Gallic gratification on Gråbrødretorv going back to the Great Fire
It may be impossible to pronounce, but Gråbrødretorv, with its candy-coloured facades and cobble-stoned lanes, is no doubt up there with some of Copenhagen’s most picturesque addresses.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, it’s the kind of place that comes alive in the summer, with live jazz music and people lounging in deck chairs, sipping cocktails in the afternoon sun.
And deep within this secret rainbow oasis is Bøf & Ost – a burgundy-painted restaurant that oozes charm in every sense of the word.
Whether it’s for a hearty meal, or simply for some cheese and a glass of wine, Bøf & Ost is the ideal summer foodie destination, offering guests the chance to dine outside on a stone terrace or downstairs in its cosy cellar.
The terrace features big, comfy chairs laden with cushions and blankets, whilst the inside is a dimly-lit basementstyle affair with stone walls and a plethora of candles.
Reconstructed after the Copenhagen fire of 1728, Bøf & Ost established its trademark through its title as one of the oldest buildings in the city – and the restaurant does an admirable job in honouring this heritage.
We arrived on a balmy Thursday evening and were immediately greeted with a smile and a glass of champagne from our waitress for the evening, Amalie.
Finding inspiration from southern French cuisine, the menu is strongly influenced by the season’s freshest produce, focusing on raw ingredients of the highest quality.
The restaurant’s name, which roughly translates as “steak and cheese”, is reflected in the menu, which includes several high quality cuts of beef and veal, as well as a handpicked selection of the best French and Danish cheeses.
Think classic French dishes such as moules marinières, entrecôte and bouillabaisse, as well as traditional Danish smørrebrød and a range of other Scandinavian classics.
Overwhelmed with choice, we decided to put our faith in our waitress for the evening, letting her guide us through the menu.
Beef was just peachy
For starters, we shared the toast au crabe – fresh, light crab meat mixed with avocado, chilli and cucumber and served with herbs on fresh sourdough toast.
For our main meal, we shared the côte de boeuf with rosemary-baked garlic, artichoke sautée, pepper bacon, tender carrots, new potatoes and a deliciously creamy béarnaise sauce.
Perfectly presented on a wooden platter, it was enough to make a vegetarian reconsider for a day – faultless and cooked to perfection.
Some 500 grams of beef later and we could easily have rolled home. Instead, we chose the obvious alternative: dessert.
Baked peach with rosemary, cherry compote, fresh cheese cream and crisp almond biscuit. Utterly unnecessary, yet ridiculously perfect.
A case of cheese envy
But meat isn’t the only thing worth bragging about. I was struck by a bad case of food envy as I looked over at the table next to us tucking into a selection of indulgent cheeses.
With brie de meaux, gruyere, roquefort and a mouth-watering Danish goat’s cheese, diners can rejoice knowing that they’ve truly hit the jackpot at Bøf & Ost.
There are more than enough tempting options for you to sample with a serving of fresh bread, chutney and French butter.
Bøf & Ost has an aura of old-world authenticity about it that is hard to find fault in.
With history ingrained in the restaurant’s very exterior, the whole experience is a testament to the French-Danish fusion, awlessly combining traditional French cuisine with a hint of contemporary Scandinavian.
Bøf & Ost may be a meatlovers’ paradise, but there are plenty of options for those wanting something a little less carnivorous.
My final parting word of advice: prepare your elasticised pants, because you’ll need all the room you can.
BØF & OST
Gråbrødretorv 13, Cph K; open daily 10:00-22:30; 3311 9911, reservation@boef-ost. dk, starters from 85kr, mains from 185kr; boef-ost.dk