From Iceland — Hornið


Published September 7, 2007


Known to most, if not all Icelanders, Hornið is a cosy little restaurant located on the corner of Hafnarstræti and Pósthússtræti. The fact that it opened its doors in 1979 places it among the oldest, still operating, restaurants in down-town Reykjavík. Hornið can also be credited for introducing Italian cuisine to Icelanders.
After taking my seat, settling in, and looking around I couldn’t help feeling relaxed. Maybe it was the candlelit tables or the old, and not surprisingly, original interior that gave me that ever welcome feeling of being at ease. Since this was not my first, and definitely not my last, visit to Hornið, I had a pretty good idea what the menu had in store for me. Nevertheless I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had not given it a very careful reading on my previous visits, or maybe it was just my hunger that seemingly highlighted all those desirable, never before noticed, courses.
For starters my companion and I decided on garlic bread with cheese (600 ISK) and mozzarella and tomato-slices with olive oil and basil (1150 ISK). Not knowing that the mozzarella course was served with garlic bread, we both looked kind of foolish when the dishes arrived and we were surrounded by garlic bread. But remembering that garlic could repel vampires, and is supposedly good for your circulatory system and god knows what else, we felt justified in our choices.
For main course, I selected pizza with pepperoni, blue cheese, pineapple and green peppers, otherwise known as Pizza Roma (1840 ISK). This might seem like an odd choice considering that I could have ordered the fillet of lamb, salted cod, or the mouth watering delicious salmon, but when it comes to Italian-style pizzas in Iceland, I dare say, they don’t get much better than this.
My companion ordered Tagliatelle al pescatore (1900 ISK), which in English translates to pasta with scallops, mussels and shrimps. The generous serving was a bit too much for her to handle, although it was not for lack of trying. Realizing she was fighting for a lost cause, she gracefully, and with great satisfaction, withdrew herself from the battle. The relaxed atmosphere, varied and affordable menu, good service and most importantly good food, are the ingredients you’ll find at Hornið which, mixed together, it makes for a most pleasant dining. SH

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