Hot rhubarb soup with blackberries, smoked breast of auk (a seabird), and seal marinated in honey—dishes like these draw foodies to Nuuk, the tiny capital of Greenland and the region’s gourmet star. Here, such upscale eateries as Nipisa and Sarfalik blend European cooking methods with traditional Inuit ingredients to create adventurous nouvelle Arctic cuisine.
Greenland, a self-governing Danish possession, attracts young chefs trying to make a name for themselves. Jeppe Ejvind Nielsen, a native Dane who has three times been crowned Greenland’s top chef, typifies the trend. At Nipisa, where he and co-chef Rune Collin change the menu daily, you might try the juniper berry–poached fillet of musk ox, medallions of reindeer garnished with sage, or Arctic hare in a pastry shell. “The meat and fish you get here are just so fresh,” says Nielsen. “And our vegetables come from a 500-year-old Viking farm on the fjord. It’s beautiful working with produce like this—you don’t get that anywhere else.” After your meal, bundle up and take a stroll through the town, its architecture a mix of Scandinavian modern and 19th-century Danish colonial. You’ll find most of the latter along a waterfront that also houses the Greenland National Museum. Nearby, Hotel Hans Egede is home to the Sarfalik restaurant and offers modern rooms with views of the city and fjord. —Joe Yogerst
This appeared in the December/January 2010 issue.