A time for wood fueled fires, oversized scarves, apple cider, and, of course, Nordic-inspired cuisine developed by new-wave Scandinavian chefs.
OK, so maybe Nordic cuisine seems like a new addition to the autumn trend scene, but it is slowly making its way to becoming a seasonal staple. New Nordic cuisine is all about getting back to the basics and creating entrees that taste like they were foraged from the permafrost in Copenhagen. Forest Room 5, on 15th and Central in the Highlands, is leading the Scandinavian revolution one earthy, smoked component at a time. With its concealed art gallery, unique wooded theme, and a vending machine housing vintage books, Forest Room 5 is the artists’ sanctuary from the chilly winds of autumn.
First, the ambiance.
Walking through the door at Forest Room is like stumbling through a fantastic wardrobe to some remote, wintry landscape. Leafless tree wallpaper lines the walls and a lengthy, communal table created from a slab of wood takes up the middle of the dining room. Tables off to the left, as well as the large bar area, are also made up of polished yet crude wood, appearing as though a plaid-coated lumberjack had just cut down the trees behind a remote cabin. Handmade geese hang from the ceiling while a movie screen depicting serene scenes of nature from all around the world plays behind the bar. (Forest Room just keeps going and going…)
This place is a maze of hidden rooms holding all kinds of surprises, such as the art gallery in an upstairs loft where local artists can showcase their work, and the cozy private dining space downstairs. If you are searching for the ideal fall date spot to match the romance in the air, I would suggest snuggling up on the creative venue’s patio, equipped with two fire pits, a babbling waterfall and secluded seating overrun by trees.
Now, on to the food.
The meal consisted of four items:
- Warm kale salad
- Filet de Brie
- Horseradish Goat cheese
- Hot Scandinavian soup experience
The warm kale salad included fresh kale, ripe apples, smooth chunks of Goat cheese, and a caramelized onion dressing. Healthy, mouth-watering and filling, this salad is perfect for those who usually see salads as bland compromises to “real” food while on a diet. I was hesitant to try the horseradish Goat cheese, which came with Potato Terrine, beet caviar, parsley pesto, and grilled bread. It seemed like an odd combination, but each bite was more delicious than the last, even with the fresh and surprisingly tangy beet caviar. It was the Filet de Brie that was the highlight of the meal, however. Tender pieces of Filet served on top of orange marmalade and a crostini, covered in delicious melted Brie, and topped with sweet red pepper will make you instantly addicted to Forest Room 5. If you only try one thing when you go, make sure it is this delectable item. Aside from the Filet de Brie, a must-have when you go to Forest Room (because you’re totally going), is the hot Scandinavian soup experience that is just that—an experience. A large bowl filled with savory bacon, hearty chunks of potato, fresh carrots, roots and cabbage are brought out and then steeped in warm and creamy potato leek broth. Delicious and full-bodied, it was the ideal accompaniment to a crisp autumn night. Pair that with Forest Room’s famous whiskey in cider (which I could have enjoyed about five of had I not been driving) and you will stay warm all fall and winter long.
Calling all artists and those looking for a date night experience.
Forest Room 5 is waiting for you to stumble upon its serene and wooded environs. Enjoy watching the leaves fall at this sanctuary from the cold that allows you to enjoy the outdoors at any time of the year.