Vín og Skel
Icelandic and French cuisine join forces in the first mussel restaurant in Reykjavík
Ingredients from the sea have always featured
prominently in Icelandic cooking, but at the
newly-opened Vín og Skel, the focus is more unique. The first mussel-oriented restaurant in Reykjavík combines Icelandic ingredients, French recipes, and a creativity on its own to give new flavour to the popular shellfish. Fresh on the scene – having opened on January 2nd of this year – the mussel menu is already sophisticated and adventurous, spanning tried and true favourites
such as Moules Provençale to the elegant innovation of mussels with blue cheese and hazelnuts. The restauranteur brings extensive experience to the table, and the dishes are all made in-house.
The name of the establishment translates as ‘Wine and Shell’, a phrase which perfectly encapsulates the focus of the food and reflects the neat, modern décor. The bright, alluring colours of the mussel platters stand out against the soft greys and mint greens of the surroundings. Its open design makes the room remarkably versatile. Tables for two are an intimate setting for a date, but the booth along the wall could easily accommodate a larger party.
Mussels are a dish for lovers of variety; because we each ordered a different kind, it was easy to share. The mango chutney mussels came awash with flavour, and the classic Provençale were delightfully creamy. The fresh trout was served with lemon, bringing out the pepper with which it was seasoned. Warm flax-seed bread accompanied the meal, and served to take up every drop of the rich, tangy sauce. We had just enough room for dessert: crème brûlée and chocolate mousse. Had we dined some time later, we might have faced a dilemma, as chocolate cake will soon join the French-inspired dessert menu.
There are flavours on offer for all tastes. Although it is possible to order mussels for every course – and with such variety, it is tempting – both fish and Icelandic lamb provide alternatives, and the list of options will continue to grow. The drinks selection combines the best of both regions. Vín og Skel is the only restaurant in Iceland to serve wines from the Domaine Charles Guitard in France, notably, the Rosé Pamplemousse. The wines are chosen to pair with each mussel dish, and there is also a fine range of Icelandic beers – the latter a key ingredient in Moules à l’Islandaise. As the restaurant expands its horizons, the best thing to do is to dine with friends – and try every mussel on the menu.
Vín og Skel is accessible via Austurvöllur or through the lobby of the City Centre Hotel on Austurstræti 6, and it’s open from 18:00-22:00 every night.
Vin og Skel Restaurant
101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Tel: +354 571 1400