Although we probably wouldn’t have done this had we not heard him speak at MAD, we decided to give Christian Puglisi a second chance at his newer restaurant, Manfred’s and VIns. Located across the street from Relae, Manfred’s has much more casual vibe. They offer plenty of (all natural) wines, small plates, and take out. We went to dinner hoping to get our money’s worth on our last night in Copenhagen.
sweet kitchen set-up
Julian: I’d like to point out that we are currently in our tenth hour of travel (out of a total of 18) to Faviken. I don’t plan on eating between the dinner at Manfred’s and dinner at Faviken. Anyway, more about Faviken and the journey there later. Manfred’s. Let’s see. I think if I could take any restaurant that we’ve been to–that is, the space itself, the equipment, the design, etc–and transplant it back home, it would be Manfred’s. It’s definitely funky, but in a tasteful way. It has a much younger vibe, and they clearly are having a good time running the place. It’s also doing some serious business. They’re open from noon to 10pm, except with a break from 3:30-5:30, and are basically busy that whole time. They share a prep kitchen with Relae and also store some wine for Relae. Not to mention they use Relae scraps, allowing for more purchasing power and better deals from their suppliers. It’s a good deal they’ve got going down in Jaegersgade.
cod remnants from Relae
Jesse: One of the reasons we found Manfred’s space so cool is because when you stepped into the restaurant, you were almost stepping into the kitchen. Their front kitchen is completely open, with the waiter station closest to the door and forming a sort of in-between station that links the front and back of house; there are bar seats all along the long side of the kitchen so customers get in on all of the action. The sense of the kitchen and the dining area being one space was something we also encountered at both Amass and Relae (actually at a couple others, but not to the extent of these), but here the connection between the two spaces seemed even more pronounced. At all these places the cooks aren’t just cooks, they deliver and explain dishes to customers, and at Manfred’s some even greeted guests, so tying the two spaces together makes a lot of sense.
poached egg with fried bread crumbs and marjoram
Julian: For the food, you can do one of a few things. First, and this is kind of cool, you can take out plated meals. I don’t know of many other places where you can get a beef heart topped with produce from a Michelin-star restaurant (they use the same raw ingredients as they do at Relae) in a to-go bag, paired with a really great bottle of natural wine. But you can get that at Manfred’s. The second option is to order from the a la carte menu. It’s a very small menu, with each dish designed to be shared along with their great crusty bread. Last, you can do the Chef’s choice menu–seven shared plates that are a mystery up until the point that they arrive at the table. Naturally, this is the option we chose.
Manfred’s is a fun and youthful restaurant in a hip part of Copenhagen
Jesse: The shared plates came out as they were ready (as the menu made sure to mention), taking a lot of pressure off the kitchen to time everything perfectly. Most of the dishes were simple, with 2 or 3 ingredients, but it didn’t feel like they were skimping us like it did at Relae. Also, they had the same delicious bread. My favorite dish was the poached egg and eggplant puree. I don’t even like eggplant that much (although on this trip we’ve had a couple good eggplant dishes). But the dish was so perfectly rich and creamy with a nice crunch from fried day-old bread and a touch of marjoram leaves on top.
Julian: I really appreciated eating here and Relae on back-to-back nights. They have a sweet system worked out that normal people probably wouldn’t get excited about, but for me was really interesting. The existence of Manfred’s basically allows Relae to order in larger quantities and use the best of certain ingredients that normally have a low yield. For example, we had this cod dish at Relae that was centered around these beautifully cut, long slices of raw fish. The next day at Manfred’s, we were served randomly sized pieces of raw cod with simply-prepared new potatoes and thyme. This was clearly the trimmings from Relae, but it tasted great all the same, as it was the same super-premium fish. Being able to offer that high of quality for a very reasonable price is cool.
Jesse: Yup, it’s the perfect system for cutting waste. Manfred’s worked out to be a much more enjoyable meal than Relae. The price was right, the vibe was right, the portions were right, and we had a nice farewell to Copenhagen. Annnd that’s it. My butt’s numb from sitting on this ridiculously nice Swedish train, so I’m going to go walk around and snap some pictures of how awesome it is.