The Ultimate Guide to Eating & Drinking in Copenhagen Now

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It’s hardly a secret – Copenhagen, with its trendsetting design scene, its influential chefs and its innovative fashion designers, doesn’t really have to try hard to be cool. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also one of the most beautiful capital cities in Europe, something of a fairy tale utopia with majestic castles, the nostalgic Tivoli Gardens, a handsome harbor district, and the hip neighborhoods of Norrebro and Vesterbro all existing in a singular sort of harmony. It’s distinctly pretty in winter time, with its snowy squares and stylishly bundled up locals.

Danes are a genetically blessed, friendly and enlightened lot, who take their gastronomy and partying very seriously. Though it was Rene Redzepi’s Noma (with its life-altering 20-course dinner) that decisively put Copenhagen and Nordic cuisine on the culinary map, there are scores of other inventive chefs keeping the spotlight on the city’s food scene. And who wouldn’t love a place that operates a weekend party sightseeing bus until 3am, full of “happy people and good music” and stopping at the city’s best bars and nightclubs?

Last summer iconic restaurateur and Noma co-founder Claus Meyer, along with chef Gunnar Gislason, brought Scandinavian epicurean flair stateside, when the Great Northern Food Hall opened in the Grand Central Vanderbilt Hall in NYC. Meyer’s book, The Nordic Kitchen, came out around the same time.

Still, it’s no substitute for the real thing. Here’s why and where to go.

 

MANFREDS & VIN

Set in the heart of the trendy Nørrebro district – a (naturally) former working class neighborhood that has been invaded by the Danes’ own version of hipster culture – Manfreds & Vin is located on Jægersborggade, a quiet street lined with coffee roasters, craft beer joints and eco-chic boutiques. Run by Christian F. Puglisi and Kim Rossen, the team behind Michelin starred Relæ, Manfreds started out as a cozy wine bar and soon became one of the neighborhood’s most revered restaurants. Locals come for the vast selection of organic wines and the wildly creative seven course tasting menu, comprised of locally sourced seasonal vegetables, seafood, meat and cheeses, served up in a cozy but stylish atmosphere.

 

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NO. 2

The younger sibling restaurant to the famous Michelin two star rated AOC, the architecturally striking No. 2 is located directly on the waterfront of Christianshavn, with breathtaking views of the futuristic Black Diamond royal library and Circle Bridge. To complement the modern setting, Soren Selin, co-owner and chef de cuisine of both restaurants, prepares contemporary Nordic dishes served up in a simplified but still visually stunning fashion, with the seven course tasting menu best exhibiting the breadth of his culinary vision.

 

RESTAURANT RADIO

Specializing in natural organic Nordic cuisine, Restaurant Radio is a laid back yet modern and airy restaurant located near the Forum Copenhagen, in the hip Frederiksberg neighborhood. Chef Jesper Kirketerp was formerly the sous chef at Noma and set out here to create a menu using unique ancient grains and legumes sourced from organic farms just outside the city – all paired with local seafood and meats.

 

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ROYAL SMUSHI CAFE 

Located in a picturesque courtyard behind Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen, if Eloise were to take tea with Alice in Wonderland this is the fairy tale setting they would surely choose. Full of whimsical fantasy, yet decidedly elegant and sophisticated, it flaunts angelic feather plumed lighting, large tables for sharing, and shelves full of curiosities that happen to be for sale. The specialty is the selection of smushi – a smørrebrød, which is the traditional Danish open faced sandwich, but aesthetically inspired by sushi, with Danish flavors presented in artistic, delicate, bite sized portions. No surprise, the Danish pastries and cakes are also delectable.

 

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KAHLER I TIVOLI

At this time of year, a visit to Copenhagen wouldn’t be complete without stopping in the magical Winter Wonderland of Tivoli Gardens, which was an inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disneyland. And Kähler i Tivoli is its most intriguing dining destination. The setting is 70s postmodern, with the furnishings and place settings created by some of Denmark’s most renowned designers: Verner Panton, Le Klint, and Arne Jacobsen, as well as Kähler, of course. Amidst the festive holiday atmosphere, order the seasonal three course Christmas dinner with venison, pork loin and a Danish “snowball” to get into the seasonal spirit.

 

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FODERBRAETTET

Gourmet hot dogs, champagne and cocktails – need we say more? As wieners have gained popularity in Denmark, Foderbraettet has created ever more elevated versions, including a Korean shrimp dog, a smoked bacon dog with Danish cheese, and a wild boar sausage topped with marinated pumpkin. Set in the uber trendy Vesterbro neighborhood, it’s open until 2am on weekends and turns from a popular casual dining spot to a late night party lounge, with seasonal tipples and a DJ spinning the latest Euro EDM.

 

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MIKKELLER 

Just under 10 years ago founder Mikkel Borg Bjergso was a physics teacher and beer geek experimenting with hops, malt and yeast in his kitchen to create uniquely flavored brews. Today he has a microbrewery that exports to over 40 countries with several outposts in Denmark as well as international locations in San Francisco, Tokyo and Bangkok. The Mikkeler bar in Vesterbro is where it all started, serving over 100 varieties of rare and limited run brews.

 

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RUBY

Hailed as one of the best bars in the world, Ruby feels more like hanging out at a wealthy friend’s luxe abode – with the private club ambiance of Norwood and Soho House, but without the membership hassle. Lacking any frontal signage, it’s located in a townhouse dating to 1740, in the historic center of Copenhagen. The resplendent setting features mahogany wood paneled walls and sumptuous Chesterfield leather seating, with huge bay windows overlooking the canal. And lots of pretty people.

 

LIDKOEB

The sister bar to Rubys, Lidkoeb is set in a former pharmaceutical factory in Vesterbro – the sprawling three-story space is located at the back of an open air courtyard that accommodates the crowd overflow. The bottom two floors are warmly decorated with modern and luxurious Danish furnishings, with large leather banquettes and a long bar. For a more intimate setting, head to the third floor whiskey bar, with exposed wood walls, beamed ceilings and sumptuous vintage leather seating. Serving only whiskey, you get your drinks from the “Dispensing Chemists” bar serving extremely rare vintages and creative cocktails.

 

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1656

Set on the nightlife border of Vesterbro and the Meatpacking District (Kodbyen), finding 1656 can be tricky – the entrance is behind a graffiti-marked black metal door. An Old World ambiance prevails, with dim lighting, leather Chesterfield banquettes and dark wood paneled walls. Talented mixologists create a new menu of potent concoctions each season, with a modern take on classic cocktails using retro ingredients such as chartreuse, falernum and absinthe, mixed with seasonal elements. A cozy, Polynesian themed sub-speakeasy Tiki Bar is hidden behind a velvet curtain, and serves modernized versions of potent rum-based drinks such as Planters Punch or Pina Colada – something like a hipster Trader Vic’s.

 

STAY:  NIMB HOTEL

Magically situated right within Tivoli, the Nimb Hotel has just fourteen elegantly designed rooms – mostly suites – with mod four poster beds, warm woods, leather couches, and Venetian gothic windows looking out over the Gardens. It’s also an epicure’s dream, with a brasserie, steakhouse, the Vinotek, the Fru sandwich cafe, and a sophisticated bar with a fireplace and crystal chandeliers. Swish.

 

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Sotheby’s Parties for Exclusive Auction ‘A Rock ‘n Roll Anthology: From Folk to Fury’

Folk to Fury Panel and Concert Celebration : at Sotheby’s
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There’s no doubt that the great rock music from the 60s and 70s has left an indelible mark on the world and had an incalculable effect in shaping not just our culture, but also our society and our politics. And now Sotheby’s is offering the opportunity to own a piece of that illustrious past, with its exciting auction A Rock & Roll Anthology: From Folk to Fury, taking place Saturday, December 10.

The astonishing collection features the greatest of the greats of, as the title says it, rock, folk, and punk. To wit, musical instruments played by Bob Dylan and John Lennon (including the piano on which the latter wrote “A Day in the Life” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”) There’s also the original lyric manuscript from Eric Clapton’s “Layla”; the hand-painted awning from CBGB; and the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” Jubilee boat banner, for those with more seditionist tastes.

To kick off the sale, Sotheby’s threw a fabulous pre-auction bash Thursday night, with a performance by Lez Zeppelin, the awesome all female tribute band. It was followed by an electrifying set by star DJ Hesta Prynn – she’s performed alongside the likes of Kendrick Lamar, St Lucia and Jay-Z – which was all very in-the-know and very, very rock & roll.

As guests mingled amongst the rare memorabilia from the Pistols, Stones, Beatles (including the aforementioned John Lennon Chinoiserie inspired piano), BB stopped for a couple of questions with the lovely and talented Ms. Prynn.

So, what is your favorite piece in the auction?

I really love the Janis Joplin nude photograph with the flowers. And also it was great to see the original CBGB art represented here.

Who would you say are some of your biggest influences represented here?

I was originally a hip hop DJ, but what’s exciting about doing what I do is that I can blend different genres. So I’ll mix in the Eagles, Bob Dylan, and I can combine it with a Drake track and it works. Something hip hop can go under a Stevie Nicks song or a Tom Petty song, which is what makes me stand out from the crowd. I can mix a rock ‘n roll song that you know with a track that everyone can dance to – like a Rolling Stones classic with an Ariana Grande song. 

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REPORT FROM ART BASEL: Patricia Findlay Presents Atelier Biagetti

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As sexuality and exhibitionism has continued to infiltrate mainstream art, the renowned Milanese creative design house Atelier Biagetti has explored the subject to address the human obsession with sex, unveiling their latest installation NO SEX in Miami at Art Basel offshoot DesignMiami this week.

The concept was originally launched during Milan Design Week, with the curio designed as a therapist’s studio incorporating familiar clinical elements that tease the viewer and challenge our notions of what sexy is…as well as the role it plays in contemporary design.

The brainchild of Alberto Biagetti and Laura Baldassari, they experimented with a provocative ‘Performing Design’ scenario, using twins Elena and Guilia Sella, that creates a narrative around the striking design pieces that have now suddenly taken on a life of their own. Ever provocative and thought-provoking, we can’t wait to see what’s next from them.

 

REPORT FROM ART BASEL: Aby Rosen, Vito Schnabel and Dom Pérignon Throw Glamorous Annual Bash

DOM PÉRIGNON CELEBRATES ART BASEL : TRANSFORMATION LATE NIGHT FÊTE
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With the art world descending on Miami for Art Basel this week, turning the flashy beach town into a billionaire’s playground, by Thursday night the moguls, celebs and the art cognoscenti were ready to celebrate their purchases and sales at the annual blowout bash thrown by Aby Rosen and Vito Schnabel. As ever, there was plenty of free-flowing Dom Perignon.

The night started with a private dinner hosted by Aby and Samantha Boardman-Rosen at the Dutch, followed by an afterparty at Wall that lasted well until the wee hours of the night – fueled by DJ sets from Angel + Dren and DJ Ruckus. TRANSFORMATION was the theme of the night, with an electrifying light show inspired by Dom Perignon’s limited edition bottle, which was created by artist Michael Riedel.

The guest list? An impressive convergence of boldfaced names from the worlds of finance, sports, film, art and fashion: Alex Rodriguez, Karolina Kurkova, Barry Sternlicht, Paris Hilton, Calvin Klein, Paloma Picasso, Shanina Shaik and Rosario Dawson. In other words, just another night at Art Basel.

 

Pussy Riot, Ja Rule Electrify the 2016 Hamptons Watermill Benefit

Nadya Tolokonnikova
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If anyone knows how to throw an unforgettable Hamptons bash, it’s Robert Wilson. On Saturday night he and the Watermill Center celebrated its 23rd birthday and raised over $2 million with its annual summer benefit to support the center’s year round artist in residency program.

The dress code called for a “colorful disruption” and drew luminaries from the worlds of art, fashion and philanthropy, such as Tory Burch, Anne Hearst & Jay McInerney, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Polina Proshkina, Michaela de Pury and Jill Stuart. Though rumors of a Kanye West appearance amounted to nothing, the controversial art and live performances did not disappoint this year. As the Watermill Center is known for its avant-garde artistic proclivities, this year’s theme was FADA – The House of Madness, which was a futuristic rendition of the dada movement laced with timely Orwellian political overtones. And during the cocktail hour guests were able to walk through a dreamlike candlelit bamboo forest.

23rd Annual Watermill Center: 2016 Summer Benefit

Image by Ryan Kobane for BFA

Ja Rule

Image by Zach Hilty for BFA

Other highlights included Make American Great Again, a performance by the Russian feminist-punk protest group Pussy Riot, a reactionary piece inspired obviously by Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, as well as John Margarita’s One ton tank
a poured concrete vessel filled with water and a man wearing a black speedo held down by weights. For the first time, the Watermill Center collaborated with artist collective Bruce High Quality Foundation University, to present As We Lay Dying–a variety of works and performances interspersed throughout the center’s 8.5 acres, that were a reflection on coming to terms with the contemporary world through personal, political and aesthetic perspectives.

During dinner, guests enjoyed a performance by Norwegian artist Tori Wrånes; and the party extended into the wee hours with DJ Mia Moretti at the turntables, interrupted only by a surprise performance by Ja Rule.

23rd Annual Watermill Center: 2016 Summer Benefit

Image by Ryan Kobane for BFA

 

Celebs Abound at Glamorous Opening Bash for The Blond

Jasmine Tookes, Martha Hunt
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Sometimes Blonds do have more fun—at least that’s what Aby Rosen has planned for his swish new bar/lounge, aptly named The Blond. It’s perched on the second floor of his hotly anticipated new NYC hotel 11 Howard, which opens to the public in April—but it was christened with a glamorous fete we had the privilege of attending this past weekend.

Tapping the sophisticated, yet inimitable design aesthetic of Anda Andrei, formerly of Space Copenhagen (who designed Noma restaurant) as well as the midas touch of nightlife veterans Angelo Bianchi & Julio Montego—the former gatekeepers of the Beatrice Inn—The Blond is set to be electrifying Soho all over again. Sumptuous chocolate velvet couches, contemporary statement art and sultry lighting create a vibe reminiscent of the old Bungalow 8—the sort of sultry opulence that has perhaps been missing from NYC’s nightlife scene.

Rosen is known for his lavish bashes during Art Basel; and the opening soiree for The Blond was nothing less. Luminaries from the art, fashion and entertainment worlds who came out to revel in the festivities included Cuba Gooding Jr., Darren Aronofsky, Rose McGowan, Harry Brant, Princess Olympia of Greece, Brian Atwood, Lyor Cohen, Rory Tahari, and Charlotte Sarkozy—who all partied ‘til the wee hours of the morning.

 

Peter Brant Jr., Princess Olympia of Greece, Harry Brant, Charlie Rosen

 

Tobias Sorensen, Justin Hopwood

 

Aby Rosen, Samantha Boardman

 

Georgia Fowler, Jordy Murray

 

 

Fashion Week Parties it Up for Bowie, Libertine

Andy Hillfiger, Michael Houghton
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When it comes to New York Fashion Week, no amount of sleet, snow and bitter cold can keep the stylistas away from the best parties. And fittingly kicking off FW at Electric Room at Dream Downtown was the David Bowie Tribute show. Performed by M.A.R.S. – comprised of Michael Houghton, Andy Hilfiger, Robby Hoffman and Scott Lipps (Marky Ramone jumped in on drums, and longtime Bowie guitarist Earl Slick also joined in) – they played for a packed house of models and industry luminaries such as Tommy & Dee Hilfiger, Elle Dee and Erin Cullison. It was a worthy fashion encomium to The Thin White Duke.

 

Marky Ramone, Tommy Hilfiger

 

Andy Hilfiger, Michael Houghton

 

Nur Khan, Elle Dee, Scott Lipps

 

Dee Hilfiger, Tommy Hilfiger

 

A couple of nights later, the party continued at Khan’s perpetually groovy Electric Room, as iconoclastic LA fashion house Libertine (Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are fans) returned after a 10-year hiatus from NYFW. Its glamorous after party bash was celebrating the latest collection by designer-maverick Johnson “Johnny Boy” Hartig. A glittering mix of the famous and fabulous, including Gemma Kahng, Pippa Cohen and Chloe Greisman, partied it up in enough to make up for the label’s decade long absence.

 

Victoria Brito, Ashley Smith, Johnson Hartig, Vera Lesavoy

 

Catherine Gray

 

Charlie Himmelstein, Nur Khan

 

Heewon Kim, Lizzy Plapinger

 

 

New App HOPPR is Like TINDER for Parties

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The mental and emotional stress associated with making and executing New Year’s Eve plans could hardly be overstated. Only to later find yourself in a ponderous drink like at a $275 open bar – soon to be followed by romantic rejection and UBER surge pricing.

Ah, but the good party people at Absolut have been there too. And their rather clever new app, appropriately christened HOPPR (get it?), will help see to your impromptu invitation to the nearest fabulous house fete – and even assist you in sorting out the delicate male to female ratio you find best suited to your, ahem, mission. It’s sort of like…Tinder for party hoppers.

Hosts and potential attendees sign in through Facebook, with the former taking their party public, and the latter vying for a coveted invite. Either can decline – so best not to join in if you’re the, you know, insecure sort.

As for the narrative that unfolds once you’ve secured said invite, well…you’re pretty much on your own. Bon chance!

 

 

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Art Basel: A Party Roundup

The Dean Collection X BACARDI Untameable House Party - Day 1
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Every year Art Basel Miami seems to be growing exponentially – indeed, over $3 Billion of art was on display this year. And the cross section of global ultra high net worth collectors, celebrities eager to establish their art cred, ‘self proclaimed’ art stars, endless hangers on, and, of course, the established guard of gallerists and curators, makes for monumental people watching. The lavish dinners, the over the top soirees, and, naturally, the six-figure sales, are all prime postmodern theatre.

VIPs who weren’t invited to the Larry Gagosian exclusive dinner on Tuesday night, headed to Swire Properties’ preview of their ambitious $1.05 billion project: Brickell City Center, encompassing nine acres in Downtown Miami. The construction site was transformed into an indie art scene that showcased Allen Jones’ 20 foot sculpture, Dancers, and the expansive, 150,000 square foot Climate Ribbon illumination installation connecting all three blocks of BCC. Celeb DJ duo Elijah Wood and Zach Cowie of Wooden Wisdom set the mood with their vinyl only garage mix.

 

Zach Cowie & Elijah Wood of Wooden Wisdom DJing with Stephen Owens2

 

As prime real estate goes for roughly the same price as a Jeff Koons or Damien Hirst, property powerhouse Douglas Elliman threw a splashy cocktail party in their $27.5 million triplex penthouse listing in the EDITION Miami Beach.  Collectors, artists and brokers were on hand to fete Brooklyn artist / “it” boy Dustin Yellin’s latest issue of Intercourse, published at his multi use space Pioneer Works – an attempted 21st century version of Warhol’s Factory, part gallery, and most importantly, a ubiquitous party space.

Other real estate developers used the festival to preview their latest projects, with so many fancy shindigs decked out in trendy contemporary art and design. Ziel Feldman of HFZ Capital and Rogerio Fasano of Fasano threw a chi chi dinner with a menu created by Fasano’s Michelin starred chefs, to celebrate the launch of the Fasano Hotel + Residences Shore Club, reimagined by acclaimed architect Isay Weinfeld. Afterwards, guests enjoyed the stunning Miami Beach views with a cocktail party in the Penthouse that was home to the pop up “Arte Club Jacarandá,” curated by ESPASSO, which showcased the best of Brazilian furniture, art and design.

 

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Bacardi’s traveling Untameable House Party ended in Miami with a three day immersive experience in Wynwood, where indie music and art collided. Swizz Beatz, founder of the Dean Collection, collaborated with Bacardi to produce the No Commission Art Fair, at which exhibition space was provided at no cost to visual artists such as Dustin Yellin, Gregory Siff, and Gabriel Dawe, as well as several emerging artists. By night the space was host to the Untameable House Party Concert Series, featuring established performers such as Alicia Keys, DMX, Wiz Khalifa and Pusha T playing alongside up and coming talent. Industry influencers and celebrities Timbaland, Mack Wilds and Dwyane Wade stopped by to meet the artists and enjoy the electrifying performances.

Infamous Fiat heir and party boy Lapo Elkann launched his latest wild ride, the limited edition Ducati Scrambler Italia Independent motorcycle, at the Setai. Guests such as Lenny Kravitz, Chuck Close, Casey Spooner and Sydney Picasso traipsed their way through the rain for this dramatic unveiling. Over in the Design District, it was an Italian trifecta of fashion, art and design, as Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiri and Pierpaolo Piccoli feted Pietro Ruffo’s latest installation, Mirabilia Romae, which follows a 12 km itinerary throughout the historical center of Rome, offering unusual views in unexpected locations.

 

VALENTINO CELEBRATES: ARTIST PIETRO RUFFO WITH AN INSTALLATION IN THE MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT

 

Even the rain couldn’t get in the way of a beachside fete at the sexy new Nautilus Hotel (a member of SIXTY Hotels). Bombay Sapphire, along with Russell & Danny Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, threw their 6th annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan series competition, which named Aron Belka as the winner. As the prize, Belka will collaborate with the Creative Mentor, Rosario Dawson, on a public mural installation in spring 2016. An illustrious mix of celebrities, musicians, socialites, designers and art influencers including honorary host Dawson, Solange Knowles and Patrick Janelle enjoyed creative Bombay Sapphire cocktails, artwork by the twelve finalists and music by DJ Kitty Cash.

The hipster contingent of artists and influencers could be found at the intimate dinner party thrown by Juxtapoz x Art Alliance: Provocateur Series at The Surf Lodge pop-up. The series was curated by artist Shepard Fairey and featured a sculptural installation, “Negative Space Arrangements,” by Sage Vaughn, and hand-painted surfboards by artists Chris Johanson, Swoon and Alicia McCarthy, presented by Waves4Water. Guests enjoyed culinary dishes by Top Chef Spike Mendelsohn, with cocktail pairings from the Bombay Sapphire DIY Gin & Tonic station, featuring craft tonic syrups and a variety of exotic botanicals that fueled the partying well into the wee hours of the night.

Plans, of course, are already in the works for next December’s parties.

 

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