Frantzén/Lindeberg is a small and delicate restaurant in Gamla Stan, the old town, of Stockholm. It opened as a molecular hotspot in the rooms left by Mistral as it moved south of Stockholm centre in 2008, but has since then moved away from the strict molecular cuisine.
In 2012 it’s rated Sweden’s best restaurant in White Guide, 20th best in the world by San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants and awarded 2 stars in the Michelin guide. Oh yes, my expectations were very high indeed.
Originally I wanted to go when I was in Stockholm back in 2009, but I couldn’t get a reservation. So, when Björn wrote me back in June that he could not believe I hadn’t been to his restaurant yet, my visit was long overdue. I immediately wrote back and secured 2 seats at the new kitchen counter for Saturday evening on August 25th 2012. That’s direct marketing for you ;-).
After two days in incredibly beautiful Stockholm, we arrived at 8 PM and were seated next to two judges of Masterchef Ireland (that were filming that night) and greeted Björn from across the counter. It was almost as entering the theatre, seated in the front row, waiting for the show to commence. The chefs were readying their boxes, lining up their knifes and tongs, checking com with the staff in the second kitchen in the back (all chefs wearing CIA-style collar mics and earpieces). To the left, the camera man from Irish television was allowed half a square meter of movement so not to interfere with the cooking and preparing. From the beginning it was quite clear, that Chef Frantzén does not allow for any hitch.
Now, if the kitchen wasn’t up to it, or if the food had turned out to be anything less than amazing, a build-up like this would have been almost too much, almost pretentious. But trust me, the kitchen is up to it, and the food is truly mind-blowing. Not one dish fell through, and the sincerity and relentless-ness of Frantzén, Lindeberg as they and their staff executed that evening’s script makes it totally clear, that this is for real, and that no-one or nothing will stand between them and total perfection. Not even the cameraman, who once tried to leave his allotted space and was send back immediately. Still, the atmosphere at Frantzén/Lindeberg is casual in that very cool, Swedish way: Serious and professional, but relaxed.
Live langoustines – au lit-de-parade
In fact, sitting there at the counter, watching the show unfold right before my eyes was one of the most exclusive dining experiences I’ve ever had. Björn Frantzén (and later in the evening as the savory dishes were replaced by the desserts, Daniel Lindeberg) talked us through all the dishes, explaining about the produce, the preparing and how they constantly aim for even more focus, more taste and more purity in their cooking. Between almost every dish, meat or fish for dishes to come were presented. The langoustines were alive and kicking 15 minutes before we ate them and were presented to us for a final fare-well on their way to meet a sharp, Japanese knife. My bread rose in a box right in front of me, before it was put in the oven, and even the tender lamb meat greeted a large burner (held in an angle to Japanese charcoal) a few minutes before it was made into tartar. In that way, my appetite and couriosity for the next dishes were kept up. In fact, this was one of the most coherent meals I’ve ever had and full of all the luxury products I love.
Frantzén/Lindeberg is a must-go for any food loving individual traveling in Scandinavia.
The appetizers of
Blood & liver with cherries, violet & pistachio
Brioche of spelt flour with chicken skin & roasted garlic
Pig’s head on pork rind with vendance roe (Persson brothers)
The bullock Annei (47,5 months old) on crispy lichens
“Vichyssoise” with truffle from Tasmania
Carrot with liver from the bird served for main course
They were incredibly delicious and felt almost like an entire menu because of their complexity, product range and the deliciousness of it.
Appetizers – up close
To better focus on the food we drank a bottle of Raveneau’s Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux and with the turbot we got a glass of a Gevrey-Chambertin.
Cleanser of …
Ice tea made from 32 kinds of tomatoes
The dough is rising…
Oyster “62c” with Simmental cream, juniper & frozen rhubarb
Raw langoustine (Ingmar J) with pork fat, celery & essence of apple
Caviare ready for our next course
Bone marrow with smoked parsley & smetana & osteria caviare
This serving was a genius. The bone marrow melted on my tongue and its delicate flavour was enhanced by the salty, delicious caviare. For once it was nice that the morrow was not smoked. The smokiness was added with the parsley/smetana cream.
Björn Franzén searing the tartare for our next course
The first autumn lamb’s (Berga farm) with cumin, lavendar & aubergine
A beautiful, roasted chicken
The list of ingredients of the Satio Tempestas
Björn Franzén churning butter
The bread had a great burnt crust and a delicious and soft texture. It was very light and reminded me of pizza crust.
Scallop (hitra) with the first egg the hen ever lays, scallop “dashi”
…with black truffle from Tasmania
Really pure and delicious tastes.
Tasmanian Tuber Melanosporum Vitt
My goodness the quality of the truffle was magnificent.
Scallop dashi to drink
Veal sweetbreads & burnt bechamel & grilled matsutake (Pitea)
Cleanser of frozen spruce & lemongrass
Whole grilled turbot (7,1kg) with sweet onions & idiazabal. Peas from the garden in seaweed.
Our next course in preparation
Salad with rôti roasted chicken (81-100 days)
On to the desserts…
…and Daniel Lindeberg takes over control
Crème anglaise flavoured with shrubby basil and lavender. 10 different tomatoes, strawberries and wild raspberries from J. Andersson
Pancakes made from bark & stone-grounded flour with Jersey ice cream flavoured with birch. Whipped mousse of moss with blueberries & wild thyme & maple syrup from Biaxsta
Red gooseberry sorbet with pudding made of goat’s cream from Vilhelmdals dairy. Endives pickled in elderflower with sorrel & red oxalis & dried gooseberries
Then followed the epilogue – a selection of mignardises:
Dried pig’s blood with cream of pigs blood. Mulberries & bitter chocolate
Fondant glazed apricot and girolles biscuit. Garnished with powder of toasted rapeseed oil, toasted cacao nips and pan-fried girolles
“Fruit du jour” – plums
Fresh hazelnuts & salted hazelnut caramels made with honey from Mörkö
Cauliflower macaron with hay ash. Filled with roasted white chocolate and toasted hay. Sea buckthorn macaron with Oolong tea and oyster leaves from the garden
Björn, Daniel and the whole team: Thank you for a wonderful experience!