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Stockholm report, first contact

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Mike Zurer Apr 14, 1999 09:32 AM

Lunch occurs at the cafeteria across from the office I
am visiting, but I've have a couple of dinners so far,
with mixed results:

First Biblos, which looked interesting from the
outside. I was just walking around my second evening
here, not quite over jet lag, but the timing worked
out - Still lunchtime by my internal clock, and I
hadn't eaten much the day I travelled. They have a
shortish menu, what I had was pretty good, but I
ordered rather conservatively (reading reviews now,
this is actually a reccomended strategy). Scallop
crostini and halibut baked with bacon and portabello
mushroom. Started out with some very good chewy fresh
bread to go with the lesser of the two wines I drank.
The crostini was good, but the tomatoes were somewhat
mushy - slightly hidden by the marinade they were in.
Fresh basil could have been more lentiful, but
everything present was tasty, and the scallops
delicious. The halibut was good but precisley and
accutrately described by listing the ingredients. The
only surprise were some sort of pickled peppers, which
I did not particularly care for. The second glass of
Italian red wine was better than the first, but
nothing to write home about. The service started out
spotty, but improved as I had more contact with my
waiter, and less with the hostess. Desserts did not
look like anything special, so I passed.

Second night I was brought to what my colleague
described as a pub. Upon entrance it was clear that
was not exactly right. You can't tell from the
outside, and in fact you wouldn't even know it was
there at all if you walked by without looking for it.
A small door leading into what seems like a dark
basement ends in a bright bar and open dining area -
Lightly peppered with in-the-know-hipsters when I
arrived. It turns out it recently changed hands, and
has been updated, and is now called Halv Trappa Plus
Gård. We almost left because there were not too many
people there. That would have been a mistake. The
food was excellent. Unfortunately, I didn't sample
much. I wasn't so hungry, this time on account of the
cafeteria lunch, and my companion had eaten a sandwich
a few hour earlier. In any event, he had what
appeared to be a bruschetta of some sort, topped with
grilled tiger prawns and salmon roe. This was a
starter, and I had an entree of a cod fillet baked in
pastry, sitting on a handful of red pepper fried
clams. These were stir-fried along with some spicy
peppers, pickled onions, and some sort of greens. A
creamy dill sauce was unneccesary but a nice
complement to the fiery clams. If I return to
Stockholm, and maybe even before I leave this time, I
will defintely give it a try for a more complete
treatment. It was not outrageously pricey, but the
two beers apiece jacked up the bill.

I have been looking at http://www.rival.se , which has
some pretty good food reviews, but focuses a little
too much on atmosphere without delving too deeply into
food quality. Sample menus would be a nice touch as
well...

Mike Zurer

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