Meticulous Details Lead to Tremendous Results
At Main Line Kitchen Design, we’ve seen our share of kitchens but we’ve never seen one like we recently saw in Iceland! Main Line Kitchen Design president Paul McAlary and his wife Julie Meyer traveled to the incredible country of Iceland where they experienced waterfalls, a glacier, a lava cave, hot springs and the capital city Reykjavik dining phenomenon known as Nostra, which mean meticulous details in Icelandic.
Ordering is simple – 4, 6 or 8 courses and with or without recommended wine pairings. Then, the performance, begins.
Appropriately enough, we were started off with an ‘amuse bouche’ accompanied by a 2017 Tunglskin Hauksson Weine.
The pedestal plate contained a handcrafted cheese enclosed in a edible vegetable wrap. The larger plate was a seaweed wafer. The very complimentary wine is grown and vinted by an Icelandic office worker who recently relocated to Switzerland to pursue his dream of growing grapes and making wine (www.haukssonwine.com).
Our second course was “tiled” salmon over a skyr (Icelandic yogurt) mousse and topped with trout roe. It was paired with a Chilean pinot noir. Both the mousse and roe perfectly complimented the paper thin salmon and left us eagerly anticipating the next courses.
Course no. 3 was potatoes ‘vichyssoise’ sauteed with leeks and Karl Johan mushrooms. The paired wine took us halfway around the world for an outstanding New Zealand Chardonnay. When asked how we enjoyed this course, Julie responded ‘It’s everything I don’t like and it was wonderful!’
Course no. 4 was a barbecued carrot with pistachios, horseradish and skyr. Each item on the plate – including the incredibly flavorful parsley – had their own bold unique flavor that combined for a completely unexpected wonderful combination. We later learned the secret of the standout parsley – stay tuned. We remained in New Zealand for this wine pairing – this time, a New Zealand cab that perfectly complimented the tangs in the barbecue sauce and horseradish.
The evening’s fifth course was plaice (fish) salsify (root vegetable), caviar and sauce nage. As with each course that preceded it, each ingredient combined for a perfect blend of flavor and texture. We made it to France for the wine pairing which presented a unique blend of its own. It was
a Domaine Villemajou Corbieres-Boutenac containing Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedra.
In addition to being perfectly prepared, the courses were also masterfully timed so as to allow for ample enjoyment of each followed by enough of a break to look forward to the next one which, on this evening, was tuna.
Once again, perfectly prepared and paired with tremendously imaginative ingredients. At this point, the staff invited us for a post-meal kitchen tour. We were so honored that I forgot to photograph the wine and can’t share what was paired with this course.
As it was being served, we were informed that our 7th course was a “pre-dessert”.
On this evening, whey sorbet with candied barley constituted a ‘pre-dessert’. Just as unique and incredible as everything else. We couldn’t believe there could be more but, of course, there was.
Desert was served with the description of strawberries, strawberries and more strawberries. It was more formally listed on the menu as fresh strawberries, grilled strawberry sabayonne and raw strawberry sorbet. The beverage was a sloe gin the restaurant makes on premises.
And, apparently, where’s there’s pre-dessert – there’s post-dessert-
And then! We were whisked off to the kitchen – or should I say kitchens!
From the dining room, we could see
Our behind the scenes guide was Fridrik Pordarson and our first stop was the secret to the incredibly flavorful herbs.
Nostra grows their own herbs?! Grows and dries –
Priorities are obviously different in restaurant kitchens. Cabinets are minimal and accessibility is key.
Nostra obviously had all the right recipes. And if you’re ever in Reykeyjevik, we can’t recommend it enough.
Until then, we wish all our customers and friends the happiest of holidays with family, friends and good food.
. . . and of course . . .