Restaurant Vår Locally sourced, light and unexpected gourmet servings. And some seriously off the beaten track wine to go with it
The city's most interesting restaurant, if you ask me. The mention in the Michelin Guide for the past two years confirms it.
No one else in Odense delivers light Nordic taste with the understated excellence of Jacob Burmølle-Jensen, who has returned to Odense after a number of years at - among others - Naert and Kadeau in Copenhagen and Bare in Bergen, which clearly inspired Vår’s menu.
Many New Nordic restaurants have too much hype around them. You've probably seen some of the types who publish their stories and their graphic identity several months before they open.
Not Vår. There was only a little press release in Fyens and a post on their facebook page before the restaurant opened in May 2017. No marketing budget, no menu the first couple of months and no uniforms. Just open doors, casual dining, cheap introductory prices for lunch - outstanding, overwhelmingly well tasting.
That doesn’t mean Vår is a sloppy place. No, it’s the opposite. Jacob is in control of produce and he himself collects vegetables from Nørregården. And the meat comes from Steensgaard's principle farm. It has to be sustainable, from Funen, and it rests on a foundation of respect for nature and one another.
The signature is surgical taste balance. Between salty, sour and umami. Between light and fat. The menu consists primarily of brassicas, berries, celery, lovage, dill, apple, fish, shellfish and what other green and light delights are in season. A bit of pork and beef is also on the menu. And while most chefs can create flavour by winter simmering the latter, I have never experienced a restaurant that can extract flavour from infant and delicate Danish vegetables like Vår can.
Hour after hour is spent preparing before you show up. They cook bouillons, stocks and emulsions. They ferment, salt and preserve. They extract every little taste nuance from the season's best ingredients.
You don't like fish? No problem - You do here. The menu doesn't sound like something you would enjoy? You're wrong. I never look at the menu before I go to Vår - because it doesn't matter what ingredients they work with - they make it work.
There are also no compromises when it comes to wine. It is natural wine and often from progressive wine regions, including Greece, Slovenia and Serbia.
Even the name of the restaurant is a subtle reference to the food and wine menu and the feeling you’re left with after reading through the menu is: light, green and fresh spring.
The best advertising for Vår comes from the stories of those who have eaten there.
The evening menu is: 5 courses: 575 kr., 10 courses: 875 kr. Wine menu doubles the prise or you can buy a juice menu for 275 kr. and 425 kr. You can also just choose one or two glasses and if you fancy skipping a dish I'm sure they can make that work as well.
Just be aware that you have to order the juice menu in advance, and that it can be difficult to walk in off the street, because this is a precision kitchen.
Those for whom it is too expensive, or you just fancy something more informal and quick, might go to Vår på første - Vår's bistro and wine bar at the first floor that is almost just as sharp. Three dishes will cost you 300 kr. and you can have wine menu, coffee, tea and sweets added for 550 kr. in total.
Also keep an eye on the restaurant's facebook page for special events and tastings.
Vår is open wednesday to saturday 18-21.30 and Vår På Første is open wednesday to saturday 18-21.
- Mon - Tue: -
- Wed - Sat: 18.00 - 21.30
- Sun: -