Monday, 22 June 2015

Lovely lunch in Stockholm: Speceriet

Abandoning the other at home in the company of a microwave meal while busy surfing the selection of Michelin restaurants in Stockholm for my lunch... yeah, that's the way to do it. 

Stockholm is home to eight Michelin-starred restaurants. Three of them have two stars (Matias Dahlgren Matsalen, Frantzén and Oaxen) and no less than five have one star (Matias Dahlgren Matbaren, Gastrologik, Esperanto, Ekstedt, Operakällaren and Volt). 

Matbaren is the only one that does lunch (something I most definitely do!), but Speceriet, Gastrologik's bakficka (that's a Swedish expression for a more casual sister restaurant located next door to the fancier one) was open. It won me over with its laid-back approach - they don't take reservations at all, for instance.

The tiny restaurant only seats about 20 and is a fine example of Nordic minimalism. 

(Love, love those copper details!)

Lunch consists of a couple of choices for both starters and mains and one, more husmanskost (that's Swedish for home-cooked)- like version which is also available for take away.

To start with I had Asian style asparagus which was so yummy I had to make some myself as soon as I came back home. 

Recommended wine for this was Franck Millet's Vieilles Vignes Sancerre. Spot on and they were kind enough to offer just a half a glass. 

Aaaand seeing how we only live once, I decided to have the other starter as well: beef tartare.

Tartare really seems to be having a moment now: this spring I've had it more than ever. In Latvia alone I had it twice.

This version came with chicken liver mousse. While you might think its fattiness might be too much with the richness of the meat, it wasn't. The dish had enough acidic components to balance it and it was divine. 

Same goes for the wine pairing: Joseph Burrier's Memoire de Terroir Pinot Noir was lovely, though I would have preferred just a bit chilled. 

(Then again... the though of The Boy Next Door, sadly fiddling with the lid on his barely-warm ready meal did bring some perspective. Perhaps there are worse things in the World than a slightly too warm Pinot?

The chicken option was probably very good, but looked like a rotisserie chicken on a pile of lettuce. So, meat it was. Onglet ( French cut the English equivalent I'm not sure of - comes from the lower sirloin/ upper flank steak region, so... rump steak?) of beef was succulent, but the star of the dish must have been the shallot purée it was served with. The onions had been smoked and then caramelized to cloudy bliss. 

Oooh. And the wine pairing (Giuseppe Cortese Langhe Nebbiolo)  - another ooooooh.

The dessert was a deconstructed take on something creamy. Lovely and oh, so summery.

Two starters with half a glass of wine each, one main course with a glass of wine, dessert and Espresso brought the total to 820 SEK, which, in the Pan-European money is just a little under €90.

Which, in all honesty, would have bought about 37 ready meals.

The service was great, atmosphere delightful, food and wines excellent...  Definitely worth it. 




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