The Star in the Woods

I get an ominous chill from the title of the post “Star in the Woods”, like “the cabin in the woods” – PM & Vänner is not quite like that. Quite the opposite, it is one of the warmest restaurants I have ever been to. Literally. The restaurant is located in the small-ish city of Växjö in Southern Sweden (thus I call it the woods). It has one Michelin star and it is one of five restaurants in the world granted the Wine Spectator Grand Award in 2017 (ONE OF FIVE!!).

As I mentioned on Sunday, our trip to PM&Vänner was a surprise birthday present to me from M. Växjö is quite far away from Stockholm, so he had smartly reserved the whole weekend for making the trip. Three and a half hours on a train there and an hours flight back – totally worth it!

PM has a classic look: white table cloths, dinned lighting and some colorful paintings on the walls. It could have been any finer restaurant by the looks of it – the food and wine was what made it special. M had already pre-booked the tasting menu, so we ordered two glasses of Dhont-Grellet Blanc de Blancs ‘Les Terres Fines’ Extra Brut Champagne and hit the wine list – it was breathtaking. The wine list is almost 300 pages long. Yes, you read right, three hundred! It was impossible to choose a bottle, so we decided to go for a flight.

Two wine flights were available: Menu Vin and Menu Grand Vin. The latter being an exclusive selection of rare wines from the cellar. It was my birthday so what the heck, off course I went for the latter. M took the Menu Vin, so we were in for 14 different wines for the evening (15 is you count the champagne). It was actually quite a good choice as we had the chance to taste two different pairings with the food.

The Menu Grand Vins was something out of this world. I wrote it all down below for a proper browse. I got to taste wines that will be extremely hard to find in a shop, at least in Sweden.

  • Lopez de Hereida, Rioja Grand Reserva ‘Vina Todonia’ 1996, Rioja, Spain
  • Pierre-Yves Colin Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet, Vide Bourse Premier Cru 2010, Burgundy, France
  • Egon Müller, Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese 2009, Mosel, Germany
  • Jean-Yves Bizot, Vosne-Romanee ‘Les Jachees’ 2014, Burgundy, France
  • Cupano, Brunello di Montalcino 2011, Tuscany, Italy
  • Kracher, Rosenmuskateller N3 2011, Burgenland, Austria
  • D’Oliveiras, Boal 1968, Madeira, Portugal

I know. Out of this world! I was really reminded why I also love classical old world wines. I have been leaning way quite much towards the funky nature wines lately. It was also a great experience tasting a Madeira from the 60’s. I think Madeira might be my next obsession, after the VDNs. The price of the wine flight was around 1400kr, which was definitely value for money (just the Chassagne-Montrachet is over 250€ a bottle).

What about the food then (or did I just drink wine)? The tasting menu was seven small courses with the theme of forest, meadow and lake – very earthy, cool, yet balanced. It was like a trip to the woods, which started with a warm rock being served to the table. It was meant as a hand-warmer for those stumbling in from the cold weather. It was actually very nice. More about the food in the pictures. They give a pretty good overview on the experience. My favorite dishes were the duck ragu and local mushrooms with root celery (picture below).

All in all, we both concluded that PM&Vänner makes the top-five-restaurants-ever list, ranking close to places like 11 Madison Park, Narisawa, l’Effervesence, the Ledbury and Chef & Sommelier. Thats a pretty tough list to be on. We just had trouble deciding what falls out, sice PM&Vänner makes it in.

xx Soile

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PM & Vänner from the outside
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Hard bread from PM:s own bakery
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Amuse bouche
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PM:s snacks
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Local mushrooms with root celery
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Lardo and herbs from the garden
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Home made licquors
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Goats milk ice cream
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Pre-dessert with blueberries
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Petite fours

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