One place I had picked out before leaving for Iceland, with good help from Haukur, was Íslenski barinn or Icelandic Bar.
Though this opened last year, the theme is unashamed nostalgia. This is your grandparents home, ca. 1950. Assorted furniture, old photos and memorabilia. Souvenirs from the sailors of the family. If you’ve been to plan b in Copenhagen, you get the drift.
But, more inventive, is the menu. They may sell this as nostalgia as well, and some items, like plukkfiskur or fish stew, are recognizable from my own childhood. More interesting, however, are modern twists on what in Iceland are traditional ingredients, but what most of us feel are very exotic. Grilles mink whale, smoked wild goose, cured puffin, horse meat in various forms.
Fish and lamb dishes, too, of course, but I’d save them for a return visit.
Combination plates gives you the opportunity to try various delicacies. There is also (not online) a comprehensive list of small dishes with proposals for food and beer pairings.
Everything at very decent prices, at least as long as the Icelandic kronur stay at their present low level.
Because beer is very important here. They are proud to offer all Icelandic beers, which adds up to about a dozen micro brews plus slightly more from the macros. Light and dark lagers, sure, but also ales, stouts, even imperial stouts. I had Lava, an imperial stout from Ölvisholt, plus Mori, a red ale from the same brewery. Both were very good. Would I have minded staying on for a few more? The rest of the family, however, wanted to call it a day.
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