scene. RAGNAR: I recently went on a little food excursion outside of Reykjavík. I stopped by Hótel Varmahlíð and they were doing this whole farm-to-table seasonal thing. Have you been? ÓLAFUR: No, but

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I walk into Salt Eldhús (“Salt Kitchen”) on a rainy summer afternoon that feels chilly enough to be fall. Shaking off in the vestibule, I’m met by owner Auður Ögn Árnadóttir, who shakes my hand cheerfully and invites me to help myself to a cup of coffee and one of her homemade, rainbow-hued macaroons–her specialty. A completely self-taught chef with a background in retail, event planning, and interior decorating, Auður opened Salt as a “teaching kitchen” in 2012. Since then, her (Icelandic-language) classes–ranging from a macaroon workshop to classic sauce and cheese-making courses, as well as guest-taught sessions on regional

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After damn near revolutionizing Reykjavík drinking culture via the beloved Appy Hour app, The Reykjavík Grapevine team has created a new thingamajig that will hopefully prove just as useful for the denizens of Reykjavík and their guests. The new app is called Craving, and has the purpose of granting hungry people freedom from having to spend hours pondering where to go for lunch or dinner. Of course, taking time to carefully deliberate where one’s next meal should come from is a wholly enjoyable endeavour, but as those of us who frequently dine out in 101 Reykjavík (and are generally spoilt for choice)

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Much like the version of himself Ted Danson portrayed in the cult TV hit show ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’—in which Mr. Danson donated handsomely, and anonymously, to a good cause—there was a huge buzz this spring about a new pizza place that was, and remains, anonymous. Locals were very eager to know more about this nameless new establishment—simply referred to by its address, Hverfisgata 12—which had clearly done well with its word-of-mouth marketing strategy. People gave more attention to the anonymous method than to those putting themselves out there in a more ostentatious fashion, much like the Ted Danson vs Larry

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Before you can name your child in Iceland, you have to run the name by the highly conservative Icelandic Naming Committee. But that’s where the micromanaging stops. You can name your farm Saurbær (“Shitville”), name your horse Hátíð (“Festival”), and name your streets Barmahlíð (“Bosom Hill”) or Völundarhús (“Labyrinth”). Bar and restaurant names are no exception. Here’s an easy-to-digest overview of some of the best and worst of Icelandic restaurant names, inspired by a Buzzfeed listicle we read called “Top 5 Reasons For Top 5 Lists.” Top 5 Questionable Bar/Restaurant Names 5. Harlem It’s closed now, and it was good

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