Noma was emblamatic of its origins – wild, flowering, bountiful, and rustic – at times, it seemed as if the forest floor had invaded the restaurant. Geranium attempted to take those ideals and ‘civilize’ them – edit and refine – into a more minimalist haute experience. The aesthetics of the meal clearly share a common lineage with noma, and further help establish a Denmarkian identity of cooking. When it works, which is not always, Geranium’s food is among the most refined on the planet, as much so as any restaurant in France or Japan.
Unfortunately, the tasting menu was not a coherent arc – it skipped, jumped, and spurted – careful and focused dishes were followed by the sloppy and/or mundane. It never got into a rhythm, instead hopping from one dish to the next. Some dishes had a unified coherence while others felt rushed or typical. It had the potential to absolutely wow – to deliver a series of revelations not felt since my Pierre Gagnaire or El Poblet meals. But the menu ultimately felt like an exhibition of styles and techniques, instead of a story, or a work of art (to use a controversial term.)