Last year, there were a handful of movies that centered around the grueling and borderline insane working conditions of a fine dining establishment. “The Menu” was the most talked about of the bunch and received the most praise. In it, legendary British actor Ralph Fiennes gives his best René Redzepi of Noma performance, pulling off the perfect balance of smug genius and self-loathing idealism people at the top of their craft are known to have. Thankfully, most outings to Michelin-starred restaurants don’t end in decapitation.
Iris is a restaurant, that's also dubbed as floating art installation, located in Norway that gives off eerily similar vibes to the fictitious Hawthorne restaurant from The Menu. The stunning concept features a sleek egg-shaped structure called the “Salmon Eye” that seemingly floats atop the Hardangerfjord. Like the movie, there’s only one way on and off the island.
To say that Iris is an experience is an understatement; it’s a fully immersive culinary journey. There, guests are guided throughout the surrounding islands and given a taste of Western Norway. Catch the ferry at the nearby town of Rosendal, which has Instagram-worthy emerald mountains that tower over the scenery. You’ll then make a pitstop at Snilstveitøy island to enjoy a welcoming snack prepared by local chef Anika Madsen. And that’s just the beginning.
The evening starts with a multi-sensory underwater experience inside of the Salmon Eye art installation, followed by a dinner graced with a view of the fjord and nearby mountain ranges. It’s all a part of an experience the Iris offers called “Expedition Dining.” The art installation looks futuristic, yet somehow fits in the fjord amongst the surrounding nature.
Aesthetics aside, the food is something to marvel, too. Refined yet edgy, one offering includes a single blood-red heart from a wild bird plated squarely in the center of a pristine white plate. Another includes juniper-smoked blue mussels, beach crab bouillon, and blanched rockweed, otherwise known as the “peas of the ocean.” It’s served in what looks like a hollowed out piece of stone, contrasting the subdued gray with its array of colors.
There have been no reports of missing millionaires as of yet, so this might be a journey worth experiencing. Iris is now open Wednesday through Friday for reservations and only allows two seatings per day. If you want a peek at what Iris has on the menu, you can book a table here.