If you live in Copenhagen, maybe even Vesterbro, you’ll know that keeping up with new restaurants and eateries can be a daunting task… especially if people assume you always know the latest buzz and have already eaten at the newest restaurants because, let’s say, you have a blog where you write about food.
So sometimes it can be refreshing and relaxing to come across a place which seems like it’s been there forever. Restaurant Bodil – et spisested is such a place. It’s located on Sønder Boulevard, but a little ways away from the bustling meatpacking district (Kødbyen), closer to where Enghave station used to be. Wow – you know you’ve lived in Copenhagen for a long time when you can refer to former S-train stations! Am I a local yet?
I was invited to swing by and have a taste of the menu last week Friday, a beautiful sunny and warm evening in the middle of this absolutely stunning month of May (it’s like we skipped spring altogether and just went straight into summer here in Denmark!).
In a review by Danish newspaper Politikken, the author described Bodil as being somewhere between street and gourmet, and even though that allegory works better in the original Danish with a nice little alliteration, it’s still quite spot on. In typical Vesterbro fashion, the restaurant itself is stylish, yet understated and pointedly relaxed and down-to-earth. The food, on the other hand, is definitely high-end, with small, beautifully plated portions of well-balanced, local and seasonal ingredients.
We were welcomed and led to our seats with a direct view into the elevated, open plating area, before we started out with a glass of crisp champagne. Nothing like some bubbles on a Friday night to start the weekend!
With the champagne, we were served some snacks: a porcini bisque, a “Nordic taco” of kohlrabi with crab salad, pickled pearl onion, and burnt leek. All were really good, but the creamy, yet light mushroom soup was my favorite!
I should also mention the excellent sourdough bread with a perfect crispy crust and pillowy soft on the inside, made even better by a generous slathering of the whipped butter that came along with it. I would honestly be content with a dinner consisting of just sourdough bread, salted butter, and a glass of wine!
But, as luck would have it, Bodil was not content serving us only bread for dinner! Instead, we got to feast on a five-course menu (plus cheese course). The first of these courses was this beauty: oysters with cucumber, radishes, and a dressing with double cream, served with a glass of dry sherry – what a way to start!
I thought this was a very unusual way to serve oysters, and since I’m not a big fan of the slurping, this worked really well for me. The cucumber and radishes gave a nice lightness to the dish, and the sherry worked extremely well, too (though it’s probably wise not to down the entire glass immediately if you want to remember the rest of your dinner afterwards!).
Also, how beautifully plated is this dish?!
Next up was my favorite dish of the entire night: halibut, cooked au gratin with “vesterhavsost”, a Danish cheese similar to Dutch gouda, with a side of pea puree, pickled peas, and pea shots.
Peas are one of my all-time favorite foods, and really anything covered in cheese is great to begin with, so this dish really hit home for me. I’d never had pickled peas, but they were absolutely delicious and a nice counterweight to the sweetness of the mashed peas. The fish was cooked to absolute perfection, soft and flaky – bottom line, it took some effort but I managed to refrain from licking the plate.
For the third course, we got to choose between a beef tartar and a vegetarian broccoli dish. Surprisingly, my fiancé does not like tartar, but loves broccoli, so we ended up ordering one of each.
My beef tartar with beetroot, ramson, and a coffee “dressing” was one of the most beautiful tartars I’ve ever been served. I did like Bodil’s spin on this classic, and the coffee worked surprisingly well. The beef itself was not very strongly flavored, and I personally would have preferred some more depth here.
But would you please take a look at this absolute stunner of a dish?!
The fiancé got a broccoli mash with asparagus, egg yolk and sesame – I thought it was a nice touch to use the egg yolk here in the alternative dish instead of the beef tartar, where it would classically be served.
Of course I stole a bite or two and this was a really excellent dish as well.
For the main course, we were served braised lamb chest with leek, mashed carrots and mushrooms. The lamb was incredibly tender and the flavor was just… *chef kiss*.
I don’t eat a lot of meat anymore, but lamb has always been a favorite of mine, so I relished this opportunity to enjoy it prepared so excellently here.
I also liked the leek as a connection to the starters we were served in the very beginning, a sort of red thread to tie the whole experience together. Two other signatures were the mashed vegetables as well as the edible flowers that were used to decorate the dishes, which I thought was a lovely touch for a spring menu.
For the cheese course, we (and by that I mean, I) got a Danish “høost” – the literal translation is “hay cheese”, and it’s a cheese made from milk from grass-fed cows. It has a lovely nutty flavor, which works best with a sweet fruit compote on the side. In this case, the jam was not made from gooseberries, as I first thought, but actually green tomatoes. Yum!
Finally, for dessert, we got a lovely corn-based dish with cornbread, caramel popcorn, malt, and brown butter. Have I mentioned that I’m a dessert person? This one ticked all the boxes: Cornbread! Caramel! Popcorn! Browned butter!!
The full menu will set you back DKK 325, plus DKK 75 if you opt for the cheese course as well. This is in the medium range for comparable restaurants, and I absolutely believe that it’s good value for money for the delicious and high-quality food you’ll be served here.
During our dinner, all staff, including the head chef who presented some of the courses, were super friendly, and very knowledgeable about the food and wines. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed, and especially as darkness began to set outside, intimate and cozy.
All in all, we really enjoyed our experience at Bodil, and we’ll happily come again.
Bodil – et spisested | Sønder Boulevard 105, 1720 Copenhagen | timos.dk/restaurant-bodil
Disclaimer: I was invited to taste the menu free of charge. All opinions are my own.