Saga Shop Winter 2019

44 Icelandair Stopover Photos by Sigurjón Ragnar. Photos by Lilja Jons Photography. DILL Restaurant (New Nordic) The windows are lined with glass jars, remini- scent of body parts kept in formalin in a mad scientist’s lab. Take a closer look and the jars prove to contain grains, fruits and vegetables, affirmed by their tags—apart from one, which reads: “Stop staring through the window!” A strange greeting from a Michelin-star restaurant. Inside, Pearl Jam is playing. The grey concrete walls may have belonged to a barn—and indeed, there is grass on the menu! It’s clear that you’re in for an unorthodox experience in a relaxed atmosphere, peppered with humor. Choose five or seven courses, wine pairings or not. Simple. But the food, prepared and served by true professionals, is far from simple. In a sense, you do find yourself in a mad scientist’s lab. The grass turns out to be smoked hay, giving the dish of chicken and barley an extraordinary flavor, and another dish features rhubarb—cooked for 23 (wait for it) days! ÓX (Icelandic, Continental European) Possibly the best-kept secret of the Reykjavík food scene, tiny restaurant ÓX is actually hidden away in a back room of the larger (and totally different) Sumac. Seating a maximum of 11 people who all face the kitchen—with an interior made by the grandfather of the owner, chef Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon, in 1961—the guests converse with the chef and watch him perform his magic. Intimacy on a new level. Elegantly arranged on shells, stones and in small glass jars, the fantastic fusions of flavor with wines and beers to match are sure to leave diners stunned: Smoked egg yolks, pine tree oil and pickled unripened strawberries are only a few of the surprises. Dinner at ÓX is all about surprises; you book a ticket online without knowing anything about what kind of food will be served. REYKJAVÍK BY THE MOUTHFUL Icelandair Stopover went on a culinary exploration of Iceland’s capital. BY EYGLÓ SVALA ARNARSDÓTTIR. There was a time when there were only a handful of fine-dining restaurants in Reykja- vík and the only other options for eating out were hamburgers and fried chicken. Now, the options are endless, it seems, with new and chic eateries springing up like mush- rooms all over the city. Whatever you fancy: French, Lebanese or Korean; gastropub, fusion or New Nordic, Reykjavík has it all (although you’d be hard-pressed to find a white tablecloth). Here’s our take on a few of the restaurants that are doing something special. n Reykjavík