If there is one restaurant in Sweden that has been making headlines lately, it is Frantzen. In February, at the Michelin gala in Copenhagen, star chef Björn Frantzen finally got his wish, and made culinary history by bringing the first three-star restaurant in history to Sweden. Since the announcement it has been impossible to book a table. Luckily yours truly had a booking from before the announcement, so a week ago we dressed up and hit the town for our first Swedish three-star meal.
Located in a 19th century building in the center of Stockholm, Frantzen is hailed “an extraordinary food experience”. The restaurant is in three stories and serves only 23 guests at a time. The experience is much more than just great cooking – it’s a combination of ambiance, comfort, and service unlike I have ever seen before. The cuisine is modern Nordic with a Japanese twist.
Guests arrive at the restaurant at different intervals to allow for a private welcome. At the door we handed over our coats and were offered some refreshments while waiting for the whole party to arrive. After that we took the elevator to the second-floor lounge. The Livingroom-type lounge had comfortable sofa groups and a fire place. Here we enjoyed our aperitifs and some starting snacks – amuse bouche.
After the snacks, we took our glasses and it was time for a tour. First, we got a peek at the evenings ingredients and an introduction to how they were sourced. I was happy to hear about the focus on sustainability and responsible mindset in which produce they use. After the mouthwatering introduction to materials, we walked via the crisp clean prep kitchen and awesome Japanese toilets into the main dining area, with a kitchen in the middle and seats on a large bar around. Before being seated, we got a quick introduction to the chefs for the evening and their equipment. Everyone working in the kitchen were very social and relaxed, this was a huge difference to some of the other experiences I have had when following work in star-kitchens. It adds a lot to the fun when you feel the staff are enjoying it as well.
And then the actual extravaganza started: dish after dish, served in perfect sync; many of the partly prepared in front of us. It was clear that Mr. Frantzen had invested in the ingredients and was not cheaping out with the truffle. I don’t know how much the staff had rehearsed, but mcu would be the first word coming to mind. We, of course, selected the wine paring, and I felt we got much more than we paid for. Glasses were immediately refilled if empty, and we were offered small extras (included in the price): a taste of Sake, Frantzens own beer, Madeira, Macvin and several dessert wines.
After the menu was done, we returned to the lounge for coffee, more wine and small extra desserts. And finally, when we felt there was no way we could have another bite, the staff came with a candy cart with marshmallows, hand made toffee, pralines as macaroons. I wanted to try everything but could only stomach one bite from each candy.
Now I am sure many of you are wondering what this one-night experience cost. Three-star restaurants are expensive. The menu was around 3000 kr (320€) and the wine paring another 1850 kr (190€). Almost everything was included, except for the Champagne and coffees. Yes, its a lot of money, but this is a once in a lifetime experience, and I would not recommend it to people who are not interested in food. For us it was one of the top five restaurant experiences ever (top two), which we will remember for the rest of our lives. Thus, we concluded it was a lot of money, but we did not feel it was expensive. Three stars well deserved!
P.S. I did not dare to take my camera out, so these pictures are taken with my old iPhone6