101 Reykjavik, Iceland
(last visit November 2001)
Jómfrúin is a Danish-style smørrebrød restaurant in the heart of Reykjavik, with a Danish-trained chef. The open-faced sandwiches are as good as they are in Copenhagen, which is not a huge surprise, but gratifying. Decor is clean Scandinavian bar/pub style: wood panelling and mirrors, but with big windows that let in the sun. Service is friendly and efficient. (One website I used for research tells me it's gay-owned and operated. This was not obvious in any particular way to me but I may have overlooked something subtle.)
There are a large variety of sandwiches, some with fanciful names, like "the veterinarian's supper" (rye bread with butter, liver pate, port aspic, salt beef, onion, and dill). Prices are as high as you'd expect in Iceland, but as I said, they're definitely tasty. And for Reykjavik, these prices are quite reasonable. I had a buff tartar (rye bread with butter, hand-ground beef tartar, horseradish, onion, capers, and raw egg yolk, kr. 990, US$9.35) and a silungahrogn (toast with leaf lettuce, trout roe, creme fraiche, chopped raw onions, black pepper, and a raw egg yolk, served with a dram of Icelandic brennivin, kr. 720, $6.80). Brennivin, the local schnapps, is strong stuff, but it somehow went well with the food, though I probably wouldn't choose to drink it on its own.
There are of course other, less adventurous choices, like the lambasteik (roast lamb on rye, with sauteed mushrooms, mountain cranberry jam, deep-fried parsley, and hot sauce), or the reyktur lax (smoked salmon on buttered french bread, with scrambled egg, dill, and lemon). But I picked sandwiches that looked interesting. All of them are beautiful little pieces of edible art.
A Danish-style pork rib roast with all the trimmings is available at lunch every day. Other hot dishes are also available on special if none of the sandwiches appeal.
On warm sunny days the back terrace is opened for seating. (When I visited, it was November, and thus not at all open, as it was covered with snow.)