The current state of things is challenging. Overworked governments, mandatory masking and sanctioned curfews are taking their toll on the physical and mental health of everyone around. Cramped into single-bedroom home offices for long hours, surrounded by spouses, crying children and dirty laundry, productivity and a regular work routine seems like a fever dream of the past. Yet, we are still here. So, let us toast to that.
To maintain minimal mental stability and corporeal function, we are here to present your prescription. Take the night off, let your shoulders down and leave your worries at the door – while sensibly abiding to the local lockdown limitations, of course.
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Les Deux presents to you; The Lockdown Get-Down. A section where we, and our comrades around the world, will take you through a night about town. We will assist and advice you with our local favourites, hidden gems and insider recommendations to ensure peak satisfaction.
For the first issue, we are eating our way through the bustling streets of inner-city Copenhagen. The centre of the Danish capital, and home to many outstanding restaurants and watering holes. Our journey starts with a couple glasses of mouth-watering orange at local hero; Bottega Barlie, a spicy feast at energetic Bazaar, all topped off with a barrage of well-shaken concoctions from world famous cocktail fountain; Ruby – All in time for the duly enforced 10 pm curfew, as well as the obligatory home bar night-cap. So, put on your mask and get out.
Bottega Barlie is a fairly new place within the cityscape of Copenhagen. Hidden away in the old Nyboder area, it has quickly become a local favourite – and for good reason. The café and wine bar houses great selection of natural, organic bottles and a thirsty clientele ready to consume them. From canned goods to fresh burrata, the kitchen serves up a seasonally curated assortment of tasteful dishes, equally pleasing for the tongue, as well as the camera on your smartphone. Do not even try and deny your character.
Arrive early, get a place in the sun, and let the staff do their job. Order a couple of snacks - we usually go for a couple of slices of the Hungarian Mangelica Ham, some grilled sourdough and the baby squid. Wash it down with a glass of whatever macerated grape juice the waiter has on hand – especially if it was forgotten for a couple years in a clay jar somewhere in rural France. Closes your eyes, enjoy the sun, and on to the next one.
Functioning as a short intermezzo, we take a walk from the cobblestones of Nyboder towards Dronningens Tværgade. Met by the warm, clay coloured halls of Bazaar; a Moorish bar and restaurant, we get ready for the second chapter of our mask-covered and safely facilitated Friday night journey.
Bazaar has modernized the concept of Mezze – a wide array smaller dishes, all served in a delightfully messy temperament. The food is zesty, saucy and spicy, no matter your dietary restrictions. We usually let the kitchen decide, but our hidden gem is the cauliflower. Grilled and served with tahini and pomegranate, this dish packs quite the punch, especially if accompanied by a couple glasses of equally punchy white. We recommend a bottle of “Combe Bazin” from the Copenhagen darling; Frederic Cossard.
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Bazaar usually packs quite the crowd, so be sure to acquire a table in advance. Then, once you are in, the ambience is always sparkling. However, our quest is timed and planned down to the last detail, so we better get going.
After a fifteen minute walk along the canals, we arrive at the last official stop on our journey. Huddled in between the beautiful old buildings of the historical Gammel Strand, you find a small door leading to a very interesting place. For the last decade, Ruby has pioneered the art of mixology in Copenhagen, as well as the rest of Europe. Yet, the atmosphere is down to earth, sometimes to the point where it feels like a house party – only with infinitely better cocktails.
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Upon arrival, make sure to quickly distribute cocktails to the entire fellowship. we recommend something light and fresh to kickstart the madness. As everything served at this establishment is sure to cause visible excitement, be sure to reapply masks in between sips.
Tragic as it is, Ruby is the last stop of our night, so make sure to finish up your networking, mingling and good old-fashioned sucking up by this station. By now, most participants should be fed, happy and completely unable to tell that practically afternoon by pre-pandemic standards – and that might be all right. In case of emergency, pick up a well-grilled hamburger on the way home. If not for the night, certainly for the morning.
Upon re-entering your apartment, and what has over the past half year been your neatly arranged home-office, be sure not to neglect the age-old tradition that is the night-cap. To ward off evil spirits, or maybe just continue the lunacy, mix up a couple of old-fashioned drams to conclude the night.
When discussing night-caps; less is more – unless we are talking potency. The classic Manhattan cocktails combines the tangy spices from sweet vermouth with the savoury punch from rye whiskey and creates a pleasingly elegant option. For the rum enthusiasts, be sure to try a rum old-fashioned. By adding bitters and a bit of sweetness to your premium dark rum, it might just lift into higher altitudes.
Finally, if you keep good scotch, now would be the time. Uncork your best Scotch single malt or crazy Japanese blend and give yourself a toast, ice or not. You did it. Keep it up.
Find all restaurants and bars included in this article here: