Two restaurants—one a bit older than the other—are quite literally bringing something new to the table this summer by introducing new head chefs.
Haust, the house restaurant at Fósshotel on Borgatún, has been open since last summer. But late last year they decided to spice things up by hiring Jónas Oddur Björnsson as the new head chef. Jonas is known for using blackened garlic, cooked at a low temperature for 30 days to completely alter the taste. He uses it to flavour various dishes, as well as serving it up as a solo taster.
His menu offers a personal take on dishes he’s perfected over his career, working at restaurants in France and the Scandinavian countries, including a Michelin-starred eatery.
A newer restaurant in downtown Reykjavík is Matarkjallarinn, an intriguing food cellar that’s concealed enough to avoid foot traffic—so you know everyone inside has chosen to eat there specifically. They offer a secret menu consisting of six courses that vary from day to day. If your commitment issues extend to large menus, your problem is solved—the meal depends entirely on what the head chef, Ari Freyr, wants to feed you.
The restaurant is also nicely atmospheric, with a live pianist on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Get in quick, though—in a couple of weeks, the secret of Matarkjallarinn will be out when they launch their new lunch menu.