It was a dark and stormy night. Well, maybe not that stormy, but it was an early March Friday night in Copenhagen and typically cold and windy. Walking along in the chilly city centre, I did not expect that so much life-affirming warmth would be waiting just a couple of steps ahead.
A world of hygge
There is a word in Danish that expresses cosiness, which means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying good things in life with good people. And I accordingly felt embraced by hygge when I stepped into the Italian restaurant Sole D’Italia in the northeast corner of Gråbrødretorv, a square not far from Strøget.
Notwithstanding the Danish climatic conditions, this restaurant really brings the sun of Italy to whoever has the good luck to enter, whether it’s in the uncountable amount of candles, fresh flowers and tasty food.
Made to feel welcome
As soon as we arrived, my friend and I were heartily received and invited to have a seat where we were served a welcome drink. The restaurant is split over two floors that are elegantly furnished and decorated with Italian paintings and pictures chosen with a keen eye for detail, along with a wide selection of the most delicious Italian wines on shelves that hang over the tables.
I already felt enchanted, and when the kind waiter showed us the menu I felt overjoyed at the number of dishes that immediately reminded me of home.
According to the head chef, the restaurant mostly uses Italian suppliers to maintain the authenticity of the menu.
A blaze of flavours
Most customers tend to order the three-course set menu, which on the occasion of our visit came with a main course of roasted wild boar. However, as a vegetarian, I opted to go a la carte and choose from its wide selection of excellent Italian dishes.
The wine list is superb and, with the help of the waiter, we selected an excellent dry white, the Gavi from Piedmont, a wine that delighted us the entire evening.
We began with a true Italian classic: parmigiana. The oven-baked aubergines with parmesan cheese, mozzarella and tomato sauce are a staple of traditional Italian cuisine, and this tasty version definitely made me feel at home!
As a starter, my friend opted for a fine choice of Italian specialties: raw veal fillet with parmesan, lemon and rocket salad; bresaola with cream of leek; roast beef with mustard; spicy salami; and salmon – a true blaze of flavour elegantly presented.
I have to admit: I am like many Italian vegetarians addicted to pasta. So when I saw that the menu had such a wide choice, I got a little overwhelmed. Eventually, I ordered fresh tortelloni stuffed with mushrooms in truffle sauce. This is a typical pasta of northern Italy: rich with a divine aroma.
My friend chose the grilled beef fillet with truffle sauce in cognac served with potatoes, stuffed tomato and zucchini, which she said was “exquisite.”
The best for last
And then when I thought it couldn’t get better, the dessert appeared.
It was a mouthwatering selection of Italian treats: creamy tiramisu, panna cotta, warm crespelle with marmalade, cream puffs and a bite of nougat. Last but not least, a coffee cup of real espresso finished off the experience in style.
By the time we left the restaurant fully satisfied with the service, we noticed that it had filled up with clients irresistibly attracted to the sun of Italy.