FOUR FULL DAYS in REYKJAVIK - wish it was longer!!!
At this time of year it never gets dark in Iceland - 24 hours of light is a great experience.
This was our second visit to the world's 4th most expensive city and it's worth every penny. It should be a requirement for all to visit this wonderful country at least once. Won't bore you with the details of the trip, which is under five hours by air, but will talk about the culinary scene. In a simple sentence, it's infinity better than our visit eight years ago.
Four restaurants, each would be a top New York City choice, are listed in chronological order of dining:
1. Sumac - Outstanding!!! We tried the seven-course tasting menu and each dish was better than the next. They focus on Middle Eastern spices with local fish, meat and vegetables. The highlight of this meal was the smoked salmon "salad", lamb chops grilled with sumac (what else?) and covered with a light pan sauce and the spice laden Grilled Romaine. Great wine list. More than highly recommended!!!
2. Food Cellar - Outstanding minus!!! Beautiful cellar room with hush tones and very professional service. We opted to go a la carte here. Highlight of the meal including roasted cod with a light cream-based sauce and the chicken skewers marinated in a orange based sauce and finished with blueberry salt. Terrific wine list. Highly Recommended.!!!
3. Grill Market - Outstanding!!! Two-level restaurant and a downstairs area with breathtaking Nordic appointments. The highlights were the marinated Whale steak and the Grilled Plaice with a dark mushroom sauce and with a perfectly cooked Beef Ribeye. An A+ wine list. Highly Recommended!!!
4. Kol - Outstanding Plus!!! The smallest of the bunch and arguably the best, though on a given night, any of the four could be the best. The highlights here were the seared scallops, the size of a quarter, they were sweet and briny. The charred salmon and grilled lamb loin were perfectly prepared (medium rare) and each a unique sauce - cucumber for the salmon and dark (beer) gravy for the lamb. The dessert plate was served a two-foot long platter and contained about 7 or 8 items and outdid each other. Deep wine list with international choices. Much more than Highly Recommended!!!
One lunch spot is worth mentioning. Don't recall the name but it had a huge sign in front of it with soup served in the bread bowl. We went inside, we're seated and there was no menu, no prices, nothing. The waiter came over said they had two types of soup a mushroom and a lamb soup. What did we want? They served nothing else...nothing. Both soups were incredible and served piping hot - very good when it's windy with temps in the high 40's and low 50's (52 is their average in the July and August - their warmest months). Terrific lunch stop with a great beer list.
Will go back - such and easy trip with the world's friendliest people and some excellent hotel options. Check it out - more than highly recommended.