From Iceland — The Bruce Wayne Of Basement Bistros

The Bruce Wayne Of Basement Bistros

Published February 18, 2013

The Bruce Wayne Of Basement Bistros
Ragnar Egilsson

The coffee house 10 Dropar is leading a double life. By day it is a mild-mannered, coffee house, but by night it turns into a louche French bistro of clandestine rendezvous and impromptu Bande à Part dance numbers (probably). In Iceland, the expression “10 dropar” is a cute way of saying that you’d like a small cup if someone offers you coffee. And it doesn’t get much cuter than the café 10 Dropar. It’s easily one of the cosiest and most family-friendly places in Reykjavík and a great spot for waffles and hot cocoa.
Le Chateau des Dix Gouttes has the same cosy atmosphere but the emphasis is on charcuterie, cheese, light courses and wine (but of course!).
They have two types of platters. The small one with a small portion of saucisson and one type of cheese (500 ISK) and a larger one with four types of cheese, olives and a larger portion of saucisson (2000 ISK). We ordered the larger one and although it doesn’t quite have the Slippbarinn platter beat it’s still a perfectly nice plate of salty things to go with your wine. The goat cheese and blue goat cheese were killer, the olives were tasty, but the prosciutto was bland and boring.
They also offer sandwiches (ranging from 1190 to 1490 ISK), served on thick slices of actual real bread—not the greasy sauce-and-cheese massacres we’re used to in Iceland, but definitely juicy enough.
The soup is a clear lamb soup in a very French style—light and cooked just right. I’d definitely recommend it. And, at 1390 ISK plus coffee and bread, it’s not a bad deal.
We started with Cuvée Bouchard Aine Rouge, a mild and inoffensively fruity bistro wine, which was the weekly special when we visited in December. Then later we turned to baser conversation fuel and started swilling some cheap Montes Cabernet. I must also mention that they offered us a glass of some truly fantastic glögg (mulled wine) although that was just for the holiday season.
It’s a pretty modest selection of food but it’s a good place to hang out on a Thursday night if you’re in the mood for something a little less hectic.
And it’s an interesting concept to divide the business into two different shifts like this. I would love to see a more extreme metamorphosis; maybe a place with secret levers that rotate the walls theatrically and reveal a whole new design. Or maybe have contrasting uses for the space—a pet shop by day and an abattoir by night? A kindergarten by day—an opium den by night (I’ve seen them during nap time and it’s not such a stretch).

Le Chateaux des Dix Gouttes
, Laugavegur 27, 101 Reykjavík
Tel: +354 892 3574
Mon- Sun: 23:00– 01:00
What We Think: A modest selection of light bistro dishes and wine

Flavour: Rustic French
Ambiance: Cosy, romantic, quiet
Service: Fast and domestic
Price for 2 (with drinks): 5-6,000 ISK

Rating: 3/5

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