Silfur restaurant, located in the Art Deco Hotel Borg in Reykjavik, Iceland, is a vision in black, white, and silver befitting its name, where the décor and ambience provide the perfect platform to showcase the innovative culinary artistry of Chef Hafthor Sveinsson.
Silfur, which means silver in Icelandic opened in 2006, and overlooks Austurvöllur Square in the center of the city. The restaurant is dramatic with high white ceilings embellished with silver, long black silk threads and silver mesh treatments boldly accessorize and divide the attractive dining room from the intimate lounge, a white baby grand piano adds a sophisticated note, as does the tufted white leather walls on either side of the bar with white and black leather upholstered chairs that flank small round tables draped with black and white linens that are accessorized with tea lights in round red mosaic candleholders, the long stone table with high stools, and the lava stone wall that is reflective of the terrain and history of Iceland.
The lounge features a creative cocktail menu, which Edward and I sampled pre-dinner at Silfur restaurant in late September 2009 indulging in an unusual champagne cocktail called Cocaine Champagne that was made with AWGA Coca Leaf Liquor from Holland, and another champagne cocktail called Strawberry Champagne.
Moving on to the dining room for dinner, the high drama contemporary décor continued with long arched windows framed by black window treatments accessorized with silver tiebacks, white lacquer tables were accessorized with black napkins rolled into tall candlestick shapes, single red roses in tall black vases, and tea lights. A high curved tufted black leather banquette accessorized with silver pillows added interest, as did the black and white paintings that graced the dark charcoal walls, and the low background music that completed the ambience.
Our culinary adventure began with a selection of focaccia warm from the oven arriving under a black napkin accompanied by a pillar of butter presented on a white pedestal stand, and continued with the arrival of the amuse bouche of langoustine and scallop terrine with Icelandic sour milk, and burnt brown sugar that was smoked with melon. We knew that this was going to a Tasting evening of artistry and discovery as the amuse bouche arrived tableside on a rectangular piece of slate with smoke swirling around the terrine under its glass hat that when removed imparted tempting aromas that when tasted teased our palates and left us ready and wanting more. The amuse bouche was well complemented with Pascal Jolivet, Sancerre, 2008, 12.5% alcohol, from France, with its mineral notes as well as luscious melon, mango, and tropical fruit on the nose and palate.
The next surprise was Langoustine with Rhubarb Foam, Deep-Fried Langoustine Roll, Char Combo with Chili and Fennel, Grapes, Tomatoes, Cardamom Glaze, and Pea Purée that was a mastery of presentation, style, and intriguing flavors that complemented each element. Presented on a white rectangular footed plate, Chef Hafthor Sveinsson excelled at showcasing each of the ingredients.
Langoustine with Rhubarb Foam
We continued with Lightly Salted Cod with Cardamom Glaze and Orange Cauliflower Purée with Asparagus, Dried Cod, and Polenta, which was another exquisite taste sensation that was simply yet artistically presented. Once again the flavors worked together like magic, with each ingredient adding its own point of interest. The course was paired with a heady and aromatic E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone, 2005, 13.5% alcohol, from France with dark fruit lusciousness.
Cod with Cardamom Glaze
Edward and I diverged for the next course; he went the land route, while I continued my sea excursion. He had lamb chop and reindeer, perfectly cooked and beautifully presented with accompanying sauces, potatoes and root vegetables served in a small white bowl on the square plate. The wine continued to pair well with this meat-eaters delightful course.
Lamb Chop and Reindeer
I continued with another winning combination of Monkfish and Smoked Herring with Saffron Foam, and Smoked Potato Mousse crowned with Apples, with colorful julienne red and yellow peppers garnishing the plate.
Monkfish and Smoked Herring
As the finale to a fabulous evening of culinary surprises, there was caramelized chocolate cake wearing a dark chocolate fan headdress, strawberry sorbet, vanilla cream, and strawberry caviar paired with Château Suduiraut 2002, Sauternes, 13.5% alcohol, from France.
Masterful culinary presentations by Chef Hafthor Sveinsson, professional and attentive service, and an attractive ambience add up to why Silfur restaurant continues to be a hot restaurant.
Silfur restaurant is open for lunch Monday - Friday from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, for dinner Sunday - Thursday from 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm, and Friday - Saturday from 6:00 pm - 11:30 pm.
Read Chefs' Recipes section in English and Icelandic where Chef Hafthor Sveinsson shares a delicious taste of Silfur restaurant with his recipes for Langoustine Roll with Fried Langoustine, Rhubarb and Langoustine Glaze, and Lightly Salted Cod with Cardamom Glaze and Cauliflower Purée.
Telephone: + 354-578-2008
Read other articles on Iceland in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Fashion, and Adventures sections.
For information on Iceland, please visit the Iceland Tourist Board website, www.IcelandTouristBoard.com.
For information on Icelandair, please visit: www.Icelandair.com.
For information on Budget Rental Car, please visit: www.Budget.is.
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