Noma, the 2-Michelin star and four-time winner of the “best restaurant in the world” title, reopened in the Copenhagen harbor this week. And in true Noma fashion, the menu will change with the seasons as its famous foragers seek out local ingredients around the year as well as tend to the restaurant’s new urban garden.
Chef René Redzepi, who was only 25 when Noma opened in 2003, helped the restaurant earn its four “world’s best” titles for its focus on local cuisine, which in Denmark is often animal-based. But the destination was lauded for its attention to local plants like sorrel, wild berries, and other regional delicacies used to create its ever-changing menu.
But Noma is more than just pricey and eclectic nordic cuisine putting hygge on the map. Even after closing its doors last year there were Noma pop-ups across the globe attempting to sate the global appetite for Redzepi’s culinary leadership. There’s a not-so-subtle hipster chef leaning on Redzepi and Noma that’s far-reaching; the chef and restaurant started a necessary dialogue about source as much as it satisfied the Instagram-urgent need to focus on preparation and presentation–that attention to our food is worthy of as much forethought as we can give to it, and his influence has spread across the globe, reinventing greasy Brooklyn diners and California coastal restaurants all the same.
And the chef isn’t disappointing in Noma 2.0. While the seasonal-inspired menu will include Scandinavian seafood for the remainder of the winter season, the spring and summer puts Noma firmly into the hottest trend it missed out on during its 2017 absence: plant-based food.
Noma isn’t the only fine-dining establishment to seek out plant-based and vegan alternatives. Recently French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten announced a menu makeover at his Beverly Hills restaurant, where he’s focusing more on local plant-based ingredients, and toning down traditional French sauces and creams to lighter more vegan-friendly versions.
“Vegetable season” will start at Noma in May, when the restaurant’s foragers “will be working overtime to maximize the time of the year when the plant kingdom reigns supreme,” the Noma website explains.
But don’t expect to just drop in for the summer menu; reservations are mostly sold out through June. Check the website for more info.