When we left Iceland I was practically in tears. Not because I was sad to go — which I really was — but because I was so tired.
I’m not sure if it was vacation jitters or the very real midnight sun (it literally never got dark the whole time we were there) but the last two nights we were in Reykjavik, I didn’t fall asleep until after 6am. While the first morning I could sleep in, the second morning we had to be ready for our shuttle to the airport at 9am.
I think I clocked in 90 minutes of actual shut-eye before it was time to leave our apartment and lug our suitcases to the van. Sleep-deprived, my mood teetered from dazed and confused to frustrated and teary. If being hangry is a thing — and I believe it is — there must be a word for being so exhausted you’re just angry at the world. And particularly angry at all the well-rested people who had probably slept for a full 8 hours the night before. I hated those people.
After groggily making my way through customs and onto the plane, I collapsed in my window seat in sheer delight. I have never been so excited to sit on a plane in my life! Not even the exuberant Danish kids behind us could keep me from falling asleep before we even left the ground. It was magnificent.
And thankfully, upon waking up as we descended into Copenhagen, my feelings of anger had dissipated, leaving only excitement for the week to come, and especially for the evening ahead of us. To celebrate our first night in Denmark, my husband had made dinner reservations at Amass, number 66 on the list of the world’s best restaurants. A good reason for an attitude adjustment if there ever was one!
While getting to our hotel proved to be a bit of a challenge (the first metro trip in a foreign country is bound to be confusing no matter how many travel books you’ve studied), we got checked in and had enough time to sit and soak in the cuteness of our room before leaving for dinner.
My first impression of Amass was that it perfectly hit the balance of well-executed coolness while still being authentic. The walls had an urban splash of a city skyline and graffiti, but the food coming out of the kitchen was polished and precise. All the staff we met were both knowledgeable and extremely affable – a winning combination.
Our server, a young Scot with plugs in his ears, got us settled. We chose to stick to the regular menu of six courses, rather than the extended menu, splitting the wine pairing between us. While that might sound borderline teetotaler of me, it was mainly so I could drink some beer on the side. (What can I say – my true love is made of barley, hops and malt.)
Our first course was a small bite but it remained the most discussed dish from the evening, usually followed by one of us saying “that was SO good!”
Swiftly following that was bread for snacking…
From there we progressed into larger plates, brought to our table and explained by members of the kitchen.
This dinner was amazing.
I’m not sure if it was because the atmosphere was so lovely or because the people were so friendly or if it was simply because the food was so spot-on, but this whole meal was a truly memorable part of our trip.
And because my husband is a chatty Cathy, we also had some really great conversations with Chef Orlando, who used to be the chef of world-renowned Noma prior to opening Amass. We talked some shop about the industry, asked about his recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, and got a photo with him and Darth Sigurd, the slightly secretive mascot for the restaurant.
And perhaps the best part of the evening?
I slept like a baby that night.