Every restaurant is doing food and wine pairings, but the restaurant Alberto K in Copenhagen, Denmark, has the added advantage of pairing panoramic views with the culinary expertise of Executive Chef Betina Repstock.
Alberto K lounge
Alberto K named for Alberto Kappenberger the first General Manager of the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel has inspired Danish design by Arne Jacobsen who was the design architect for the hotel when it opened in 1960. When Alberto K opened in 2001, it was decided to use Arne Jacobsen's designs, including his "Seven" chair and the cutlery that he had designed in the 1960s, which was deemed too modern for the previous restaurant. Today, the cutlery is produced by the designer Georg Jensen using Arne Jacobsen's design, which was also the cutlery that was used in Stanley Kubrick's film, "2001, A Space Odyssey."
The restaurant is located on the 20th floor of the hotel, and as such offers panoramic views from three sides of the restaurant. Tables line the windows offering each of the guest's breathtaking views. White orchid and cactus plants in textured rectangular pots add interest on the white marble windowsills. Arne Jacobsen's "Seven" chairs in dark green leather provide stylish and comfortable seating.
Edward F. Nesta and I began our evening in May 2006, in the lounge area sitting on Arne's Jacobsen famous red leather "Swan" sofa next to a glass sculpture of Alberto K. We relaxed with an aperitif of prosecco and enjoyed snacks of marinated Jerusalem artichokes, artichoke cream with potato crisps, ham from Skåne, and thin crostini.
Sitting at our table in the dining room, I noticed that the cutlery that was "deemed too modern" in 1960, looked perfect in 2006, with Rosenthal china and Georg Jensen's slate blue and taupe table runners. Our first tasting was a "greeting from the chef," which was a pan fried scallop with a delectable crispy exterior that was cut in half and placed on either side of a tortellini filled with fennel topped with thinly shaved fennel salad and a French sea herb garnish, and we knew then that we were in excellent hands. Sommelier Werner Nymo paired the greeting with a Tenuta Novacuzzo, Sauvignon, Colli Orientali del Friuli, DOC, 2004, which had a gooseberry nose, and gooseberry, citrus and mineral notes en bouche.
Sommelier Werner Nymo
As a first course, Edward selected Quail, basil gnocchi, radish, quail egg and ice salad (Vagtel, basilikum gnocchi, radisse, vagtelaeg, of issalat) beautifully presented in a deep bowl and paired with Paolo Scavino, Dolchetto d'Alba, Piemonte, DOC, 2004, which had a black cherry and a hint of spice nose, and had a mineral, earthy taste and medium tannins en bouche.
For my first course, I selected the Lumpfish roe, shallot, watercress and new Italian potatoes (Stenbiderrogn, skalotteløg, brøndkarse og nye Italienske kartofler), which was two thin slices of potato that had been scooped out and filled with lump crabmeat, topped with shallots and a decadent portion of lumpfish roe, and garnished with baby watercress and 2 miniature onion rings.
For his second course, Edward had the Zander, squid, spinach, marjoram and meringue (Sandart, blaeksprutte, spinat, merian og blaekkys), paired with "Le Bruniche" Tenuta Nozzle, Chardonnay di Toscana, DOC, 2002 with a mango and peach nose, and melon en bouche, that was a full-bodied, hearty chardonnay. The zander was served on a bed of spinach mixed with egg, topped with a baby squid, with foam on the side.
I selected the Langoustine, buckwheat, cucumber melisse, and frozen yogurt (Jomfruhummer, boghvede, agurk, citronmelisse of frossen yoghurt), paired with Kellerei Cantina Terlan, Pinot Bianco, Südtirol DOC, 2004 with a citrus and vanilla nose, with citrus, fresh apple and pear en bouche. The dish was well presented, with Norwegian langoustine on a bed of tiny diced red onion, cucumber and pearl parley, thinly sliced cucumber wrapped around sweetened frozen yogurt, and small a square of langoustine jelly.
Four our third course, we selected Cheeses from the cold North and the warm South (Oste fra det kolde nord of sydens varme), paired with Antonini, "Lusio", Syrah, Sicilien, IGT 2002, which had a blackberry, tobacco and spice nose, with deep dark fruit, dark berries, plums and heavy tannins en bouche, which really complemented the assortment of Italian and Danish cheeses that were served with olives, unripe peaches, sweet red pepper and Italian olives.
Chef Bettina sent us a pre-dessert of pannacotta with caramel, topped with lime granita and toasted pistachios that cleared the palate and offered a bit of sweetness after the cheese course. For our dessert course, we had Chocolate and hibiscus with carrot and orange, (Chokolade, hibiscus, gulerod og orange), paired with a delectable Roberto Scubla, "Cratis" Colli Orientali del Friuli, Apossito, Verduzzo Friulano DOC, 2002, which had a deep amber color, and a nice balance of sweetness that was almost a dessert in itself. The dessert presentation had shaved disks of raw carrots, chocolate swirls and "sails", hibiscus sorbet, carrot marshmallow, and a log of 60% dark bitter chocolate that was the perfect finale to a wonderful evening.
Read the Hotels and Resorts section for the article on the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel.
Alberto K at the Royal
Hammerichsgade 1, 20th floor
1611 Copenhagen V
Telephone: +45 33 42 61 61
Fax: +45 33 42 61 00
Read our articles on Denmark in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Liquor Cabinet and Music Scene sections.
For additional information on Denmark please contact VisitDenmark at www.visitdenmark.com and Wonderful Copenhagen ® at www.visitcopenhagen.com. For SAS Scandinavian Airlines information, please contact them at www.sas.se. For information on DSB rail service, please contact them at www.dsb.dk.
© September 2006. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.