Eric Kragh Vildgaard worked in Denmark’s best restaurants, including Noma, Sollerod Kro and Almanak and now runs a Michelin starred restaurant with his wife Tina.
Eric Kragh Vildgaard’s ambition for his restaurant is to be at the forefront of Danish gastronomy
Eric Kragh Vildgaard gained his first Michelin star just 10 months after opening and expects many more rewarding years to come. Eric and Tina Kragh Vildgaard’s mission is to create a fully-fledged restaurant experience, where a high level of food and service goes hand in hand with a unique host. The guest should be able to sit back and enjoy the evening without having to decide on anything possible.
The restaurant’s name might translate to “down to earth” but the level of gastronomy soars high. The sustainable Nordic kitchen is helmed by Noma veteran Eric Kragh Vildgaard, while the front of the house is hosted by his wife and restaurant manager, Tina. Together, they create an exciting farm-to-table dining experience with herbs from the surroundings and freshly caught fish from the Arresø lake nearby, served in the charming dining room located within the historic Gentofte Hotel.
Restaurant Jordnær (which means “down-to-earth” in Danish) is housed in the historic, 350-year-old Gentofte Hotel
There the duo of Chef Eric Kragh Vildgaard and Restaurant Manager Tina Kragh Vildgaard bring forth new tones rooted in French traditions and Danish ingredients. The atmosphere is warm in the modernised “inn” with attractive plank floors, Nordic designer furniture and the impressive beam ceiling, while the service is professional and attentive.
Eric Kragh Vildgaard knows what he wants and no compromise is accepted with ingredients, as evidenced by our first snack, brilliant in all its simplicity: Osietra caviar filled in a cylinder of carved cucumber with a lightly acidic cream in the bottom. The bittersweet cucumber plays up to the caviar’s elegant nut notes followed by deep umami, while the acidic interplay with the light cream at the bottom ties it all together into a delicious mouthful. This is followed by an immaculately fresh Gillardeau oyster with kohlrabi spheres, freshly harvested beach plants and horseradish to give it all a little punch. The snacks conclude with creamy crab on an “æbleskive” base (traditional Danish doughnut-like cake) that could have been a bit more interesting. A champagne from Robert Barbichon with fresh bread notes and wonderful acidity pairs nicely with the snacks and their recurrent taste of the sea. The first starter, an alluring composition of marinated raw langoustine with green strawberries, oysters and granité, is intense and mineral, while the acidity of the granité and the young riesling provide elegant and fresh balance – a dream for sushi lovers. The next starter is crisp and purely delightful with its touches of sea and nuttiness: white asparagus and fresh foam with a hint of acidity, watercress and Baerii caviar.
The wine from Veneto made from the garganega grape is a bit opulent with this dish. A starter with zander wrapped in pointed cabbage in a green jus with ramson fills the palate with the goodness of succulent mild fish, the bit of cabbage and light spices bound together by the ramsons. The light fruitiness of the wine, made with a blend of varieties including spätburgunder, is a sublime vinous pairing on the full-bodied side. The main dish of perfectly roasted pink lamb, green asparagus, morel and truffle rises above traditional as Vildgaard spoons an incredibly elegant sauce over the lamb. The Barolo from Oberto in Piedmont is a perfect match, given its somewhat tight but sweet-bodied character. The first dessert of almonds, vanilla and rhubarb ice cream operates in the realm of delicate nuances, while the cake bottom could have been a bit lighter. The final dessert of hay-milk ice cream, bolstered by French sorrel and oxalis, and split with a cold pressed rapeseed oil, is immaculately well balanced…