Relæ was established in 2010 by Christian F. Puglisi and Kim Rossen. The idea of creating a place of gourmet simplicity in a rustic setting at the heart of Nørrebro was the driving force from the beginning. Cooking food of high ambitions in a humble setting was combined with a lively atmosphere and an approachable price point. In June 2016, former Creative Souschef at Relæ, Jonathan Tam was appointed Head Chef, leaving room and time for Puglisi turn his focus to the development of his Farm of Ideas as well as the other three restaurants; Manfreds, Bæst and Mirabelle.
Entering the restaurant, you see a small, open-spaced kitchen and the relaxed dining room with wooden tables (no cloths) and street art-like pictures on the raw brick walls. You can either sit in the dining room, or close to the kitchen watching your courses taking shape, and once seated, focus is kept at the main character – the food. So, you won’t find an army of waiters interrupting you by filling up your glasses again and again. The cutlery is kept in a drawer under your table and you will replace it yourself between the courses. Instead the waiters will knowledgeably serve you the natural wines and the food – if it isn’t one of the chefs coming straight from plating to serve you the food him/herself.
The food at Relæ is ‘plant-centric’ and locavorist, creatively driven with a focus on vegetables and local produce.
Undogmatically using also ingredients like Sicilian lemons or white truffles from Piedmont, Relæ’s wholehearted use of organics makes the menu reflect the local, seasonal raw materials available at any given day. Expect a finger snack like salsify fried in tempura and courses like romaine lettuce poached in butter with salted, grated egg yolk and nettle puree, or lamb from the salty marshlands of Southern Denmark with samphire from the same area and turnip slices.
If the focus on tasty, creative food in a no-frills atmosphere is what you experience as a guest at Relæ, the logistics behind the scenes include intense and ethically grounded practices like recirculation and reusing food trash and garbage and searching for sustainability in every matter.
This is done in close synergy with the sister restaurant, Manfreds, across the street. The restaurant has since 2013 held the highest Danish organic certification making it the only Michelin starred restaurant with an organic certification in the world. Relæ ranks #40 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and has been honoured by the Sustainable Restaurant Award two times in a row, 2015 and 2016.