If you search “top restaurants to eat at in Reykjavik”, you will certainly find the well known local gastronomic pleasure of Dill. Not only has it been reviewed by the New York Times but is a gem in the local’s eyes.
Chefs Gunnar Karl Gíslason and Sommelier Ólafur Örn Ólafsson had returned from a trip to Greenland when we were given the opportunity to partake in their local creations. In the back of the restaurant (which does double as a museum), a small greenhouse filled with various herbs and vegetables can be found that are used in their daily menus. All food is locally sourced (a source of pride for the people of Iceland), in season, and sustainable. I’m really starting to dig restaurants like these. How can you not support responsible eating?
Our round started with a loaf of warm, fresh bread with a sweet, fluffy butter. While it would be easy to fill up on bread, we were looking forward to our next two courses.
A salad of green apples, mixed greens, caramelized onions, cabbage and a strong (yet delightful!) fennel mayonnaise filled the bowl in a combination of textures and colors. For travelers like us, vegetables come few and far between and I will have to put this as one of the best salads I’ve had in my life. The playfulness of tastes and textures of the cabbage, apples, and caramelized onions made me swoon. I finished it all when I realized I had another course coming.
The main is what they call “Plokkfiskur” fish stew with Isbui cheese. At first I didn’t know what to think. Everything was presented in a unique way and I didn’t know where to start. We dug in. The first taste I got was lightly salted mashed potatoes – but not salted in a traditional way. It tasted like the sea had made sweet love to my potatoes and I was okay with that. While eating you do get the occasional bite of shredded fish which adds a hearty texture to the meal but I wouldn’t consider the fish to be the “star” of this course. On the side were perfectly cooked, crunchy, buttery carrots. I normally am a bit hesitant on cooked carrots (too many Thanksgiving nightmares) but these changed my mind in a heartbeat. The simplicity of the carrots offset the salty potatoes/fish well – albeit a bit salty.
For dessert we were served “lava rocks”. You should have seen our faces. We weren’t really sure what we were supposed to do with the art piece placed in the middle of our table. The black “pumice” was a light licorice flavor. The white rocks were red beet and white chocolate. I would have had no clue that I was vegetables for my dessert. The texture was like a creamy milk chocolate and I could have easily been convinced that it was so. Whoever had this science experience was brilliant. One thing is to take geology and make architecture from it, but to replicate it in food? Stunning.
They were serving a soup of root vegetables but we did decline due to our stomachs nearly wanting to explode after two dishes. Sure, I realize we probably should have left room but we just couldn’t help ourselves.
Dill can be found on the outskirts on Reykjavik in the Nordic House. This restaurant has THE best view of town. While it is possible to walk it, it may take a while to get out there. This would not be for the super budget conscious traveler, however, if you are looking for a splurge (while experiencing an Icelandic taste), this would be the place to do it.
***You do need a reservation in order to eat here. Keep this in mind before trying to visit!***
Disclosure: We were guests of Dill, however all opinions are our own.