History and gourmet food in the Faroese capital
TEXT: SIGNE HANSEN | PHOTOS © BEINTA Á TORKILSHEYGGI
Futastova, Tórshavn’s old bailiff’s house, has been at the epicentre of Faroese history for centuries. Today, transformed into a gourmet restaurant with local chef Teitur Christensen in the kitchen, the picturesque turf-covered building welcomes guests into its historic interior with an enchanting mix of Faroese ingredients and classic French cuisine.
For more than three centuries, Fútastova, has played a central role in Faroese history. Located in the historic centre of Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands’ quaint capital, the traditional black-timbered building has been the home of many prominent historical figures. Originally built as the residence for the Danish King’s representative in the Faroe Islands, the building has since served as a long list of functions including school, embassy and church. Two years ago, Fútastova restaurant opened up in the building’s historically preserved but newly renovated interiors. “Entering into this old house and getting to sit down and dine in its historic interiors is definitely a big part of the experience,” says chef Christensen. “Combined with the special atmosphere, our guests get what I would call a classic, not quite French but French with a modern twist, cuisine.”
Since opening up in 2016, Fútastova has quickly become a popular choice for both tourists and locals enjoying the combination of historic settings, beautiful interiors and gourmet food.
From Copenhagen to Torshavn
A native Faroese, 32-year-old Christensen left his home at 19 to refine his professional skills and gather experience in the food mecca that is Denmark’s capital. In Copenhagen, he worked in a number of restaurants and, in partnership with two others, started up Nose2tail, a bistro focused on letting no part from an animal go to waste. Last year, he returned to the Faroe Islands, and when the position as head chef at Fútastova opened up, he did not hesitate. “I built up a lot of valuable experience working in different restaurants in Copenhagen and opening my own place,” he explains. “But when I had my second child, it seemed like the time to go home − to be close to my family and in a more peaceful and relaxed environment. To me, Fútastova seemed like the only place in the Faroe Islands that I could really continue my way of cooking, and, today, I have no doubt I ended up in the right place.”
Faroese produce and history
The menu at Fútastova offers a set three-course menu, as well as a tasting menu with specialties from local purveyors. Classic international dishes such as foie gras and oysters make the restaurant popular not just with visitors to the island nation, but also with locals out for a special treat. “The international classics on our menu are not something you will find in a lot of places in Tórshavn, and because of that, we have a lot of locals who come to visit us because they want to try something new,” explains Christensen. “But we also use all the Faroese produce we can. That means that we often have a lot of fish on the menu, but we also have a lot of distinct Faroese products, which we use in classic dishes where we replace the traditional ingredient with a Faroese one. For example, we have a lot of migratory birds here which we use instead of importing poultry from, for instance, France.”
Indeed, the historic atmosphere, classic cuisine and Faroese specialities offer plenty of good reasons to stop by Fútastova when in Tórshavn.
Name: Fútastova is Faroese for “bailiff’s house”
Location: Fútastova is located in the historic centre of Tórshavn, right next to the Faroese parliament and a two minutes’ walk from Tórshavn cathedral.
Menu: The restaurant serves a three-course menu at 495DKK (around 60 GBP) and a seven-course tasting menu at 750DKK (1200DKK with wine menu).
The restaurant seats 50 people.