After a serious renovation that closed down restaurant Vermeer for a while, Chris Naylor is back in business. Well, back, he wasn’t exactly standing still doing nothing, was he? Whilst renovations went on, Naylor opened up the wildly popular pop-up restaurant in St. Olof’s Chapel, called Roomservice at Olof’s. The undertaking was surely a pleasant break from the rigorous Michelin star operations and the casual atmosphere and experimenting at the pop-up I daresay must have inspired the chef’s new take on modern cuisine. Restaurant Vermeer has reopened with a modern and elegant look and a menu that reveals nothing but the main ingredients the kitchen is working with that month. It gives the restaurant a certain spontaneity (and adventurousness) that you don’t often see at Michelin star restaurants.
For the July menu, we start off with a mackerel ceviche, marinated in apple and cider with a cucumber ice cream – a summer dish with the cucumber ice cream and rosemary notes beautifully cutting through the acidity of the ceviche. One of the July features was cod – a fish dish cooked to perfection, topped with crunchy granola (which provided a lovely texture) and an African herbs fish soup that leaves you wanting for more. For our main, we were served a lamb sous vide with fried artichokes and a walnut sauce and the subtly layered 2010 Domaine Olivier Pithon Cuvée Laïs gracefully complemented the main. And then for our dessert, an airy lemon chiboust on a summery strawberry salad with mezcal, paired with a lovely tropical and fruity 2014 Rieslander Spätlese. The various amuse bouche served in between are no less spectacular by the way – the red beet with blackberry and miso (served between the cod and lamb) was a lovely balance between sweet, earthy and salty.
At the new restaurant Vermeer you’ll find a menu that highlights local produce and it does so by featuring more on fish and vegetables. The trend of serving more fish and vegetables has been here for a while already but it hasn’t really been fully embraced yet by chefs. Which is a shame, because if anything, Vermeer proves that even (or especially) with fish and vegetables, there are interesting contrasts and textures to be found.
Radish with lavas sauce and goat milk yogurt; carrots braised with sage and lime, bread crumbs and olive oil
Mackerel ceviche marinated in apple cider, cucumber, grilled avocado and rosemary
Seared cod, charred chicory with salted lemon, granola, horseradish, fish soup with North-African herbs
Cherries with almond, sorrel and sabayon
Lemon chiboust on strawberry salad with mezcal
Red beet with blackberry and miso.
Lamb sous vide, fried artichokes with mint and garlic and walnut sauce.