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Michelin-starred Italian fusion cuisine at Era Ora

Era Ora, located on the banks of one of Copenhagen’s most picturesque canals, has been a stalwart of the city’s culinary landscape for over 30 years. As its ‘Italian Inner Fusion’ menu proves, it’s still one of the best restaurants in Denmark

Ruairidh Pritchard

Feature

by Ruairidh Pritchard

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Mention Era Ora to a Dane and the reaction you’ll get is one full of appreciation and respect, verging on adoration. The Michelin-starred Italian restaurant, founded in 1983, is one of a handful of eateries that has seen Copenhagen’s culinary landscape change and evolve, and it retains a very special place in the hearts and stomachs of residents and visitors alike.

In Italian, era ora means about time and the notion of time is a central focus of the restaurant. Founders Elvio Milleri and Edelvita Santos, together with chef Nicola Fanetti, have created a restaurant that marries tradition and innovation, the past and the future, with a culinary style they describe as ‘Italian Inner Fusion’.

Era Ora presents an atmosphere more akin to a grand home than that of a restaurant. The menu perfectly expresses the restaurant’s Umbrian and Tuscan roots and changes monthly to reflect the fresh seasonal ingredients that the restaurant sources directly from the finest Italian producers.

The opening act of this award-winning menu sets the tone for the delicacies to follow. Bite-sized stuzzicando appetisers include a reinterpreted Caesar salad of wrapped leaves decorated with a moreish balsamic dust; a piadina (thin Italian flatbread) topped with fresh lumpfish roe and lovage mousse; and barbecued cucumber with pistachio and marjoram.

Crispy, flavourful turbot is perfectly accompanied by pistachios, summer salad and bell peppers, preceding a course of asparagus with sambuca – an unlikely paring that works rather joyfully – pork rind and horseradish. With a dish of baked striata eggplant, mascarpone, tomato and Caprino di Fossa cheese to follow, all the courses complement each other beautifully and reinforce both the restaurant’s culinary genius and its ethos of reimagined tradition.

A pasta dish of Benedetto Cavalieri half rigatoni with kombu kelp, caviar, pollen and radish brings the palate back to the restaurant’s Italian roots. Guinea fowl with gooseberry, cima di rapa broccoli, quinoa and chanterelle mushrooms provides a final crescendo of superbly crafted flavours and textures, fully representing the values of Era Ora.

End your evening with an expertly chosen selection of Italian cheeses and a dessert such as refreshing strawberries with herbal Strega liqueur-flavoured granita and rhubarb. A dish of poached peach with tarragon and liquorice ice cream is presented at the table before being frozen further with poured liquid nitrogen, providing the final, fantastic act to an evening of gastronomic delights.

All too often, long-standing restaurants try to compete with vibrant new gastronomic scenes by offering gimmicks or disastrous rebrands. Era Ora proves that with talent, passion and a dedication to expertly crafted cuisine, it is possible to build upon a 30-year history to take pride of place as a landmark institution in one of the world’s most popular culinary destinations.

Era Ora, Overgaden Neden Vandet 33B, 1414 Copenhagen, +45 3254 0693,

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