Kitchen & Wine For A Good Ol’ Time

Hrefna Björg Gylfadóttir York Underwood
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published February 23, 2016

Hrefna:

I feel like Kitchen & Wine is the kind of place where I’ll be lunching on the regular once I’ve made it in the biz. The journalism biz. Walking in, I was glad I’d dressed up because the place is really fashionable. Everything is stark white, in more ways than one, and their playlist consists exclusively of fashion runway music.

I was early. The friendly waitress was very welcoming, and escorted me to my seat where I perched, looking a bit out-of-place while hiding my bag full of beer for a party I was going to later. Everyone in the restaurant looked cool and fashionable. York waltzed in a few moments later wearing a black suit, fitting right in with the elites.

For the night, Kitchen & Wine was hosting a special pop-up bartender, and offering a special cocktail menu. So a pair of cocktails seemed like the obvious thing to do. Me, the cocktail neophyte, felt this would be a grand warm-up to the Saku six pack I had tucked under my seat. The oh-so-currently-named “The Man Who Sold The World” (2,200 ISK) turned out to be incredibly tasty, an unusual mix of Einstök white ale, orange and Reyka vodka. I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it.

The menu is refreshingly traditional and frill-free. For starters we ordered baked brie (1,950 ISK). Oozing, creamy brie fresh out of the oven is a classic for a reason, and this was simply delicious. I then ordered a half-portion of garlic butter langoustine (3,600 ISK) washed down with a bottle of what I believed to be champagne (7,700 ISK) to drink. All of it was delicious, simply a joy for the taste buds.

After the meal we tried another cocktail. I ordered the Blackwood Brunch Smash, the best whiskey cocktail I’ve ever tried. The grand finale to the luxurious meal was the delicious dessert cocktail, a White Russian (2,450 ISK), sipped through a layer of cream.

Kitchen & Wine supplied a wonderful night out—the service, the atmosphere, the food and the drinks. I can imagine it being the perfect place for a celebration with friends. Just make sure the friends you bring are swanky enough.

York:

Kitchen & Wine is the perfect place to have an affair like an adult. It’s sexy, connected to a hotel, and the whole place is tiled with black marble (maybe granite or dolomite… is dolomite even a thing?).

I’d previously enjoyed lunch there, and can attest that they really do a great job of changing the atmosphere from lunch to dinner. Our appetizer was cooked perfectly, not that baked brie is particularly difficult to accomplish. It’s this attention to detail that sets Kitchen & Wine apart. The pop-up bartender mixed me a Don Lockwood (2,200 ISK), a smoky blend of bourbon, Islay scotch, bitters, and maple syrup named after the protagonist of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’.

I told Hrefna that we would have champagne with dinner, but I ordered a reasonably priced prosecco (7,700 ISK). The ice bucket is stowed tableside and it’s served professionally—treating us like a pair of stock brokers, even if we looked like lost siblings with a stolen credit card.

For an entrée, I had the miso cod (4,100 ISK), which wasn’t overcooked or over-seasoned. Iceland is a competitive market for fish, and Kitchen & Wine served up one of the best fish dishes I’ve enjoyed in the country.

With a Gin Gin Mule (2,200 ISK), a twist on a Moscow Mule, and a White Russian (2,450 ISK) for dessert, this might be the best dinner out I’ve had this year. (I know it’s January. I go out a lot.)

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