Tryggvaskali, Selfoss, Iceland

Tryggvaskali was hidden at the armpit of the roundabout on the west side of Selfoss, wedged between the arm of bridge and the great big smiling faces of the Kronin supermarket lemon and the Pylsur Vagninn sausage.
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Once we found the restaurant, we found its location on the dock and bright green exterior quite charming. The interior was even more so, filled with small trinkets, worn down books, and a piano that looks older than the building itself.
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Like many other establishments in Iceland, they make their own bread fluffy and fresh. Then they have a whipped butter made from some animal that lived down the street.
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Fried puffin with Jerusalem Artichokes 8/10: I pondered long and hard about eating cute little birds. Then I thought – I love baby chicks. They are adorable. But a few months later, they are ugly af and I eat that. Also I’m not against eating basically everything in the animal kingdom that doesn’t live in my shower drain. So I tried it. the meat was a little livery and quite gamey, but it was great with the super citrus berries and very smoked bacon. Those little orange things pack a punch!
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Lobster Soup 9/10: The lobster was perfectly poached. I only had something on par once before, at Atera. The meat was *almost* raw. The soup was a little on the fishy side for me, but overall the dish was excellent.
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Cod and wild mushrooms, grilled kale, jerusalem artichoke puree, quinoa, and truffle cream 8.5/10: The truffle cream was more like a sabayon bursting with bubbles and flavor. The artichoke puree was beautiful. The kale was crispy and lemony. The cod was well seasoned and super fresh. The flavors were a bit busy and the dish was heavy on cream, but each individual component was perfectly executed.
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Fillet of lamb with lamb rillet with baked potatoes and celeriac 9/10: The Icelandic lamb was very tender and cooked like a duck breast. The fat was well seasoned and rendered, and the whole thing was cooked to a medium well. The lamb had a different flavor than your usual – it was milder and has less of an earthy flavor. The root vegetables were seared well. The smoked bacon on the skin of the lamb was a great addition. The dish was a little heavy, but I didn’t mind a filling meal after a long day of hiking.
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Chocolate mouse with pistachio ice cream, dried strawberries, and toasted coconut 9/10: This was delightful. As I was about to find out, Iceland does chocolate very well. They know where the balance is between creaminess and acidity.
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Panna cotta with vanilla mousse, licorice meringue, and licorice ice cream 9/10: I hate licorice. But as you can see, I gave this dish a 9/10, because it is the only licorice that I ever enjoyed, and I enjoyed it very much. It had the strong root flavor, but I didn’t feel like I was taking some kind of weird voodoo medication. Excellently done!
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Overall 9/10: The dining was refined and as good as anything I have eaten outside of NYC and restaurants that require jackets and or payments in advance. (It’s even better than some of the frou frou places!) Everything was hearty. But more importantly, the execution was on point and the ingredients were fresh. Although the price was a little steep at over $135 for two with no alcohol, it was worth it to have such a well thought out meal!

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