Like a good Parisian lover, she’ll help you forget all your woes
If you duck down a narrow, quiet side-street off Østerbrogade, you might sometimes surprise yourself with what you’ll discover. The daytime might bring you into a warm boutique owned by a kind-hearted owner, while at night, you might find yourself walking past the subtle and welcoming warmth emanating from the window of Fru Heiberg.
At least, that’s what happened to me one freezing February evening. One turn down Rosenvængets Allé almost made the noise from the busy thoroughfare disappear. People were walking about, enjoying the clear night while huddled from the sharp wind, and as my friend and I were just about to have to amputate our fingers from the cold, we popped right through the doors of Fru Heiberg only to be met by the glowing candlelight and genuine ‘hygge’ this place espoused.
We sit down at a small table in this tiny one-room restaurant, and I immediately feel transported to Paris. Some tables are repurposed chessboards (with chess pieces set up at one without guests), while the rest are merely small, cosy tables for two or four. The area is not that large, but the room allows for a quiet din without feeling like everybody can overhear your conversation.
Our server promptly offers us a glass of sparkling Spanish cava with our menus. The selection is minimal, but everything sounds delectable, and we have trouble deciding what to order. To start, my friend opts for the French onion soup with croutons and Gryère with Ale #16, and I pick the Fish terrine with plum tomatoes, berries and fresh herbs with a 2009 Argentinian Malbec. Both are incredible, and you can taste the authenticity with which our dishes were prepared. The soup oozes classic French dining, and my terrine is wonderfully seasoned and rich. The full flavour of both the ale and the Malbec go well with these small but filling plates.
For our main, we again struggle with what to pick. “The Pork with rosemary sounds amazing,” my friend says. “But so does the lamb!” I can’t help but agree – quite the dilemma we face, isn’t it? Embracing my French mood, however, I go for the Coq au vin with mushrooms, onions and bacon served with mashed potatoes, and, ultimately, my friend decides to try the Braised lamb shank with vegetable confit and garlic potatoes.
Our meal is served quickly, and we both bask in the aromas coming from our dishes. I take a bite of my friend’s lamb, and the meat is cooked to a perfect tenderness that I’ve rarely tasted. But all thoughts of other dishes are lost when I try my chicken. My knife cuts through the meat like a hot knife through butter. The pairing with the mashed potatoes is perfect, and the mushrooms and onions are fantastic garnishes. I try to pace it, but the flavours are simply too exquisite to merely nibble on.
For the finale, we decide to split the plate of French and Danish cheeses and a Crème brûlée. The desserts come out with a glass of dessert wine, and it is all the perfect punctuation mark for a phenomenal meal.
The cheeses taste fresh and are paired with a paté and fresh crispy bread, and the Crème brûlée is a delightful balance of sweetness and creaminess. As we lay our spoons down, we are overcome with a sense of contentment that few meals can deliver.
Some nights simply require a Parisian aesthetic, with intimate tables made for comfortable conversations, cosily dark surroundings and melting candles galore. As evenings begin to thaw and wandering around the streets of Copenhagen sounds less and less like punishment, a long, relaxed dinner full of great food is exactly what the doctor ordered. Fru Heiberg is a true hidden gem for you and your friends to discover. Bon appétit!
Rosenvængets Allé 3, Cph Ø; 3538 9100
Open: lunch Tue-Sun 11:30-16:00; dinner Tue-Sun 17:00-23:00
Top Dish: Coq au vin
Price Range: mains 145-195kr; set 3-course menu 295kr