The bistro offers a ‘floating menu,’ that is to say they have a different menu in the evening than in the daytime. During the daytime the emphasis is on lighter courses as well as lower prices. You’ll find everything from soups and salads to Icelandic opened-faced sandwiches and crêpes. In the evening they switch to a sophisticated and more traditional menu, offering a variety of fish and meat courses as well as inviting appetizers and desirable desserts. The prices are a bit higher in the evening, but that only reflects the transformation from bistro to restaurant.
For starters, my companion for the evening and I decided to share two courses. First, we had grilled portobello mushrooms with a cheese mix, served with a salad and green and red peppers. The smooth and salty taste of the mushroom made this the perfect appetizer. Next we had antipasto which came with a mixture of meats, cheese and olives. It was so good that neither of us really wanted to share it with the other.
As for the main course, I had the giant carp with lemon and caper butter, served with tomato salad and shrimp risotto. To be honest the carp was a bit to salty for my taste and I’ve never really been a fan of risotto, so I was a bit disappointed with the course. My companion had the baccalo with tomato and toasted garlic, served with salad, olives and shrimp risotto. By his account the dish was tasty and fulfilling, and even further complimented by the excellent Pinot Grigio we had with it. Overall, the meal was very enjoyable despite the let down by the carp.
Af lífi og sál is located in a cosy port just off of Laugavegur. The restaurant itself is on two floors, with a balcony on the second floor overlooking the port. The interior is simple and relaxing and together with the enjoyable music creates a welcoming atmosphere.