A Swiss-Scandinavian inspired restaurant that focuses on products that come from or are around water, it's a multi-sensory and immersive dining experience with Chef Philippe Deslarzes at the helm.
It is said that in Norse mythology, there was a god of the sea who would calm the storms for fellow sailors, help ships in distress, and could call on favorable winds to blow. His name was Njørd and those who lived by the sea would pray for good fortune in fishing as well as fertility of the land. So, when Chef Philippe Deslarzes, trained by world renowned chefs such as Carlo Crisci (2*), Didier de Courten (2*), Philippe Rochat (3*), Benoît Violier (3*), and most recently Cédric Bourassin (1*), began to dream of a Swiss and Scandinavian dining concept that focused on water, specifically products that could be sourced from and around water, the restaurant Njørden was born.
Located in the heart of the historic center in Aubonne, Njørden is truly an entrance into another world entirely. A restaurant and small hotel with only a handful of rooms, it offers specific and immersive dining experiences to customers based on time of day, season, and desires. Njørden is composed of a Scandinavian inspired café and restaurant “Njørd Kaffe” in the front section, a gourmet restaurant called “Njørden Restaurant” in the back, and a delicatessen with selected Njørden products as well as a gorgeous garden terrace with an ephemeral bar in the courtyard.
We were able to sample incredible cocktails (Le Njørden and L’Aubonnois—both are musts!) out on the peaceful terrace to begin our evening—the waning sunlight reflected from the stone of the surrounding houses, playfully illuminating the newly planted bed of greenery all native to Scandinavia. We were then ushered into the intimate Njørden Restaurant where our adventure between sea and land began. Eight courses immersing us into a sensory universe where we could explore both the local region merged with tastes from afar; every flavor, every scent, every texture was thought out in such detail, that at times all we could do was laugh in delight. Even the physical dishes were designed and hand-crafted to encourage the journey.
We’ve had “elevated” dining experiences before. We can appreciate the creativity, the deconstruction, the reconstruction, the variation between haute cuisine, cuisine classique, and nouvelle cuisine. But we must say, there was something about Njørden that felt familiar and extravagant at the same time—a beautiful harmony between the pristine place settings and folded napkins and digging into the earth with your fingers and smelling the salt water of the sea. It inspired in us almost a childlike wonder – that food could transport you, delight you, surprise you, and encourage you to step beyond what is known in a single, indulgent bite. It was, in every sense of the word, a celebration of the bounty that can be found in sea and land. And we cannot wait to go back and be delighted again.
Tomorrow marks Njørden’s official opening day, and we couldn’t think of a timelier period to welcome such a treasure to our restaurant landscape. We don’t think we’re the only ones ready for the proverbial winds to calm, and for there to be a bit more good fortune and favor in the world as a whole—or even just in our tiny part of the world in a small village called Aubonne.