Chef Jeppe Ejvind Nielsen shines at Gertrud Rask Spisehus, which features Artic Innovative Gastronomy at the Hotel Hans Egede in Nuuk, Greenland.
Dinner at Gertrud Rask Spisehus in August 2007 began with Lasse Christensen offering Edward F. Nesta and I an aperitif of champagne in the comfortable Sky Line Bar where we watched the spectacular evening sky dramatically illuminating the colorful bottles of alcohol lined up on the bar against the window.
Moving into the attractive restaurant, our eyes were immediately drawn to the wall of windows providing panoramic views of the town and the lingering rays of sunlight. Although we had missed the period of the Midnight Sun (May until the end of July), the sun continued to shine brightly as Lasse seated us at a table dressed with yellow-orange linen tablecloth with matching napkins, and red and white Gerber daisies in tall glass vases, and a pillar candle on a square pewter dish.
The restaurant décor features a black ceiling illuminated with rows miniature track lighting, textural Inuit hangings made with fabric, fur, and suede, grace the pale yellow walls opposite the wall of windows, wooden cross country skis and snowshoes rest against the stairwell with red and white Gerber daisies in tall glass vases perched on wooded wine boxes, a large textural piece hangs on another wall, and a wooden screen at the back of the restaurant creates a small lounge area with black leather chairs arranged around a coffee table.
We began our gastronomic evening with a starter of Hot Smoked Salmon rolled in crispy Japanese noodles served with pickled local rhubarb with mussel foam and thyme, and Smoked Salmon with a Beetroot Gelee and a Chinese Chip. Although both of the starters were delicious, the hot smoked salmon with the crispy noodles was a definite standout. I really loved the balance of flavors and how the pickled Angelica (from the rhubarb family) really complemented the smoked salmon salad, and the interesting mixture of textures.
We continued with local Snow Crab Cake with corn on a fennel salad topped with baby watercress and a pool of thyme oil. This was another memorable course with "fresh from the sea" flavor.
For Edward's main course, he selected Greenlandic Musk Ox that was salted for 48 hours, boiled for 4 hours, and then pressed into shape, accompanied with a potato soaked in Kristinemut, the local beer, that was topped with a whipped potato and goat cheese quenelle, braised chanterelles, carrot logs, and beef with a parsley crust with a reduction sauce, paired with Laroche Trois Grappes 2005 from the South of France. Gorgeously presented, this course fully lived up to Edward's expectations.
Chef Jeppe Preparing Greenlandic Musk Ox
I continued with delectable and succulent local Catfish presented on carrot "logs" accompanied with braised chanterelles, and potato soaked in Kristinemut topped with a whipped potato and goat cheese quenelle resting on a painted streak of spicy carrot puree.
We returned the following evening for dinner to explore more of Chef Jeppe's innovative menu and began with an intriguing Amuse Bouche of a Mille Feuille with three layers of slivers of crisp rye bread with snow crab mixed with lumpfish roe, tiny diced red onion, dill, and potato mayonnaise. This was so nice that I would have enjoyed a larger portion as a starter.
For our first course, we had Grilled Scallops in a Creamy Garlic Soup with Thyme Flowers, which consisted of five bay scallops sporting crispy exteriors and succulent interiors in a pungently flavorful creamy garlic soup garnished with caramelized garlic slivers paired with a bottle of Knipser Sauvignon Blanc Spätlese Dry 2006, from Pfalz, Germany with 12% alcohol.
Edward continued with Reindeer on Cabbage with a Mushroom Pie, and Mashed Potatoes rolled in Crushed Almonds, garnished with braised scallions and a pool of reduced sauce accompanied with a bottle of Hacienda Monasterio, Ribera del Duero, Spain, Reserva 2003 with 14% alcohol.
I selected the fresh Salmon topped with Potato Chip garnishes, presented as two salmon filets served with two boiled potatoes on a bed of peas with citrus sauce, and zucchini.
As a special treat, Chef Jeppe invited us to visit his kitchen where he served us a tempting pre-dessert of Baked Rhubarb with Honey Soft Ice Cream with Job's Tear, which our waiter Søren paired with a glass of Port.
Søren pouring Port
Adjourning to the dining room after our kitchen visit, we had a lovely dessert of Greenlandic Cheesecake (Grønlansk M'osto kage) with a rich layer of Greenlandic coffee ingredients served with blueberry sorbet and syrup made in-house.
Just as we thought it could not get any better, Lasse rolled out a table laden with Whiskey, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, coffee, whipped cream, and a small burner to prepare Greenlandic Coffee for us. As he heated the Whiskey and Kahlua in a glass, he told us the meaning of each ingredient in the Greenlandic Coffee; the whiskey is for the rugged landscape, the Kahlua is for the beautiful dark eyes of the women, and the whipped cream represents the icebergs. Lighting the Grand Marnier in the bowl of a ladle with a match, he dramatically poured a long blue stream of light over the whipped cream representing the Northern Lights, which was certainly a memorable, and most delicious way to end our evening in Nuuk.
Lasse Making Greenlandic Coffee
Please other articles on the Gertrud Rask Spisehus in the Chefs' Recipes section, where Chef Jeppe shares his innovative recipes in English and Danish, and the Hotel Hans Egede in the Hotels and Resorts section.
Gertrud Rask Spisehus is open for dinner Monday - Saturday from 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm.
Gertrud Rask Spisehus
Hotel Hans Egede
3900 Nuuk, Greenland
Please other articles on Greenland in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Chefs' Recipes (English and Danish), and Adventures sections.
For information on Greenland, please visit the websites: Greenland Tourism and Business Council, www.Greenland.com, Nuuk Tourism, www.Nuuk-Tourism.gl, Visit Ilulissat, www.VisitIlulissat.com, and Kangerlussuaq Tourism, www.KangTour.gl.
For information on Air Greenland, please visit the website: Air Greenland, www.airgreenland.gl.
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