At long last, god of New Nordic cuisine René Redzepi will open a more casual restaurant: Called 108, it's slated to hit Copenhagen in late Spring 2016. Per news posted to Noma's official website, the kitchen will be led by current Noma staffer Kristian Baumann, who is also named as a co-owner; the restaurant will be located on Strandgade in the Copenhagen district of Christianshavn, said to be one of the city's most picturesque streets.
While Noma enjoys a reputation as a restaurant that food geeks make pilgrimages from all over the world to experience, it sounds like 108 has the noble goal of being an approachable neighborhood restaurant: In a letter introducing the new concept, Baumann writes, "Our restaurant will be a place for families to come together for a quick dinner on a Monday night, or for friends to sit down on a Friday evening for a longer meal, and really explore what we have to offer. We want to add value to the existing traditions of an already brilliant dining scene — and hope to influence the Copenhagen kitchen."
Noma fanboys and hungry Copenhageners who can't wait till spring will have an advance opportunity to see what 108 has to offer: As Redzepi takes Noma on the road to Australia for a ten-week pop-up launching in late January — tickets for which sold out in 90 seconds — Baumann and the rest of the 108 crew will simultaneously launch a pop-up in the current Noma space. Held January 20 through April 16, it will be open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner only serving an a la carte menu. Noma's lounge will also play host to a wine bar during this time.
The official 108 website offers a sneak peek at a menu (complete with pricing); expect dishes such as an oyster-marinated romaine salad, pork belly with gooseberries and pine, and caramelized milk skin with braised veal tongue. Menu prices range from 75 to 180 DKK (about $11 to $26) — certainly a more affordable option than Noma, where the tasting menu runs nearly $300 a head.
Pop-up reservations are currently available via an online system, though the website notes there will also be tables for walk-ins.
Redzepi is certainly staying busy these days: He's currently working on plans for a brand-new iteration of Noma. He'll shutter the hallowed Copenhagen restaurant at the end of 2016 and resurrect it in 2017 in a new location that will include an urban farm. Noma 2.0's menu will transform with the seasons, specializing in seafood during the winter and going all-vegetarian in the spring.