New Copenhagen restaurant is Nordic take on French brasserie

At new Copenhagen restaurant Esmée, designed by Space Copenhagen, French brasserie dining meets Nordic flavour

New Copenhagen restaurant Esmée designed by Space Copenhagen
(Image credit: designed by Space Copenhagen)

Esmée is a newly opened restaurant in the heart of Copenhagen designed by creative duo Space Copenhagen. The venture is a tribute to classic French brasseries but filtered through a distinctly Danish perspective. The result is a Copenhagen restaurant that is equal parts cosy and sleek, congenial and hip.

Interiors of Esmée restaurant by Space Copenhagen

(Image credit: designed by Space Copenhagen)

That atmosphere is reflected in the menu, which includes both individual dishes and family-style sharing plates that blend continental staples with Nordic flavours. Think ceviche of Danish hamachi, white turnips, and Icelandic wasabi; beef tenderloin with haricots verts, smoked marrow and truffle bearnaise; and Esmée’s signature ‘rotisserie’ whole sole served with mussel sauce and new Danish leeks. 

Such dishes are served in either Esmée’s verdant outdoor courtyard or the mirror-panelled dining room, which features interiors in sandy and forest-green tones. 

Esmée restaurant designed by Space Copenhagen

(Image credit: designed by Space Copenhagen)

Speaking about the design, Space Copenhagen co-founder Signe Bindslev Henriksen says: ‘For Esmée, we wanted to create the feeling of a fun, lively, urban orangery by bringing verdant courtyards into the space and using a lot of plants and trees throughout. In addition, the use of the colour green in a multitude of shades, both on the walls and on the upholstery, has created a light and naturalistic tapestry.’ 

Esmée restaurant designed by Space Copenhagen

(Image credit: designed by Space Copenhagen)

Beyond the dining areas, guests can enjoy a range of cocktails and wines at the hand-painted, deep plum bar that is designed to evoke doors of traditional Copenhagen homes. When it comes to the cocktail menu, sweet tooths will enjoy the Lolland Sour (a blend of Frederiksdal cherry juice, grapefruit juice, almond syrup, and egg white), while those with a penchant for the more savoury and experimental will enjoy the Caviar Martini (vodka, dill and caviar aquavit, dry vermouth, and a 4g caviar spoon). 

‘We feel that the design of Esmée has a real sense of joy and celebration about it,’ says Space Copenhagen’s other founder, Peter Bundgaard Rützou. ‘[It] really feels right for these times.’


Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.