The new Argentine restaurant that sweeps Copenhagen offering empanadas and a classic national dessert

Suddenly, almost on tiptoe, Danish cuisine began to grab Michelin stars. Already with Noma at the helm and its project in Nordatlantes Brygge, an old warehouse in Copenhagen, converted into a cultural center, and its awards as the best restaurant in the world according to last year’s 50 Best, the contagion effect worked wonders.

Some suggest that there is a secret in Denmark’s gourmet tradition, the one that, as they appreciate, is the one that catapulted them to become a boom. Its gourmand restaurant spirit is supported by the kitchens of the houses, lovers of giving life to dishes from what they find in the market every day. The international trend of zero kilometer, from the local kitchen, so entrenched in Danish daily life, have allowed an extrapolation of seasonal tubers and cabbage to the most suggestive dishes to surround fish, pork and the ineffable rye bread that accompanies everything.

Although a walk through Copenhagen invites you to taste the stegt flæsk (fried pork with boiled potatoes accompanied with parsley sauce), Argentina has been building its brand on the Danish palate by dint of good ideas, an entrepreneurial spirit, a waist trained in this of facing risks and desire (very desire) to do things well. Fire and Grill little by little they sneak into the choice of locals when it comes to fine dining. And if after a smørrebrød (dark bread with butter and a topping of whatever you like chosen from a range of cold products), it’s time to take a Nordic breather and immerse yourself in the deity of Fat Pies.

The product that started it all

Super rated by diners on the different platforms, it has earned a resounding word of mouth. He settles in a tempting neighborhood. Vesterbro starts at Copenhagen Central Station and runs west bounded by Frederiksberg to the north and the coastline to the south. Considered the old red light district, today overflows with residential spaces and attractive little streets to get lost. That is the place that the Argentine chef chose Gonzalo Wolfson to assemble your idea. Trying to bet on a new niche, along with his friend and partner Luciano Giacosa, chef from Rosario, defined themselves by putting together a “place that is very casual – he tells in an exclusive chat with LA NACION -, because that is something that is missing in Copenhagen. You have the most popular food sites, such as pizza or Kebap or what we call “Michelin sites”. There wasn’t much on offer in between.

Gonzalo sought to start his own business
Gonzalo sought to start his own business

A cook for a decade, Gonzalo has always been very interested in gastronomy and travel. “As soon as I finished my cooking studies in Buenos Aires, I got ready to go abroad. I undertook internships in Spain. With the kitchen I had the chance to get to know several places, I worked and lived in Spain, New Zealand and France”.

He arrived in Denmark 6 years ago, defending himself with perfect English without advancing on the Dane yet. “Gorda arises -he explains- as a need to undertake after several years working in different places under orders from third parties. The goal was to create a different place in the Danish food scene, and we succeeded.”

Now the search is for Latin flavors and local products
Now the search is for Latin flavors and local products

They became a small restaurant with 22 seats, with a variety of Latin American street food. Empanadas, ceviches, arepas, fried yucca and everything tasty that someone can come across as an option in the Latin American streets. Cocktails and natural wine from Argentina are also served.

“The local people love the proposal -continues Gonzalo-, although we only started making empanadas, just a year after the start, my now partner and friend Luciano joined the project. After his admission, we reinvented ourselves with a new approach that opted to extend the gastronomic proposal in a more comprehensive way”.

That's the vibe in Gorda
That’s the vibe in Gorda

Since then, to the already established offer of all kinds of homemade Argentine empanadas, added ideas that come from other regions of the continent such as arepas, ceviche or moqueca. “Our traditional empanadas are small, the size of street food, so we invite you to try a set of flavors -Gonzalo continues-. If I have to recommend you, I would tell you not to leave without trying the meat with caramelized onion and cheese and the caprese. The thumbs up of the public comes from the hand of the flan with dulce de leche. When they are satisfied, they always have a place for a bet like this.”

They have worked in depth on the menu with a base of Latin American food, but with a balanced pairing that allows it to merge with some seasonal Danish products. “Our challenge was to show people something different, options that many are not aware of -says the chef-. A ceviche, an arepa or an empanada, beyond the flavor, are strange concepts for the plaza and for the local palate”.

One of the dishes that they recommend trying is ceviche
One of the dishes that they recommend trying is ceviche

For Gonzalo the kitchen Copenhagen continues to be revolutionized by the influence of Noma and “many other good restaurants that are up to par and involved raising the bar for everyone. Today there are many places in the city and a healthy competition was formed. Something that surprised me and that deepened in the pandemic is the very good vibes among people in the industry. Camaraderie is what happens to us. We all help each other.” Thinking of the many who will come to Gorda from now on, Gonzalo assures that if you go to Gorda “you can’t miss the ceviche, empanadas and fried yucca with a Latin music playlist that we put together especially, as if it were one more drink than accompanies our dishes. The jewel of the house and his top proposal comes from an experience menu. An alternative of 8 tastings to share, designed as a successive tapas of proposals.

The star dish: everyone wants the flan with dulce de leche
The star dish: everyone wants the flan with dulce de leche

In a single breath, in addition to the arepas and ceviche, the aromas of hearts of palm, a tuna toast, some guinea fowl brochettes and Iberian pork ribs arrive..And flan, ladies and gentlemen. Flan to finish, of course! The one that gets all the applause that, of course, can be understood in any language.