Culture
Food
Hótel holt

Hótel holt

Published June 2, 2006

Ah, Hótel Holt. A fancy hotel with an even fancier restaurant and home to what must be the fanciest art gallery this side of Fancyland. This reviewer has fond childhood memories of running up his grandparents’ credit card bills by ordering cheese sandwiches from the Holt’s gourmet kitchen at all kinds of inconvenient times, crawling all over the expensive leather furniture and being told not to touch the Cuban cigars and to stop poking the antique books.
Coming back for a meal recently, and on decidedly better behaviour, the experience was more sober and refined. As soon as you enter the gallery, which is basically the interior of the restaurant/lobby, you are greeted by a large collection of paintings by all the greats of Icelandic art. It is sometimes said to be the most valuable single collection in Iceland, and looking around for a moment it’s not hard to believe. As an added bonus, the walls in the cognac room are lined with shelves of ancient-looking books, the only one we could see a date on said 1738, and it clearly wasn’t the oldest.
We were suitably impressed, then, before the meal even began. Having been told that an inexperienced person might accidentally request a 100,000 ISK bottle of wine, we left the selection to our waiter, and he brought us back… eh, something good. Probably French. You can tell we were out of our element here. Underlining that fact was our waiter for the evening: Jeeves, Jr. This was someone who took his job so seriously you got the feeling he would never forgive himself if your glass of water went below the half-empty mark. For all his professionalism he would have done well to crack a smile, though, but I suppose that’s forbidden by contract these days.
The food consisted of modern versions of French haute cuisine, with foam and delicate little side dishes much in evidence. It was all very good, but perhaps not as mind-blowing as one was expecting from a restaurant with such an impeccable reputation. It may be that the Holt is simply a victim of its own success in that regard, served anywhere else a meal like that would probably surprise you with its quality.



Culture
Food
Searching For Reykjavík’s Best Old Fashioned

Searching For Reykjavík’s Best Old Fashioned

by

There’s no doubt that ‘Mad Men’—television auteur Matthew Weiner’s conflicted tribute to an America that was—left a great big legacy

Culture
Food
Walking The Donut Gauntlet

Walking The Donut Gauntlet

by

My first memory of a Dunkin’ Donuts (aka DnD) involved banking, Iceland. Yes, banking.   Almost every Saturday, my father would

Culture
Food
Mixed Reactions: Dunkin Donuts Or Dunkin Do Not?

Mixed Reactions: Dunkin Donuts Or Dunkin Do Not?

by

Gird your loins. A new invasion is storming Iceland’s shores, and this time it’s far more fearsome than Viking longboats.

Culture
Food
A Guide To All-Day Drinking In Reykjavík

A Guide To All-Day Drinking In Reykjavík

by

I originally set out to make an overview of “cocktail culture” in my favourite city, Reykjavík. There is a bit

Culture
Food
Kaffihús Vesturbæjar: Out Of The City And Into The Heart Of 107

Kaffihús Vesturbæjar: Out Of The City And Into The Heart Of 107

by

Walking from downtown over to Vesturbær, the westernmost district of Reykjavík, things quickly become residential. Souvenir shops are swapped out

Culture
Food
Make Your Own Smørrebrød

Make Your Own Smørrebrød

by

The shrimp pyramid at “Smørrebrød” sandwich place Jómfrúin received our coveted “Best Must-Try Dining Experience” prize in this year’s Reykjavík

Show Me More!