Restaurant Babette, Denmark – 20 August 2010

Coming back to Babette is like coming home. Its the closest gastronomic restaurant to our summerhouse, and since the culinary possibilities is very limited on Lolland we are always craving good food towards the end of the holiday. Off course the extraordinary visit to Jan at Sölleröd Kro was still in our minds. We did not expect the same level here, but we knew from prior visits that they can surprice and that this little gem on a good night is among the best in Denmark.

To our big disappointment Henrik Pedersen, the owner and “Maitre” was not in the house, but Vivi his wife was running the kitchen and a well-know face Brian greeted us warmly. From a selection of white Burgundies which he gladly presented we chose the Macon-Uchizy 2006 from “Les Heritiers du Compte Lafon”. I think this wine was also one of the four Jan has suggested us the week before, and it was a good one. Easy to drink, not really challenging your senses, but as my Australian friend would say…a pearler.

The white and some very tasty olives smoked almonds etc.

Pickled Langoustine

A beauty on the plate, marvellous colours, but I prefer cooked langoustines to pickled ones.

Smoked cod (lys-sej actually) - with fennel and mussels/butter sauce

Again, very light, no surprices here – but perfectly cooked fish.

We started to talk about a bottle of red a little earlier in the meal, and asked Brian to present some not too old Burgundy wines. He said…oh, normally people ask for not too young and even though his cellar was well stocked he would have to arrange something from one of the external store rooms. At this point, since he had still not presented us any, he had to admit that he had called Henrik and that he was on his way…..it should have been a surprice. Anyway Henrik – Mr. One Big Smile – entered the room, greeted us warmly, chatted a bit and then settled for one of his suggestions which he brought – a 2007 Nuits-Saint-Georges, 1.cru from J.F. Mugnier. A throughly great wine.

A good drop....

Potato creme, olive oil, water cresse, bio egg yolk at first....

Potato "liquid" was added - and voila -

The perfect potato soup

First serving of guineafowl...

which was paired with this beauty

And that was the most stunning dish of the day, and one of the best I have had this year. The sensation and detail of all the engredients on these two plates made it a dish I will not forget so easily if ever.

After this there were no room for cheeses or dessert, but a small plate of sweets were handed (and eaten)…..

Conclusion:

Babette continue to deliver honest and good food, on the light side with not too much of a fuss. In Henrik´s absence, Brian is a very competent waiter and very passionate about his job. He has got his own more quiet style (in compare to Henrik) – and he is confident with his job, and right so, because he does not flatter a second. He knows the dishes in every little detail, even when I questioned what he said, he sticked by his point, asked in the kitchen, and came back, smilingly “admitting” that he was right. I wish there more of his caliber around. I am sure Henrik is proud of him.

As for the menu, I dont think it was quite as interesting as the one we had there last year, but the explosions in the main dish made up for it, and I do think the craftmanship was as good as always. I think the potato lacked salt, but that was the only flaw of the evening. The bread and service on top.

Brian....you are one hell of a waiter/sommelier...rock on.

Roses...

On the way out we passed Vivi and happily thanked for the beautiful dinner.  Looking forward to come back next year and hopefully Henrik will be back in form. We thank you again Henrik, for coming in – more or less just to say hi – and for the great bottle you brought.

My rating for this visit: Ambience 4p (5) Service 4,5p (5) Food/Wine 8.5p (10) : Score 17p out of 20.

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