Copenhageners like to say they're the most Mediterranean of the Scandinavians, so it was almost a given they'd take to the aperitivo hour, especially when Christian Puglisi and Kim Rossen are calling Carpano o'clock. The pair have opened Rudo, an all-day restaurant and lively vermouth bar, filling a yawning gap in what's known locally as Copenhagen K.
Opening another place was the last thing Puglisi imagined himself doing, having spent much of 2016 setting up a "farm of ideas" to supply his restaurants with organic produce such as milk from their own Jersey cows.
But Eataly was looking for a local operator to run a grand caffè in its new Danish outpost. Having fallen in love with Puglisi and Rossen's celebrated restaurants - Manfreds, the fine diner Relæ and especially their organic meats and pizza joint Bæst - the Eatalians wouldn't take no for an answer.
"I was like, nah, nah," says Puglisi of his initial reaction to Eataly's overtures. Opening on a pedestrian shopping strip in central Copenhagen wasn't his thing. "It was more about them convincing me and eventually I said, 'if you guys can buy in on the way we do things then that's the basis for what we'll do'."
And the way they do things? Their authentic way rather than, in this instance, the hard-core Italian way. Hence the name, which sounds Italian but isn't. It's partly inspired by Bud Spencer, Puglisi's screen idol when he was a teenager; the spaghetti-Western actor's craggy face features in a custom-made poster in the dining room. There are Negronis, of course, made with Carpano Classico and aged for four weeks in oak barrels, and to eat there's the likes of the juicy pork cotoletta topped with capers and lardo made in-house at Bæst.
Then there's the ultimate aperitivo: a burrata and black truffle toastie that deserves to be deified. House-made Wonder-style bread is filled with a mushroom emulsion and burrata made daily at Bæst with the milk from the farm. When the sandwich is pressed, the cream from the burrata oozes through the soft bread and caramelises, giving it a luscious crust. Experimentation proved a slice of black truffle was better on the outside than in.
Rudo's burrata and black truffle toastie
"I was saying to all the guys, 'this is going to be the big hit', and it was from the very beginning," says Puglisi, smacking his lips.
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