From Iceland — Nordic House, Nordic Food

Nordic House, Nordic Food

Published March 6, 2009

Nordic House, Nordic Food
Gunnar Karl Gíslason, chef and vocal advocate for Nordic food, and Ólafur Örn Ólafsson, president of the sommelier association—both colleagues from  previous employer VOX—set out to reinvent the Nordic House eating area, from dingy cafeteria to sophisticated venue for seasonal, local and modern Nordic food—an Icelandic take on slow food, if you please.
There are two faces to Dill. During the day they serve a simple, affordable lunch. In the evening, they serve a fine dining dinner.
We tried the lunch. The short menu consists of a soup (850 ISK), a salad (950 ISK) and a main dish (1700 ISK), plus dessert, coffee and cake—everything you need.
My lunch date had the main course of the day: pork shoulder with vegetables and herbs. The pork, braised for 20 hours, was tender, juicy and sticky, complemented by aromatic warmth from the herbs. I stole as many as I could of the sweet celery roots from his plate, “al dente” to give a perfect contrast to the melt-in-the-mouth meat.
I chose the salad with fennel julienne, beetroot leaves, dill (appropriately enough) and a light rapeseed oil and apple vinegar dressing—no olive oil used here, as it is Nordic cuisine through and through. With subtle flavours and fresh ingredients, it was the perfect winter salad, the kind that is hard to come by in this town.
The food was excellent. As for the service, it did not quite match that high standard. The attitude was positive and pleasantly laid-back, yet the action slightly shaky at times. Lunch has a time frame and everything must run smoothly. We waited for the menus and water to place our order and for coffee to be suggested—in short everything except the food—and I’m afraid we weren’t the only ones. Having said that, there are plenty of worse places to wait than in front of the amazing view of the town surrounded by Alvar Aalto’s timeless design.
The place seats up to 30 people and has been packed for lunch since they opened bravely on Friday the 13th last month. The official grand opening is on the 13th this month; again, a Friday.

  • Where: Restaurant Dill, The Nordic House, Sturlugata 5, 101 Reykjavík
  • How Much: 1000 – 9000 ISK
  • What we think: Amazing food, beutiful setting, bargain price.
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