This is a story about two things.
About a girl realizing that she waited too long to post her pictures from one of the best meals she's ever had. Allowing more than a month to pass after her visit to this restaurant, and never having taken good notes on the aforementioned dinner, she realized many of the details had slipped her mind. Nevertheless, she decided to push forward and post the blog, if only in the hope that one person would be inspired to visit said restaurant.
And about one of the best meals this girl (me) has ever had. My life takes random turns, and one of them was being invited to dine in Stockholm at Restaurant Frantzén. Headed by Björn Frantzén, it is one of the most renowned spots for that hottest of hot cuisines, Nordic cooking. It's also number 12 in the world. The restaurant is in the back streets of old town Stockholm, and seats about a dozen, plus a four-seat bar that looks into the kitchen, which is where we chose to sit, close to the action and the cooks.
The canapés, pictured above, were serious. I'm talking Macaron of pomegranate and Galangal root with liver cream, dried red beet and crispy cherries serious.
oyster. cooked sous vide for 45 minutes.
various sashimi. like this one, with crab and tiny, delicate herbery.
And this one, with lichen and liver.
At this level of cooking, it is difficult for a restaurant to really, truly be heads and shoulders above another one. But the devil is in the details. And at Frantzén, I was delighted to find that non-drinkers were not subjected to a shocked look and an offer of water or tea. Nope.
THERE IS A JUICE PAIRING. While my wines came out with each plate, my neighbor was offered a range of gradually more flavorful juices that actually made me feel jealous. Now that is impressive.
Ice plant. I love you.
tartar. this is lamb and goat cheese, just so incredibly tasty, yet also delicate.
This is our cook, my friend's doppelganger, preparing the lamb tartar above.
the bread plate. a sourdough broth. with crunchiness. really incredible.
scallop. delicious, and served in its shell, which was then filled with a Nordic-style dashi. Served with a quenelle of scallop tartare, which just happens to be one of my favorite seafoods to eat raw.
I remember hazelnuts, mushrooms, and maybe seaweed?
Then, just when you think it can't get any better, they pull out all the stops. Rather than force their waiters to recite the 40+ ingredients in this plate, they hand you a list. So you can stare in wonder.
And ooh and aah. A vegetal triumph.
cod. Absoultely incredible, served with sweet onions and a rich, dairy based broth.
hot pot. so much cabbage. so delicious. plus truffles.
I am a bit hard to please in the dessert department, and these were incredible. This one was all about carrot and textures.
Ugh, and this one was so incredible. Lots of different manifestations of buckwheat.
A spirit and some chemex coffee. Hipsterdom meets fine dining. And a very happy ending.
Several times during this meal, I found myself thinking, with a bit of sadness, that this makes certain Basque chefs look like amateurs. If you only learn one thing from this blogpost, please let it be that a trip to Stockholm is worth it JUST for a visit to Frantzén.
Lilla Nygatan 21
Stockholm, Sweden 111 28
+46 (0)8 20 85 80