Winter has really hit Stockholm. The long and warm fall ended very abruptly to a meter of snow, and we have had to pull out all the heavy duty winter gear. Normally this time of the year we would just be blessed with +5C and continuous rain. And the crisp weather does not come alone, it is accompanied by a darkness that makes me want to stay indoors and hibernate. The medicine is to have a great cozy restaurant, that is worth defying the outside weather for. Vina is definitely a place, where the dark and cold weather can be enjoyed from the inside. A bell goes off when we step into the restaurant. There are candles and wine bottles on the tables, and most importantly it is warm. Vina feels a bit Parisian, not too polished but with good taste. We are lucky that a group of people is just leaving, freeing up the big communal table in the middle. A reservation is preferred, but not required. There are walk-in tables on the first floor. The weekend was quiet due to school vacations, so we felt comfortable risking it, and it paid off.
The menu at Vina is quite short: some sandwiches, snacks, soups and charcuterie. The dishes are small or mid-sized, but by mixing you can gather yourself a filling meal. We were really hungry so we went a bit crazy and ordered a sobrasada sandwich, cauliflower soup with cheese, classic tartar and a Danish liver pâté smörrebröd. To share for two of course. Everything tasted really good. The tartar was perhaps the only dish that was just mediocre (meat was a bit bland in taste). The dish of the day was definitely the creamy cauliflower soup with a piece of French cheese.
Wine-wise, the list is nice and long. There are many good options by the glass, including two bubblies, an ecological cava and a champagne. The footprint is very European, but that I don’t mind: Rieslings, Albarinos, white Bourgogne etc. The prices look quite high though, at a glance; but when you see the sizes of the glasses you change your mind. It was a bargain. We thought afterwards that it would have been wise for the restaurant to have two different sizes of pours. A couple turned away from the restaurant after eying the wine-prices. If they had just known the portions were gigantic..
The best experience from the evening was, however, the desserts. We ordered a warm apple pie with cream and cloudberries with meringue. Both were really delicious, and not overly sweet. Cloudberries is a really Nordic ingredient, so it reminded me of my childhood winters in Lapland. Perfect ending to a great dinner.
Additionally the service was very warm. I kind of felt like I was in a friends kitchen. I really don’t have anything negative to say about Vina. Its a perfect place for a casual snack or dinner with the people you like; a glass (or bottle) of wine on a weekday; or even a romantic venue for a date. I wish there were more places like this, where you feel this welcome.