Awarding gold, silver and bronze medals to restaurants may be a fool's errand given the inevitable subjectivity. But if you're planning to brave the crowds, disruptions and high prices of London during this summer's Olympic Games, you might want to try to score a table at a Mayfair simulacrum of Noma, the Copenhagen restaurant that some say has earned gold as the best in the world.
For 10 days starting on July 28, Noma's chef and co-owner, René Redzepi, will be setting up a temporary restaurant in the gorgeous Claridge's hotel in Mayfair and offering a prix-fixe "Taste of Noma" menu for £195 (around $315).
Noma is famous for using local ingredients, often foraged in the wild, and Mr. Redzepi plans to follow that practice in London. So don't expect Scandinavian treasures such as Gotland truffles: produce will be acquired principally from the British Isles. I doubt too that you can expect the beautifully simple decor of the original -- though who knows what the Claridge's decorators will be able to muster by way of rustic-cum-industrial ceiling beams?
According to the Claridge's website, the reservation book opens on May 9, but the site also has a form you can fill out to get further information, including on what the hotel is calling priority booking. "Priority booking" or not, considering how difficult it is to get into Noma itself -- which is going to be closed while Mr. Redzepi and his team are in London -- I would guess that seats for this limited run are going to be hard to come by. Still, those who are in London for the Games are probably of a sporting turn of mind and may enjoy the competition.
Me, I'm staying home in New York, maybe hiding under the bed, until the 2012 Olympics are nothing but a fading memory. That said, if I were in London, I'd be pulling every string I could find to get in on one of these Noma dinners.