COPENHAGEN, Denmark – One of Europe's most famous restaurants, Noma, is set to close at the end of next year and reopen as an eatery with its own vegetable farm on the edge of Copenhagen's edgy Christiania neighborhood.
With a Nordic menu that changes with the seasons, co-owner Claus Meyer says Noma will reinvent itself to maintain its "international impact."
The 40-seat Noma — a contraction of the Danish words for Nordic food — opened in 2003. Led by chef and co-owner Rene Redzepi, it has two Michelin stars and was voted the world's No. 1 restaurant by Britain's Restaurant Magazine in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
"Restaurants tend to freeze, so if Noma wants to have 15 really good years ahead, then Rene needs to challenge himself," Meyer told AP in an email.
Noma will serve its final meal at the current location — an 18th century warehouse — on New Year's Eve next year. Then it will move into what's currently a graffiti-covered, derelict former navy building on the border of Christiania, with a tentative open set for mid-2017.
The restaurant's menu will change with the seasons, with themes based on the forest in the fall, the sea in the winter and on vegetables — grown in its own urban garden — during the spring and summer.
Since the beginning, Noma has primarily used local products to emphasize its Nordic focus, although it's strayed far beyond pickled herring, meat balls and other traditional regional dishes. Guests book tables months in advance to taste deep-fried moss, edible flowers, live ants and other Noma specialties.
In 2013, Redzepi and Meyer sold some of their Noma shares to New York-based Overture Management that presently is the biggest shareholder. Next year, Meyer also plans to open a Nordic-themed brasserie in New York's Grand Central Station.