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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, were 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.

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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 m

I "tried" to find a natural wine. Was told Icelanders are too smart to fall for that hype - seriously.

It's worthy of the praise it gets. Last night I had a glorious dinner, and I hope that you'll all immediately get to Iceland and eat here. The chef is from here, trained and worked in Reykjavik, and h

Colleague took her annual vacation in Iceland late last year. Enjoyed it. Didn't bring me back any puffin.

Puffin is on every menu. And you can bring them back, but the stuffing is cotton and wool exterior is a bit scratchy.

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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.

What, no natural wines ;) You had to go all the way to Iceland to get some good wine :) This sounds like an awesome trip. I can't wait to see how you incorporate some of these dishes (and techniques) into your cooking :P

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I "tried" to find a natural wine. Was told Icelanders are too smart to fall for that hype - seriously.

You didnt try they hard. Musar is on the Sumac menu.

 

Yes, the exception proves the rule.

 

Was told they had to put it on the list recently because a few Frenchette New Yorkers were showing up and complaining.

 

Should add the cost of those four meals - about $130 per person all in after selecting the wine very carefully. Tipping and tax are included in everything. Normally handed the waitress/waiter a 1000 krona in cash as a small token of appreciation - not allowed (and no space) to put "tip" on credit card. Did not include that number in the $130. Watched carefully and saw no one else leave any type of "token gift" on the table or hand to server.

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Great article on Iceland in today's NY Times Travel Section.

 

Also nice piece on the Adelphi in Saratoga Springs. Try the Blue Hen - very nice addition to the city's dining scene.

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Thanks for this- I'll be in Iceland next week on the way back to the US. A few days in Reykjavik and a few exploring the west coast. I was afraid I'd be eating hot dogs all week ;) Can you tell me more about the location of the soup joint?

 

Also, yes, please Wilfrid!

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Oh okay. So it's a busy night at The Tradesman near the Montrose L stop, and someone has to lean over me at the bar to get served: "Two glasses of champagne," she says in a sort of distorted cockney accent, like they even have champagne at The Tradesman.

 

Someone trying to sound like Bjork I think and ignore them. I only realize she and her companion have drunk up and left when everyone in the bar bursts out, "That was Bjork."

 

My Les Paul story is similar.

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