Can You Keep a Secret? We Found The Most Exclusive Restaurant in Iceland
The trickiest part about having dinner at Reykjavík's ÒX Restaurant isn't finishing off its 12-course tasting menu—it's simply finding the address.
You’ll find only one Michelin-starred restaurant in Iceland—open now for nearly a decade, the New Nordic cooking at Dill is famously creative and sublime—but star Icelandic chef and innovator Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon is hoping to change that with his most daring concept yet: a restaurant-within-a-restaurant in the heart of downtown Reykjavík, hidden in plain sight.
At just 11 seats, all gathered communally around a chef’s table, ÓX Restaurant is Reykjavík’s smallest and most intimate dining experience. The big idea: get the chef out of the kitchen and in front of guests, where he’ll cook, serve, and guide (or simply be a part of) the conversation.
Over the two-and-a-hour-hour dinner seating, guests are treated to a 12-course set menu that focuses on traditional Icelandic cooking with a twist. No two nights are the same—you might see volcano-baked rye bread and whole grilled monkfish or trout roe-topped artichokes and lamb neck with carrot and blueberries—which makes for an exciting and often surprising meal.
The biggest challenge, you’ll find, is not in finishing each course, or in continuing the conversation with your fellow diners (wine pairings help with that). The biggest challenge is simply getting there. There’s no official address or phone number listed on the website, and diners who do manage to secure a reservation online aren’t even told where (or with whom) they’ll be eating—only a meeting point.
A secret, speakeasy-style restaurant wouldn’t be out of place in New York City. For Iceland, though, it’s a true game-changer.
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