Clou is a place where beautiful food is created, wine is the focus, comfort is taken seriously and the Chef walks around in aged old boots.
When you walk into a Michelin starred restaurant the last thing you expect to see is a small Star Wars figurine sitting prominently on the shelf as you walk in...yet this sets the scene, it sets the mood and it sets the attitude for what will soon be one of the best meals we’ve had in a very long time.
We are at Restaurant Clou in Copenhagen, a small, inviting space that feels more like you’re sitting in a friends living room rather than a highly praised, gourmet restaurant. Candles are lit all around, something that smells amazing is being prepared in the kitchen and motown is playing on the speakers. Yes and restaurant just feels good!
We arrived a early, so that we could photograph a few dishes and chat with Chef Jonathan Berntsen and his team a bit. As we were chit chatting away I noticed Chef bend down and in one slick and sexy motion, suck the ice cream right off the ice ball it was sitting on. Now that was the proper way to eat the dish (as we later discovered) but it showed us that the amongst the awards and stars, Chef Jonathan infuses a playful and sexy element into the dishes he creates. It's his creativity, passion and laissez-faire attitude which make his restaurant not only delicious, but memorable and comfortable AF.
Clou’s current location is new and with the move Bernsten really wanted the new location to reflect his team's own vision. They wanted to do things as they saw fit and not follow a list of rules. They wanted things to be comfortable, relaxed and keep the focus on good food. The music is a great mix of old and new classics - it was as if my own Spotify mix was playing. Fun pieces of art are dotted throughout, including a plastic Star Wars figure sitting prominently near the entrance, as it was a gift from another Chef for his opening and an ode to their mutual fondness for Star Wars.
Dinner went as follows. Dish after dish was brought out, each one beautifully presented and uniquely created. Alongside the food, the chef, the sous chef, waitress and sommelier would take turns explaining every dish, every flavor, and every step that went into making these little creations. Oscar, the Sommelier, was always one step ahead, making sure each dish was expertly paired. His picks were uniformly amazing and surprising, and they were accompanied by intriguing personal stories he had picked up from the different wineries. He even paired a sherry with a main dish – unorthodox but effective.
One of the first dishes we had was an ode to the old restaurant. They brought out oysters, with passion fruit and ginger sitting inside the shell. It was a great start, and from there the standards just didn’t drop. We were then served brandade and one year matured Oscietra Caviar (only 25 kilos produced a year) and when paired with the wine the taste of the ocean was enhanced...it was such a creamy and savory few bites!
Some of our other favorite dishes were seamingly simple, a testament to Chefs talent. The ‘bread and butter’ dish read like toast on the menu, but was so much more. The butter, made locally, was so rich and creamy and the bread was toasted with duck fat and cumin. Decadently good! We also had a serving of fresh goat cheese and piri piri. With a consistency like a marshmallow this dish was an ode to chefs school days when all he could afford was a baguette and cheese...obviously this was the more lavish version.
The dessert portion of the meal went on almost as long as the mains. Our favorite was ‘Tomatoes and Basil’ - a creative concoction which, despite its name, was a perfect dessert. Hot olive oil was poured over dark chocolate, which sat on top of basil ice cream and tomatoes, garnished with a “snow” of goat cheese feta. Is your mouth watering yet?
And because we were in cold Copenhagen, we ended our evening with a pina colada (fresh mango juice for me). But this pina colada was so much more than just a colada...it inspired dreams of sunny shores and made us so excited for Summer!
By the end of our meal we were in total agreement, Clou had become one of our favorite restaurants. Sure it has its awards and accolades (which are well deserved), but it’s the team, the ambiance and the sensations it evoked – all of these are what made the place so special to us. At a restaurant of this caliber you expect to have delicious food, but what was remarkable was the amount of detail that went into the overall experience, that sincerely elevated every bite. From the elaborate orchids (cared for by the Chef), to the art pieces scattered throughout the restaurant and to the care in which my juices were prepared (I was pregnant at the time, so only a few sips of wine for me), every moment felt personalized and special. Everything was just perfect
For more information about Clou please follow the link below