Restaurants & Bars

Mistral in Stockholm

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Mistral in Stockholm

mdibiaso | Oct 27, 2004 08:25 AM

I finally made it to Sweden’s hottest restaurant a few weeks ago. Mistral, located in the Old Town. The have only 18 seats and only one seating a night. No lunchs. They received 1 Michelin Star the first year they opened. It often takes close to two months to get a table. We have booked early, 6.30 in order to be done in time for our last train home at 10 past 11. The room is small and comfortable with two staff, one of which is the co-owner and a great host. They offer only tasting menus and interesting wine matches.

A few amuses came including a light oyster with duck liver soup and a soft apple jelly that set the tone for the evening. Unusual combinations of often expensive ingredients with many variations of textures and temperatures.

I will list here the dishes with their wines.

Mackerel with cauliflower puree flavored with marrow (Paracombe Holland Creek Riesling 2003)
Tartar of crayfish perfumed with vanilla, grapefruit granité and sautéed calf’s tongue turned in a crayfish guts. Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling 2003.
Duck liver with spices of the world (including Sichuan pepper), sweet and sour plum puree, fried ruccula. Domaine de la Mordorée Tavel 2003.
Bayleaf Sorbet.
Halibut warmed in Chorizo fat to 42 degrees with fresh and confitted melon. Phelps Los Carneros Chardonnay 2000.
Pigs cheeks, both stewed and crispy fried with Iranian caviar, potato creme, oysters and cucumber. Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2000.
Gorgonzola ice cream
Cheese selection Emilio Moro Malleolus 2000
Orange granite with roasted Nice olives and peppar oil.
Lemon and oliveoil ice cream in honey jelly and cold almond soup. Tenuta Sant Antonio Passito Colori d’Autunno 2000.
Variation of pumpkin. Cossart Gordon Malmsey 1997.

I knew what to expect but I am not a big fan of this style of cooking. But in most of the courses the flavors were kept under control and the flavor melded together. Some courses very truly delicious and original (mackerel) Similar to the cooking at Gagnaire but obviously not in the same league. For a few of the courses, in particular the Crayfish, I just did not think the various components worked together. And it was unclear a few times, such as the crayfish and the pigs cheeks, if components should be eaten together in one mouthful or separately and if so in any special order. The wines were well matched.

There were also at least 6 different breads and service was friendly but unfortunately it go slow when more guests arrived (only one cook plus an assistant). So we, in fact, did not have time for the last dessert or coffee and chocolates. This I felt was a shame since we arrived at 6.30 and did not leave until 5 minutes before 11. I think 4 and a half hours should be enough for a meal anywhere unless you want to stay longer. But the service staff tried very hard and were extremely knowledgeable about both the food and wines. And there was one touch that was truly unique and only possible in such a small place. They only have one toilet and when you go in you will find a personal cloth towel hanging on the wall for each table (our night 5 of them) with the name of the party written in a thick black marker on the tile over the towel. Just that little touch could forgive any mistakes or delays.

A strong recommendation for anyone that likes this style of cooking and thinks it can only be achieved in more famous cities or restaurants. But plan at least 2 months in advance. And the price is unbeatable. About 110 Dollars each for the food and wine menus depending on exchange rates.

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