The oldest house in Reykjavik, built in 1854 by a wealthy Danish merchant is also one of its oldest restaurants, going from house to bakery to disrepair to historical landmark when it opened its doors as a restaurant in 1981. Inside the black 19th Century landmark is a time machine back to historical Reykjavik, a Danish colony of decorum and huge meals. Candles at each table flatter the diners; a decent pianist thrums the keys of the Baby Grand piano with understated music that people actually hum to, and there is a friendly bar upstairs. The young formally-dressed wait staff are professional and attentive. No water tumbler, no bread basket goes empty for long. The bread is home-baked, so are the desserts. Any dish you are served from a spaghetti-like squid starter to goose pate, salted cod tartar and reindeer will be explained in detail right down to the last spring onion.
However, the entrée’s with their plethora of sauce-runneth-over dishes may deliver a little too much Victorian age heavy European dining—modern diners will feel the sauces obliterate some terrific Icelandic fish and lamb.
Laekjarbrekka is popular with tourists anxious to feast on Icelandic fare such as puffin, whale, lamb for which the restaurant has prepared special platters and it’s a dress-up place for middle-aged Icelanders out to celebrate something special. It is not a jeans and t-shirt place. Open 7 days. Reservation required. Seats 70. $$$$
Lækjarbrekka, Bankastræti 2, Tel 551 4430