Hot Pick: Taste of Iceland is a Nordic dream come true

Taste of Iceland: Arctic Char — Photo: Cindy La

This year’s annual North American tour promoting the dynamic and volcanic Nordic island country kicks off in DC on the third weekend of March. Taste of Iceland offers four days of events highlighting cutting-edge aspects of contemporary Icelandic culture, most offered free of charge but on a first-come, first-served basis.

An obvious paid attraction is the ‘Icelandic Culinary Experience’, a fixed price four-course traditional Nordic menu overseen by Viktor Örn Andrésson, one of Europe’s most award-winning chefs with long-standing ties to the Blue Lagoon. , the geothermal spa and resort that is Iceland’s most popular attraction.

Presented in collaboration with Equinox Restaurant at 818 Connecticut Ave. NW and its executive chef Todd Gray, the seafood-focused menu – with options such as langoustine broth and grilled scallops, lightly smoked Arctic char with Icelandic soy and wasabi, and Icelandic cod in Oven with Brown Butter, Soy, Cauliflower, and Horseradish — is available through OpenTable Reservations from Thursday, March 17 through Sunday, March 20, between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and is priced at $75 per person, plus $35 plus with optional wine pairing.

Taste of Iceland: Cocktails -- Photo: Cindy La
Taste of Iceland: Cocktails — Photo: Cindy La

Additional highlights include:

“Reykjavik Calling Concert” headlined by 22-year-old jazz/R&B singer-songwriter Laufey, with an opening set by enchanting jazz/folk artist Anna Gréta and sounds and samples eccentrics mixed by DJ Hermigervill, who will also be hosting Songbyrd Music House at 540 Penn St. NE (03/17, from 7:30 p.m.).

An ‘Icelandic cocktail-making class’ with representatives from Reyka Vodka and Ólafsson Gin showcasing two different cocktails using the Icelandic branded spirits served by mixologist Arslan at Betsy’s, the rooftop gin garden above Cafe Belga in 514 8th St. SE (3/18, from 5:30 p.m.).

An “elemental sound bath,” a relaxing and uplifting program featuring healing sounds from nature and Icelandic energy healer Jósa Goodlife, immediately followed by breakfast with the Icelandic-style yogurt skyr, at the Progressive Downtown Eaton DC Hotel at 1207 K St. NO. (19/03, from 10 a.m.).



An “Icelandic Literature” event featuring Eliza Reid, Iceland’s First Lady and Canadian-Icelandic author of The secrets of the Sprakkarwhich explores the cultural roots of Iceland’s progressive attitude towards equality, in a discussion with Icelandic authors Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir and Thora Hjorleifsdóttir moderated by local journalist and author Andrew Evans, at Eaton DC (19/ 03, from 2 p.m.).

Lamb — Photo: A24 Films

A screening of the breathtaking film by Valdimar Jóhannsson Lamba spooky and dark folktale that served as Iceland’s official submission to be considered Best Foreign Film at the 94th Academy Awards, Eaton DC (3/20, from 5 p.m.).



A prize wheel spin, presented by Icelandair, will take place before each event (excluding dinner and bath) with prizes including Blue Lagoon skincare products, Icelandic wool blanket, Reyka Vodka package, a year’s supply of Icelandic-branded Skyr provisions, and the grand prize: a trip for two to Iceland including a stay at the Blue Lagoon.

The event will hit Boston and Denver later this spring, and Chicago, Toronto and Seattle in the fall. To visit www.inspiredbyiceland.com.

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