The unique kitchen in the 800-year-old Dragsholm Castle, supervised by chef Claus Henriksen, is well worth a visit.
In 2014 Dragsholm Castle was acknowledged by the US food magazine Bon Appétit as one of the 11 best Food Lover’s Hotels outside the United States. Here landscape, gastronomy and history are united into harmony and you can experience the past, the present and the future in one setting.
Visitors who do not want a full evening at one pf the castle’s two restaurants can enjoy a glass or a light dish at the new food bar having a wonderful view to the Nekselø Bay.
The castle’s gourmet restaurant “Slotskøkkenet” (The Castle Kitchen), however, belongs to the Nordic gastronomic elite. The castle itself is one of the oldest in Denmark in the beautiful countryside of Odsherred.
The big menu may vary from season to season. It’s called “Time and Place” and starts with six appetizers, served one by one. We had leaves of pickled majors with oyster emulsion, scallops with dried gooseberries, pancakes witch chicken skin and a delicious gazpachoque soup with cucumber and a few drops of smoked oil and corn.
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The castle kitchen is an innovative gourmet cuisine, where the basis is the castle’s history and seasonal produce from the Odsherred area. The past and the future are thus united on the plate.
The name Dragsholm means “the islet by the drag”, where the “drag” refers to the isthmus that connected Odsherred with the rest of Zealand before the reclaiming of Lammefjorden (The Lamb Fjord).
After the appetizers an excellent sommelier and servant drove an old-fashioned meat grinder to the table to grind a lot of fresh strawberries, which were mounted on the spot with browned sugar and served with, among other things, currants, raspberries and sprouts, accompanying a delicious virgin lobster.
Wine plays a very special role at Dragsholm Slot. The wine cellar contains a selection of excellent wines, discovered during visits with wine growers, on vineyards and through numerous wine tastings by some of the best wine merchants in the country.
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The islet has been the site for a Dragsholm Slot, since the 1200s original palace, later the medieval castle and to the present baroque castle. There are guided tours of the castle all year round.
The dinner continued when a rolling table was place by our table, offering a boiled Thornback ray, whose meat was cut from the bone and served in an intense sauce of smoked butter, sunflower seeds, cider from Birkemosegård and pikcled pear flowers. The tasty dish was brilliantly accompanied by white Burgundy from Ballorin.
The next dish consisted of white rings of partly squid and partly large onion fried in the vintage fat from a cow shot in 2015, as well as bronze fennel. The Cuvée Castor wine from Champs Divin in Jura with a smooth bacon taste was perfect to the dish.
The following so-called “Intermezzo” consisted of two intermediaries, one of which was the evening’s most interesting dish, a regional dish from Seljrø, a kind of Danish dumplings or ravioli. The dough was made of soft oatmeal and the fillet consisted of veal and pork, served in an intense sauce consisting of whey, seaweed and pepper.
The second ‘between dish’ consisted of a bite of honey grilled lamb breast served on a marzipan spear of bird cherry.
In the Castle Kitchen, the main course is always a pure vegetable dish. We were served a potpourri of delicacies from the castle’s own garden; sweet carrots, parsnips and parsley roots with flowers from all over the world with herbs and a sauce of ‘saved’ celery.
Before that we had a portion of monk-fish fried crunchy crispy and served with romaine salad, cream of romaine, rucola and egg added more crisp brown sauce made of the fish’s fried bones and red wine. The dish was served with a masculine Beaujolais-like red-.wine from Chateau de Lavernette.
Refreshing desserts consisted of lightly warmed blueberries with milky and crisp “bark” of baked parsnip and ice cream of green strawberries with various flowers.
16 servings later we were so pleased, not only by the food but the whole experience. The Castle Kitchen has one Michelin star. We think it deserves more!
Advance table reservation necessary.
Royal Dinner in Denmark, written by Tor Kjolberg