After church take me there
The Reykjavík Restaurant Kol is on Skólavörðustígur just a few steps from Hallgrímskirkja and the statue of Leif Eriksson “The Lucky” who sailed to America 500 years before Columbus then lost it again probably due to general drunkenness.
And on that note the cocktails at Kol alone are a reason enough to enter the place, made on the spot from fresh ingredients and quality spirits. It´s not big place but neither does it feel crowded at all, they definitely resisted the urge to put in that extra table which so easily can make the difference between cozy and tight.
I felt taken care of the moment I entered Kol, we were greeted warmly and seated us downstairs with a view of the kitchen. It has always been of great interest to me to watch trained professionals go about their work and this kitchen ran like clockwork with chef Einar overlooking every dish that left for the dining area. After a refreshing lime and ginger cocktail we were served fresh oysters just off the plane from Normandy and the wonderful twist of serving one with a slash of good tequila to be topped according to taste with tabasco or lemon – just the idea got me in a good mood. Next was asparagus with hazelnut mayo, parmesan and truffle oil served with dark bread and whipped bone marrow butter and a glass of cold Leifur saison beer. A great combo which paved the way to the next course. A seafood platter is always welcome on my table and this one landed rather well – mussels, langoustines, prawns, ocean quahog, sashimi, salmon and scallops cheviche, and salted capelin roes served with lemongrass mayo and chili mayo. I must admit I am a bit of sucker for platters like this and am blessed with having had my first on a summer´s day in Paris late last century just after paying my repsects at Jim Morrison´s tomb. To drink with this we had Saint Clair sauvignon from the pioneer block line which was a good match. Next up was cod with some roots, cooked no bullshit and served with a very dry and crispy Chablis which was another good match. The lamb was quite properly cooked with excellent sauce but it was the very original pairing with a smoked-duck-fat-bourbon-sour which I found slightly baffling but very interesting. A kind of wouldn´t have missed it but will I do it again experience. The finale to this journey was a skyr dessert and a glass of dry cold bubbly. A fine meal indeed.
My visit to Kol was time well spent and I walked out of there a happy man. The service was impeccable from the moment we entered until the moment we left. The over all feel of the food was as much that of comfort food as it was fine dining. A place for romance and/or cozy family dinners and to return the next day with your friends for drinks and finger food.