A Taste of Iceland!

Just when you get jaded by the endless summer parade of obscure ethnic and national festivals, along comes a celebration of a land so isolated, so marginal, so small and obscure that it restores your faith in festivaldom. Thus, A Taste of Iceland! Yes, Iceland, the land of Björk, volcanoes, genome decoding, catastrophic financial meltdowns, and seemingly random diacritical marks. And it is a land worth celebrating with a weekend menu at Ray’s designed by chef Thorarinn Eggertsson—of Reykjavík’s trendy bistro Orange; yes, we said trendy—that features gray duck, reindeer, and salted cod. Also tonight (beginning at 6:30 p.m.), there’s a free program of films at the Varsity that includes the SIFF favorite comedy White Night Wedding, directed by the same guy (Baltasar Kormákur) who did Jar City and 101 Reykjavík. Friday at the Croc, songstress Ólöf Arnalds makes her first-even Seattle appearance (8 p.m., $10, 21 and over); everybody loved her debut album Við og Við, and not just for the crazy spelling. All of which may put you in the mood to fly the seven and one-half hours from SeaTac to Reykjavík (now that Icelandair has established non-stop service) for next month’s Iceland Airwaves music festival to hear Gus Gus and other international bands. It’s like Ibiza, with snow. (Call for reservations.) BRIAN MILLER

Sept. 10-13, 2009

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