Dill has been in business for 2 years and is the only Michelin starred restaurant in Iceland. It was originally a barn and now has a small front room and 3 counter seats at the finishing kitchen as well as additional seating in another room, but that seemed to filled by a private party. Windows to the street form one side of the main room and a large window looking out at a back garden is opposite that. A bench seat lines one other wall with closely set tables as they also are on the main floor. Walls are of concrete, the ceiling of wood, a combination of candlelight and a skylight provide most of the low lighting and there was subtle background music. The night we were there it was quite warm in the restaurant but I suspect this is not normally a problem.
The second dining room is down a set of stairs where the main kitchen is located. An interesting passage comes from there to the upstairs kitchen and is located under the counter. We were lucky to get seats at the counter but the lack of interaction with the chefs working there was surprising. They offer a 5 or 7 course tasting menu with optional wine pairings. Service was mostly from the chefs behind the counter but the wine pairings were poured on a timely basis and you did get to see the bottle.
Everyone starts with a plate of snacks – kelp and smoked roe; bacalao and mussels; caviar and ash – which were all nice tastes. The cod was quite crispy and not too dry. The mussels were a tasty dollop of flavor on the ash cracker. The green crisp contained parsley with a taste of sourness on top.
Another snack was called Roots: parsley, carrot, celery and swede. The swede is a type of yellow turnip that was fairly chewy. The carrots were also really chewy with a strong carrot taste. The parsley was another strong flavor. All were firm and chewy and offered a good bit of flavor.
House made sour dough rolls and butter and brought out after the snacks. They were done to a very crispy crust and seemed small enough that the ratio of inside to outside was too much toward the crust, making them seem dry.
Ocean Perch was served with celeriac and pickled vegetables on top of grass oil. The perch was very firm and nicely herbed. It was a fresh tasting item but very mildly flavored. Good textural contrasts were provided by the vegetables and enough flavor to make this a good dish.
Smoked haddock was served with potato and skyr and the pairing was a beer from Denmark. The sweet and sour dill was on top of the potatoes mixed with skyr. The tang from the skyr mixed well with the potatoes and then even better with the fish. The dill also worked well with the potatoes as well as the fish. A good combination of flavors.
Rutabaga, cod chin and sea-truffle were served in a dashi sauce. The seaweed was the part on top and called a kelp beard with a truffle like aroma. The rutabaga was combined with the fish chins into a shredded mixture that looked like sauerkraut, but tasted nothing like it. It was a nice dish but lacking in overall flavor intensity.
Malted barley was served under dried and grated wolf fish. Watercress sprouts were added to the barley which all worked well with the acidity of the fish. A good dish here.
Brisket of beef was topped with fried sunchokes and served on an angelica sauce. The brisket had been cooked overnight in a low temperature oven which made it very tender but the flavor really came from the sauce which was actually a combination of 2 sauces. The sunchoke chips were crispy and quite tasty and enhanced by a bit of sunchoke purée on top of the meat. A nice combination here.
Brown cheese was topped with frozen beets and a slice of thin meringue topped with tarragon powder. The brown cheese was whipped and the beet sorbet had a lovely beet flavor. Something in the combination had a bit of salt which enhanced the other ingredients and made it all work together.
Dried sponge cake was served with rhubarb and whey ice cream for the last dessert. The rhubarb was expectedly tart and the whey ice cream did not have sufficient sweet content to balance it. The combination was okay but seemed ordinary for a restaurant trying to be innovative. It was fine but just didn’t sing.
The restaurant presented us with a bag of 2 blueberry and 2 red currant jellies to take with us which were tart and got left in the hotel room.