The Monocle Food and Entertaining Guide 2013
5 GREAT TABLES
No. 4: SCHØNNEMANN
Let's be clear: "no frills" does not have to mean low quality and Copenhagen's best smørrebrød restaurant, Schønnemann, is a
fine example of that, "When we bought the restaurant in 2007, it was past its heyday, We wanted to return it to its former gloryl' says Søren Puggard, co-owner with his partner John Puggard. "Nothing was homemade, the ambience was gone. "For me, turning it around started with the quality of the ingredients. We don't do things out of tubs and freezer bags. lt has to be the right rye bread, real butter, our own pickled herring, homemade mayonnaise" Smønebrød starts with home-made sourdough rye bread. The bed of this Scandinavian open-faced sandwich can be spread with either butter or lard, topped with fish or meat.
Though the restaurant may specialise in traditional Danish open sandwiches piled high with fish, meats and garnishes, they have not been afraid to innovate, using Japanese panko breadcrumbs for the classic fried plaice sandwich for nstance, and devising new toppings ded cated to famous local chefs (René Redzepi - chef at nearby Noma restaurant - is halibut and cucumber cream). Søren is proud to have brought down the average age of the diners from over 50 years old to those in their thirties.
For Søren, smørrebrød should be convivial, informal and not a little boozy, "There is a rrtual about smørrebrød: it takes time, A proper Danish lunch lasts an hour and a hafl" he says, adding firmly, "and you must have snaps" Schønnemann stocks over 90 diffierent varietes of the Danish eau de vie, "lt is important to get the right match with the smørrebrød, Iike a sommelier does with wine, And you must never serve snaps straight out of the freezer (as most Danes do). That kills the flavour"