312 - Villa is worth the drive

By Lauren Gosnell

Sunset Villa Restaurant, nestled an hour outside of Toronto in Puslinch, is one of the only places around where you’ll find an authentic Scandinavian meal.

This Danish restaurant specializes smørrebrød or open-faced sandwiches.

The last Sunday of every month, Sunset Villa lines its tables with these colourful sandwiches. Roast beef, shrimp or salmon - each have its own decorative garnish, like cucumber and tartar sauce, or a twist of lemon or tomato.

Owner Anna Beck tells us that in Denmark people go to school tolearn how to make these stunning creations. Like culinary works of art, smørrebrød sandwiches should be eaten with a fork and knife – never your fingers!

Anna explains that there is an etiquette involved when eating smørrebrød. First, you start with the fish. Mixing meat and fish on one plate is not allowed. The cured salmon or gravad laks smørrebrød is tantalizing with some honey mustard on top.

The pickled herring, a Scandinavian favourite, has a very mild taste and comes curried or marinated in white wine.

Herring of course goes with a hearty Danish rye bread and it wouldn’t be Danish without a generous spread of butter.

The roast beef smørrebrød has to be my favourite. Topped with a pickled cucumber salad, homemade tarter sauce and dried deep fried crispy onions, the skillful layering of textures and flavours is a mix we don’t often find in North American cuisine.

Sunset roast

The final course is a cheese smørrebrød - havarti topped with grapes on white French bread. Danish havarti has a creamy buttery texture but it has a distinctly sharper bite than Canadian havarti.

As the Danes say, “Fish need to swim,” so naturally, there’s plenty of Tuborg beer to wash down the meal. A leisurely Danish lunch can take up to seven hours with the meal broken up by relaxing strolls on the walking trails. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!


Sunset Villa Restaurant
RR 2 Conc 1
Puslinch, Ontario