You’ve got to have a butcher’s at this new rustic restaurant

Madsvinet is a new restaurant opened on Enghavevej 58, just by the beautiful Enghaveparken and at the end of infamous Istedgade. Istedgade has gone through massive changes in recent years, and Madsvinet’s ‘rustic gourmet’ menu exemplifies the combination of roughneck Copenhagen attitude and connoisseur quality that is beginning to characterise this part of the city perfectly.

It’s biting cold. You don’t feel like leaving the flat for even a minute, but seeing the big windows at Madsvinet filled with candlelight, dancing shadows and thrilled faces: you’re happy you did.
Madsvinet has installed a small curtain area just by the entrance. The thick, black curtain creates a space just between the outside and inside – a breather to prepare the senses. In this little nook, your sense of sight is impaired, and the contrast to the outside combined with the anticipation of the inside is even more spectacular. There are sounds of joyful murmuring and subtle laughter, and sweet scents of jasmine complemented by the masculine presence of the grill. Warmth. Welcome to Madsvinet.

After hanging our coats on the designated coat-hooks (adjusted meat-hooks from the old butcher’s), we are seated close to the open kitchen that constitutes the far end of the restaurant.
The menu is simple and very appealing: eight dishes, one dessert. The owner Rolf, who is also the head chef, tells us they aim to change the menu once a month, adapting to the seasons and giving the chefs room to experiment. The wine list is splendid. It’s a fine selection of mainly Italian wine, complemented by the possibility of cocktails.

We order and prepare for the obligatory teeth-grinding waiting for the food we’ve just ordered. But not this time. After having taken our orders, the waiter returns with two small pieces of finely sliced rye bread, toasted and topped with a delicious crab salad. Sensing our delight, Rolf returns with two glasses of cava, pours and explains that he really loves the element of surprise and generosity embedded in the tapas mentality of southern Spain. I couldn’t agree more. During the evening, we get served various small pieces of the super crisp rye with a wide arrange of fantastic toppings. Unexpected and delicious.

For starters we ordered the ‘Mussels and pasta in coconut and white wine’ and the ‘Braised swine with apple, onion and a puree made of parsley root’. With the pasta and mussels we enjoyed the Wittman Silaner 2010, which perfectly matched the creamy subtleness of the mussels and the fruity hints of coconut.

The meat was enjoyed with the biodynamic Belloti Rosso 2010. It was dry and voluptuous with a hint of what seemed like smoke; in combination with the braised chunk of meat, it performed elegantly.

Madsvinet has kept many of the fitting used by the previous occupant: the tiles, the hooks, the big shop windows – but one thing the previous owner probably would have never thought of introducing to the white tile walls is what really completes the experience. Under the high ceiling, the walls are filled with stunning paintings from local artists, and Rolf reveals that it is his intention to have local talent occupy the walls on a regular basis.

For our main course we chose grilled fish and meat: Zander and Texas Angus. Breathtaking! My dish, the Texas Angus meat, pureed cauliflower and baked carrot served with a red wine demi glace, was prepared to perfection. It was a red, juicy, salty, taste-bud melting experience. While the Zander was crisp on the outside, creamy within and accompanied by beetroots, hazelnuts, broccoli and a lobster sauce.

An exquisite plate of cheeses then followed the amazing main course, preparing the system for dessert. The amazing chocolate mousse and pineapple duet completed the evening with style. We enjoyed them with the delicious Chateau de Passant, 2010, which bridged the sweet and sour combination sublimely.

Now, Madsvinet might have opened in turbulent times, but with quality, ambience and style like this, we predict a very bright future for Rolf and his crew at the old butcher’s on Enghavevej.

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