For a great night out!
The downtown Reykjavík Restaurant Mar is situated by the old harbour and the house used to serve as a home for sailors. I love a place with a bit of history and one can almost feel the bottles at the bar rattling from the rumbles of thirsty sailors just off the boat. The design is simple and cool with large windows and a view of Harpan concert hall and the National Theatre.
I´d say any afternoon would be well spent in the expert hands of the bartenders at MarBar. Absolutely top notch cocktails made from scratch and some seriously juicy bar grubs. I was in fact well on my way to try the whole cocktail list but was saved by the temptation of scallops, mussels, langoustines and wild mushroom risotto, and with those starters a spanish sauvignon blanc which moved us gently into a great meal.
Mar serves both excellent beef and lamb but the highlights are very much in the seafood section of the menu. Their take on bacalao and plaice is so worth the try and the seafood pan and the seafood au gratin are both great choices. It is pretty cool to see a place pay homage to it´s history and surroundings this way. The influences come from here and there and their menu changes seasonally so check it out online if you can before coming in, there are bound to be some nice surprises. I like the fact that the flavors of each dish in this place are centered around the actual ingredient, playful but also great cooking all around.
They have a broad selection of wines and it´s worth asking your waiter for a recommendation. I was thoroughly enjoying the Celeste Crianza from Ribera del Duero and it works with the bacalao and a lot of the seafood, but of course they also have lots of good white wines and all kinds of beer both local and imported..
This is the sort of place you can come to and spend quite a few hours enjoying what they have to offer. Be it a beautiful evening or rainy night, aprés whale watching or pre northern lights, at Mar you find a solid foundation for a great night out in Reykjavík.