On our short but sweet 3 day trip to Sweden we were lucky to land seats at two of Sweden’s most coveted and acclaimed restaurants Faviken (covered in the previous post) and Frantzén/ Lindeberg. (Featured below)
Before we get into the good stuff we want to give all you food lovers a glimpse into the few stops we made before this fabulous dinner at F/L. Like the preparation/to do list we made for our trip to Paris the list for stockholm (compiled with the help of our friends: Fabian, Sophia and En foodie) was equally as long and daunting. Where to go?…So many things to see/eat so little time… (See the end of the post for a break down of the entire curated list, a wonderful reference if you plan to make a visit to Stockholm)
We arrived Stockholm Friday morning after a red eye from New York. Despite the lack of sleep we were deliriously excited when we arrived, so much so that it took us only 10 minutes to unpack and get deep into the tourist mentality. Jose and I try to adhere to a no plane food policy so you can imagine how hungry we were. Starting with a quick bite seemed to be the right direction.
1. Oaxen skafferi – A sandwich and meat/cheese shop
Mariatorget 2 118 48 Stockholm, Sweden +46 8 551 531 51
2. Drop coffee
Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 10 118 50 Stockholm
3. Östermalms Saluhall Stockholm – Market
Östermalmstorg, Östermalm, 114 39 Stockholm, Sweden
4. The Corner Club – Cocktail Bar
Lilla Nygatan 16 111 28 Gamla Stan Stockholm, Sverige
We wanted something casual and quick so we ended up Oaxen skafferi a wonderful small shop full of amazing cured meats and cheeses. (This meat lovers heaven is owned by the folks behind the recently reopened Oaxen Krog – slip restaurant) They usually make sandwiches but they were out of bread so we bought an assortment of cured wild game a few cheeses and headed to find some bread to pair it with. With bread in hand we made our way to drip coffee for a DIY lunch. Once caffeined up it was time to get walking. We explored the city, did some shopping and then made a pitstop at the much talked about Östermalms Saluhall Stockholm Food market. Next up, a pre-dinner cocktail at The Corner Club, Located right across the street from F/L. They make wonderfully crafted cocktails and have a pretty nice selection of liquors.
Which brings us to Dinner… After finishing up we headed across the street to F/L. The doorman welcomed us by our name, something that really impressed me! We were then escorted through the small restaurant to the kitchen counter table. There was no doubt about it, this was the best seat in the house, great views of the kitchen and and close enough to the chefs to chat as they prepare the intricate plates.
A little background on Frantzén / Lindeberg. This restaurant has gone through a lot of changes, many of which took place during the preparation of this post. First, they made an impressive jump up from 20th place to 12th in the World Top 50 Restaurant list. But in the beginning of May the real new broke when restaurant dropped the Lindeberg and changed its name to Frantzén. With this move it was clear that Daniel Lindeberg left the restaurant . The night we went to F/L, early April, you could feel that Bjorn was already running the show.
Chef Björn Frantzén has an interesting background. He was first a chef in the Swedish Army and after some other gigs outside the Army he joined Edsbacka Krog in Sweden in 1998 (first 2* in Sweden) There he met David Lindeberg who was running the pastry area. A few year later, like many other young and ambitious chefs, they went to L’Arpege in Paris to train under the tutelage of Alain Passard. It is clear that the time at L’Arpege had a great impact on F/L’s overall trejectory, techniques and food philosophy.
Like Passard, Frantzén is obsessed with ingredients (at the end of the day what chef isn’t) they even has their own garden and exclusive relationships with farms. Because their food places great emphasis on the purity of ingredients it is no surprise that they have looked to the Japanese, the masters of simple perfection, for techniques and inspiration that may help their quest to find “Umami”. An example of this Japanese influence can be seen in one the restaurants’ famous Langoustine dish. The Langoustines are transported alive from the North sea and then kept alive in in a fish tank until they are served. This is the only way to keep their natural umami flavor intact ( yes I have used that word twice…)
Like the langostines every dish had a story behind, a farmer, a fisherman, a garden, a supplier.. Frantzen has mastered the art of storytelling an artform that gives each bite context and romances the ingredients and flavors to the for diners. Depending on the dish a different type of story is surfaced: some based on science, some on farming and the history of ingredients and others are a more personal reflective look back at Frantzen’s own childhood. It would be impossible to walk away from this dinner without a story of your own to tell. (most of which would impress your food obsessed friends)
Onto the food porn! Dinner started with the prologue of what looked like petit fours, normally served at the end of a meal. Each of the little bites were packed with complex flavors. If I had to highlight one it would be the macaron look alike, a bite composed of liver and carrot cake, just amazing! What a creative way to start to the the night!
Delicious oyster, sous vide for 45 minutes developing quite different flavors and texture from the normal raw one.
The Bread was another memorable moment of the night. The fresh dough is left to rise in front of you during the few first dishes. It is then baked and served with an amazingly intense churned butter. Jose being from Spain is not a big fan of butter. His philosophy is why have butter when you can use Extra Virgin olive oil! This butter didn’t make him miss the olive oil at all. (From the latest reviews of Frantzen it seems the freshly baked bread has been substituted by a bread soup dish. The fresh bread will be missed.)
The scallop dish, an obvious tribute to Alain Passard, was by far one of the highlights of the night. The flavors of the shaved truffles mixed fresh Norwegian Scallop and dashi was out of this world.
Seen above is another example of the use of Japanese techniques. The veal meat is torched alongside a Japanese charcoal it is then made into a tartar. The charcoal flavor combined with the bone marrow and caviar was inventive and memorable.
Jose was super excited when he saw some iberico ingredients on the menu. He was even more excited when the whole little pig was presented on a little platter (you can see it here) The Pig was served on top of cabbage, pork skin, herbs and truffles. While being a complex dish the flavors were simple and delicious, certain bites so good that they transported us back to Segovia, a town famous for their suckling pig. This was by far one of the most juicy and light pieces of cochinillo I’ve ever tried. (curious where the pig comes from, perhaps from Castilla y Leon?)
We may have been full and sleep deprived but the desserts made all of those feelings fade away. The dish above was the perfect balance between the bitternes from the licorice and sweetness from the 100 year old vinegar. One of the best dessert I’ve ever tried. Absolutely brilliant!
There was something very familiar about the Fir ice cream. This dessert had a hint of what I believe the forests in Maine to taste like mixed with a beautiful rich cream flavor. If only I could bring this ice cream up to Maine for my family to try, Im sure they would love it.
Dinner ended as it began, with the petite fours. This time they were their sweet counterparts. I really appreciated the thoughtfulness of this full circle move, something I think more restaurants should explore.
What else can be said about Frantzen ( / Lindeberg ): Frantzen is a talented chefs with a unique love for nature and technical rigor. He is surrounded by a talented team that share the same passion for storytelling. The resulting food is wonderful and without a doubt worth a trip to Stockholm to check out. If you can reserve the counter area it will be a night to remember.
We are both looking forward to going back to Stockholm for a proper vacation and to see how Frantzen has evolved since the transformation. (updates to come)
Other good reviews of Frantzen worth checking:
Lilla Nygatan 21
Stockholm, Sweden 111 28
+46 (0)8 20 85 80
More reviews worth reading Verygoodfood.dk
Check out my foursquare stockholm list here
Frantzén/Lindeberg $$$$ (Two Michelin-starred)
Lilla Nygatan 21, 111 28 Stockholm +46 (0)8 20 85 80
Artillerigatan 14 11451 Stockholm +46 08 662 30 60
Ekstedt (like Etxebarri)
Humlegårdsgatan 17 114 46 Stockholm +46 (0)8 611 12 10
Grand Hôtel Stockholm Södra Blasieholmshamnen 6 Stockholm +46 (0)8 679 35 84
Elmqvist (sea food)
Östermalmstorg Östermalm Östermalms Saluhall
Oaxen skafferi (sandwich and meat/cheese shop)
Mariatorget 2 118 48 Stockholm, Sweden +46 8 551 531 51
The Flying Elk
Frantzén/Lindeberg´s version of the English pub. Open on Sundays!
Mälartorget 15, 111 28 Stockholm, Sweden +46 (8) 20 85 83
(a classic restaurant/ brasserie in Stockholm. Great for Sunday-lunch)
Stureplan 2 114 46 Stockholm, Sweden +46 8 440 57 30
(En foodie- the restaurant I have visited most times since I moved to Stockholm 10 years ago. Open on Sundays, a hang-out place for restaurant people…)
Tegnérgatan 41 111 61 Stockholm, Sweden +46 8 10 16 96
(En foodie – Probably the best steakhouse in Scandinavia today. Located in a quiet part of Stockholm called Kungsholmen. They also have a nice tapas bar in the same building.)
Kronobergsgatan 37, 112 33 Stockholm +46 (8) 410 681 00
(En foodie – The most hyped restaurant for sushi/Japanese in Stockholm, easy to understand why!)
Kungstensgatan 2 114 25 Stockholm, Sweden +46 8 696 23 25
Sardin (En foodie – A tiny Tapas restaurant with a mix of Swedish and Spanish food.)
Address: Skånegatan 79
(En foodie – Restaurant, bar and night club with good food, great drinks and nice prices.)
Adress: Hornsgatan 66.
WINE & COCKTAIL BARS
Gaston Wine Bar (A must if you are a lover of wines. Opened by Faviken Allum)
(En foodie – Great wine bar, if you are up for natural wines this is the place to visit.)
Stora Nygatan 19 111 27 Stockholm, Sweden +46 8 723 19 19
The Corner Club (cocktail bar owned by F/L)
Johan & Nyström
Hamringevägen 1 146 41 Tullinge Stockholm, Sweden +46 8 530 22 440
Wollmar Yxkullsgatan 10 118 50 Stockholm
Tjärhovsgatan 5 Stockholm 11625 Sweden +46 8 462 95 50
Drottninggatan 102B Stockholm 11160 Sweden