Stockholm Syndrome: the new Swedish kitchen
- Words by Per Styregård
- Photos by Erik Olsson
Recent developments on the Swedish restau- rant scene make it difficult to avoid using the word ”boom”. My personal, unscientific at- tempt to count the number of seats in recently opened restaurants only in Stockholm, easily reached a thousand. Most new places serve everyday, comfort-style food. Many are large establishments, very few fine dining.
During the last couple of years, previously rather sleepy Old Town in Stockholm has gradually become more and more interesting as a restaurant destination. Lately, the area around the streets of Stora Nygatan and Lilla Nygatan has exploded, turning itself into a haven for late night bar and restaurant hopping. Internationally acclaimed, double Michelin starred restaurant Frantzén (formerly Frantzén/ Lindeberg) recently opened their 800 square metres take on a British pub, The Flying Elk, and the wine bar Gaston across the street. Only a block away, restaurateur Daniel Crespi has created a small empire with four venues in the same block – restaurants Djuret, Svinet,
Pubologi, and, most recently, the wine bar Tweed.
Also, the maverick restaurant and wine bar 19 Glas – yes, also within the same few blocks – has changed gears by employing chef Olle Tagesson, formerly at Paté Paté in Copenhagen. His style of straight-forward, honest cooking might very well be the future. With perfect pitch, he applies inspiration from Mexico, the Middle East and California to a kitchen otherwise firmly based in the Nordic tradition. Four of the most influential restaurants that have opened during the last couple of years in Stockholm are Volt, Gastrologik, Ekstedt and Oaxen. Together with a few other restaurants, they’re at the forefront of the development of the regions’ cuisine. They explore new ground, but unpretentiously so – these are not very stiff and highfalutin places. They have ambition, curiosity, and integrity in common, but their personalities are entirely different…