Nærvær — Copenhagen, Denmark
Nærvær’s culinary ambitions outstrip its diminutive size. Parked on the edge of a canal in Copenhagen’s picturesque Christianshavn – an old quarter dating back to the 17th century that now sports an eclectic and artistic bent – the bijou twelve-seater is the setting for chef Yves Le Lay’s engaging degustation dinners.
Tasked with both architecture and interior design, Norm Architects have swathed the dining room with raw concrete walls, the otherwise industrial vibe softened with tall potted trees, slender bar lamps, timber slatted screens, and warm dark-stained wood.
Le Lay’s locally sourced and seasonal menu, meanwhile, is based on classical French with mild Asian touches, to wit, a satay of Danish black lobster, venison stuffed with morels and violet asparagus, and North Sea turbot baked with chopped oysters and grilled red spring cabbage. The best seats in the house are by the window with views of the harbour, and the dome of the Marble Church.