04 September 2013


The term "hole in the wall" can't be more accurate when it comes to this tiny restaurant on Sankt Eriksgatan in Stockholm. Only 18 seats and the open service kitchen take up a good 40% of the dining room.


Gro means grow and here vegetables play the main character. This doesn't mean it's a vegetarian restaurant but fish and meat rather play in the background of the locally-grown veggies.

The chefs and owners Magnus and Henrik does everything here; cooking, serving and I bet they even take care of the pile of dishes after each lunch as well, because this place only serves lunch from Monday to Friday.
As a guest you don't have much of choices, the three courses are written on a small board on the wall and apart from various juices they serve one beer.

First dish was the raw dish of the day where most of the ingredients are uncooked. Might sound like a boring salad but this dish was great. Black kale with cauliflower and toasted hazelnuts. The cauliflower puree was very light and not made with a lot of butter and milk or cream which might be more common. I think it was mixed with a light vegetable stock and it fitted the dish better. If someone was served raw dishes like this I can understand how someone can become vegan, very good.

Second main was carrots with fennel, new potato, onion and a smoked mayonnaise with fish roe. Another great dish, but half way through the plate it became a bit too much. I accidentally run into my blogger-friend starfood scout who's been here various times and he told me that the carrot dish was his least favorite so far.

For dessert we had cheesecake, but not to be confused with the American version made of Philadelphia cheese on a digestive base. The Swedish cheesecake is made by adding rennet to milk to make it coagulate and later form a "curd cake" that is normally served lukewarm.

The cheesecake in Gro was good but maybe a bit too dry to be perfect. It was served with cherries and chamomile. The crunchy bits on top was quite pointless though; no taste and way too tough to bite.

Nonetheless I will definitely come back to Gro and when each main is only 100kr (15 us dollars) I must say it's an amazing bargain.


02 September 2013

Home Alone

Day off, not much to do and my better half is in San Francisco.
In secret I like these kind of days, no obligations, no plans and just a lot of time for myself.

Obviously I need to spoil myself a bit and what better then some simple good food, a bottle of red and TV? Tonight it turned out to be an Italian theme; home made pappardelle with meat sauce and in the glass 2001 Brunello di Montalcino from Casanova di Neri in Tuscany, Italy. Their more prestigious 2001 Tenuta Nuovo Brunello di Montalcino got voted "wine of the year 2006" by Wine Spectator and their "top of the line", single vineyard 2001 Cerretalto Brunello di Montalcino got a perfect 100p from the same famous American wine magazine. So despite all these accolades this producer got the proof is always in the glass. Bottle to bottle, palate to palate, a wine is never the same.

I opened the bottle while kneading the pasta dough and poured a bit in my big Reidel glass. The nose was still very concentrated and deep with aromas of sour red fruits, newly ground coffee, olives and baked root vegetables. Even though the wine will easily last another 5-10 years I must say it drank perfectly now. Soft texture with earthy notes of sweet and sour berries and coffee on the palate.

Together with my perfect meat sauce and freshly made pappardelle it was a simple but fantastic treat to myself.