A resounding win for our taste buds: 56-0 to the old Arsenal


Restaurants in Denmark, particularly those in Copenhagen, are in a mad rush to join the new-Nordic food concept that is taking over the country’s food culture. What is less known to the public are some of the restaurants at the cutting edge of this food revolution, and how they experiment with green cooking and biodynamic kitchens. And what is almost a secret are the number of smaller restaurants involved in this food revolution, like Spisehuset 56°.


Situated in a truly elegant and historic building, built in 1744 for the purpose of storing the ammunition at Charlotte Amalie’s Bastion, this restaurant ticks the box for originality in a number of ways. Not many restaurants can boast of walls that are 1.5 metres thick. I was told that as this was the ammunition house, the walls were made thick so as to protect the people outside the building. Odd but very sensible. This also means that although located by the water, the restaurant is warm and keeps the heat during the long winter months.


The restaurant is called Spisehuset 56° because 56 degrees is the temperature at which all the meat is vacuum-cooked at. This ensures that the meat is still succulent and restores all its flavours, yet is cooked to a degree that it is considered suitable for consumption. 


Spisehuset 56° is one of the few restaurants that can be truly labelled ‘biodynamic’. All the fruit and veg used in the dishes are grown on a farm belonging to the parents of the chef, Kenneth Ellegaard, in Lolland. Every day, the restaurant receives a delivery of freshly plucked produce, so the restaurant has no set menus. This is perhaps not suitable if you are choosing the restaurant based on the menu, but one is guaranteed to get a plate of food that is prepared with the most seasonal vegetables. The meat comes from an organic farm on Fyn called Den Fynske Gaarde, and the seafood from local suppliers in Zealand. Rest assured one can dine at Spisehuset 56° without a guilty conscience. 


During my evening I was served the seasonal menu that began with a scrumptious appetiser of Dehydrated and cured scallop with apple vinegar and liquorice syrup. As we were getting used to the rustic tastes, we were served the starter course of Mussel and clam soup with apple, artichokes, carrots with fragrant herbs. To soak it up were slices of malt bread and creamed butter. Complementing these two courses was a Bourgogne 2010, Macon Uzichy ‘le Maritime. 


The main course was a plate of two kinds of meat: Ossetians bucco and fillet of beef (cooked, of course, at 56 degrees) accompanied by celery and dressed with a rich smoked marrow sauce. The choice of wine for this course was a Tuscany 2009 Chianti ‘ Colli Senesi’ − a Castello di Farnetella. 


The cheese course followed with red Christian, which is a biodynamic milk cheese, a Vesterhav and another Danish delicacy called Hoeg cheese, all of which were served with butter-fried bread and sea buckthorn compote. 


Finally, we got to the dessert which was the Assortment of berries, consisting of dried frozen blueberries, blueberry granite and blueberry meringue with white chocolate muesli, nuts and seeds. For this course we were served a dessert wine, the Vin de Glaciere by Pacific Rim ‘Columbia Valley’, USA. 


Whether intentional or not, Spisehuset 56° is a restaurant that is full of surprises, which are slowly unwrapped and revealed to the guests over the course of the evening. During my evening there, just as I thought I had been astounded plenty, I was told that this restaurant has something that perhaps none of its counterparts in Denmark has. Its very own bunker!! Yes, you heard right. The head chef proudly walked me through the restaurant’s very own bunker, which is currently being used as the cellar and cold storage for the restaurant. During the summer, there are plans to host wine and beer tasting evenings ‘in the bunker’.


It has to be said that the dynamic duo of Kristine and Kenneth Ellegaard seem to have mastered a completely new way to entertain their customers, while serving great food that brings out flavours of the country that even the locals were beginning to forget.


Spisehuset 56°

Krudtloebsvej 8, Cph K;

3116 3205, 56grader@gmail.com

open Tue-Thu 11:00-23:00; Fri-Sat 11:00-24:00; Sun 10:00-17:00

Cuisine: Nordic

Top Dish: Scallop

Price Range: 3-course seasonal menu 325kr