With December coming round the corner, the wonderful season for much merry making and good cheer is here!
For those of us who love hyping up the merriment or the truly special occasions by splashing out on top notch dining and wining, the Michelin Guide 2017 is the one stop shop for the ultimate selection of the best food and drink establishments in Stockholm.
From opulent settings to great water views to hip and trendy to casual and chic, from old world fine dining to rustic Swedish traditions to New Nordic or European cuisines to fusion sushi, Your Living City gives you just enough tantalising details on the nine restaurants here awarded Michelin Stars this year to start you on rounds and rounds of mixing heavenly delicious feasting with your endless celebrations.
(1) Restaurant: Oaxen Krog
Where: BECKHOLMSVÄGEN 26, 115 21 DJURGÅRDEN
The only Stockholm-based restaurant to be given 2 Michelin Stars this year, this rebuilt boat shed sits in a delightful waterside location offering splendid water views from generous windows in its oak-furnished slightly nautical dining room entered via a secret door in its sister eatery Oaxen Slip.
Serving 6 or 10 courses of beautifully constructed and expertly crafted ‘New Nordic’ cuisine allied to nature and the seasons, with refined, inspired and sometimes original dishes wonderfully infused with delicate balanced depth of flavours, both degustation menus come highly recommended by the Michelin guide inspectors.
A dinner-only establishment that definitely requires a table reservation, these menus draw solely from the wild herbs on Djurgården and the unique ingredients from its neighboring regions to uphold its philosophy of serving tasty quality produce sustainably and humanely grown and harvested.
With its delectable dishes cooked in a modern way corner-stoned by old and traditional techniques as well, the accompanying highly interesting wine list comprises vintages from small selected vineyards that share this philosophy; choosing from only the old world as Europe’s quality wines are the closest.
(2) Restaurant: Gastrologik
Where: ARTILLERIGATAN 14, 114 51 STOCKHOLM
A one Michelin Star intimate restaurant owned by Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr after years of working at top restaurants like L’ Astrance, Pierre Gagnaire, Mathias Dahlgren and Bagatelle, its foundational philosophy is great top quality locally found, grown and foraged produce.
As its dinner dishes rely on the latest seasonal ingredients to arrive at the door, their “Let Today’s Produce Decide” menu is constantly evolving; and hence can be happily created around your dietary preferences and allergies.
Giving it the unique opportunity of presenting you the surprise menu only after the end of your meal round a Community Table shared by 8 diners; with the option of sommelier-selected wine pairings or your own à la carte decision from the restaurant’s particularly interesting listing of excellent wines.
So advance bookings are unsurprisingly essential, especially when Holmström and Bjuhr’s consistently high standards of careful preparation and innovative cooking yield pure distinct flavours that winsomely allow each main ingredient to shine.
(3) Restaurant: Ekstedt
Where: HUMLEGÅRDSGATAN 17, 114 46 STOCKHOLM
A one Michelin Star brasserie professionally run by Niklas Ekstedt, its relaxed and friendly vibes are personified by serving food all cooked in a wood-burning oven as well as in the stone-age equivalent of a microwave oven, over a fire-pit or smoked through a chimney using birch wood.
Given their finishing touches at the stone bar, its inventive well-balanced dishes pay homage to Swedish cooking from the 18th century before the advent of electricity, and to Ekstedt’s childhood and Jämtland heritage.
Using top quality ingredients, the fire’s embers, hissing and crackling around pans yield 4 or 6 course tasting menus of dishes with distinct flavours carefully prepared to a consistently high standard.
Coupled with yet another particularly interesting list of excellent wines, dinner table reservations are understandably essential.
(4) Restaurant: Mathias Dahlgren-Matbaren
Where: SÖDRA BLASIEHOLMSHAMNEN 6, 103 27 STOCKHOLM
A modern bistro with one Michelin Star, this popular hotel restaurant is both fun and charmingly run, giving it a charmingly disarming informal vibe in keeping with the times.
The open kitchen specialises in flavoursome well-balanced dishes from an appealing à la carte menu divided into the innovative headings ‘From our country’, ‘From other countries’ or ‘From the plant world’; using the very best of fresh seasonal produce to create on a daily basis a vibrant menu of medium-sized dishes well-paired with wine and beverages.
Given its emphasis on using only top quality ingredients, its dishes with distinct flavours are similarly carefully prepared to a consistently high standard for both lunch and dinner.
Unsurprisingly bookings are advisable to securing a table. Otherwise you stand a good chance of being served seated at its large bar counter.
(5) Restaurant: Operakällaren
Where: OPERAHUSET, KARL XII’S TORG, 111 86 STOCKHOLM
Sweden’s most opulent restaurant, this one Michelin Star sits within the historic Opera House, with its stunning high-ceilinged room boasting original wall paintings, gilt oak paneling decorated with frescoes and carvings, suspended panel ceilings and impressive chandeliers; making it one of the country’s most beautiful locations combining archetype interiors with modern large mirrors, new furniture and fixtures.
Serving international haute cuisine curated by Stefano Catenacci, its wine cellar boasts of an extensive exquisite selection of particularly interesting excellent vintages of the world’s great wines and includes its own champagne, calvados, whisky and aquavit; giving dinner guests the additional option of including Grand Cru wine pairings for its 7 course Menu Dégustation and its 5 course Menu du Chef.
With its distinctively flavoured dishes carefully prepared and constructed to a consistently high culinary standard underpinned by classic techniques that use the diverse range of top quality ingredients reflective of the changing seasons, its fine dining repertoire concurrently offers diners a 3 course à la carte menu where you can select from an impressive list of Entrées, Mains and Desserts, with an added option of a hand-picked selection from the cheese trolley; and a well loved old world 4 course Menu Caneton, where pressed duck is prepared by Catenacci himself in the dining room in three delectable ways beautifully rounded off by an extravagantly flambeed dessert.
Additionally offering parties of 7 or more private dining rooms and scrumptious choices of two 4 course menus and another of 6 courses, all beautifully paired with a glass of Cuvée Operakällaren, Premier Cru, Blanc de Blancs André Jacquart or Champagne, Frankrike; it is fitting Operakällaren has been honored with a membership in the prestigious association of restaurants “Les Grandes Tables du Monde/Traditions & Qualité” as well.
With the special attention it gives to groups with special dietary requests, it is without a doubt THE venue for extravagent weddings and for its reknown Christmas buffets.
(6) Restaurant: Sushi Sho
Where: UPPLANDSGATAN 45, 113 28 STOCKHOLM
An Edomae sushi bar with one Michelin Star, this simple white-tiled walls and compact counter seating establishment serves sublime sushi in the traditional Tokyo omakase + tsumami style, with the chef deciding what is best each day, along with small dishes and nigirisushi plated before you when they are ready.
All bar-seated dinner guests are served each course at the same time, directly by the chef who carefully prepares a menu that varies with the seasons and from day to day, but always to a consistently high standard.
Using top quality seafood from local waters and only Scandinavian and European ingredients to dish up distinct flavours and great egg recipes, it can hence easily and adeptly adapt the day’s menu to suit your allergy or pregnancy dietary restrictions to the T.
(7) Restaurant: Volt
Where: KOMMENDÖRSGATAN 16, 114 48 STOCKHOLM
An intimate welcoming one Michelin Star run by a young but experienced team, its kitchen is as closely connected to nature and far from industrially produced food as one can get by keeping its menu clearly focused on ingredients and products from the country’s forests, fields and seas; collaborating only with producers who share this quest and who closely follow the changing seasons.
Natural, distinct and honest, its consistently high standards of careful cooking with largely top quality organic produce yield dishes with clear bold distinct flavours of the layered arrangement of ingredients for its 4 or 6 course menus.
Natural wines are also an essential feature; coming from small-scale producers who carefully tend their land, guided by the simple understanding that quality wine needs healthy soil and grapes cultivated as purely as possible and with as little impact from interference.
This winning pairing of food and drink philosophy makes dinner reservations absolutely essential.
(8) Restaurant: Esperanto
Where: KUNGSTENSGATAN 2 (1ST FLOOR), 114 25 STOCKHOLM
‘Esperanto’ is a language that crosses frontiers, and the timeless, playful and innovative food here has an equally universal feel. Passionately prepared original Swedish and Asian dishes feature a great range of ingredients and have a theatrical element; fitting this one Michelin Star restaurant’s first floor location within an old theatre, with Imouto, a small sushi counter in one corner!
With only a tasting menu for its dinners, its dishes with distinct flavours derived from top quality ingredients are carefully prepared to a consistently high standard that rests on a foundation of classical cooking.
The current autumn gastronomically organic menu draws richly from all the extraordinary vegetables that are harvested right now from farms living in symbiosis with the whims of a Swedish season.
Its wine list reflects this style: geographical boundaries never constrain its dynamic and changeable nature. Wines are always selected to beautifully go hand-in-hand with the seasonal food it personably serves. As do its beer, spirits, coffee and, not least, tea.
(9) Restaurant: Imouto
Where: KUNGSTENSGATAN 2 (1ST FLOOR), 114 25 STOCKHOLM
Located together with its big sister Esperanto in what was once the foyer of the old Jarlateatern, this one Michelin Star’s name literally means ‘little sister’ as it is an unassuming nine-seat sushi counter, aptly titled the “Chef’s Table”, in Esperanto’s corner.
Offering only an omakase menu, with hot and cold dishes served before the sushi, the rice from Japan and the fish mainly from Swedish waters are of the highest quality; giving each consistently carefully prepared dish distinct flavours of the highest standards.
In an omakase format of putting one’s full confidence into trusting what the chef decides as your menu for the evening, he serves sushi with Tokyo’s vibrant Sushiscen as the source of inspiration for Edomae style sushi with carefully selected local Scandinavian seafood.
Bookings are crucial even though it offers two sittings on Fridays and Saturdays.
Photo and information credits: Michelin Guide 2017, the respective eateries, andershusa.com and yelp.com.sg
Feature photo credit: Oaxen Krog