The Veranda, Grand Hôtel, Stockholm, Sweden, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (23-11-2019 by Nenad Jelisic)
There are not so many restaurants in the world that are located in a capital city and have such a fabulous view as this restaurant and the restaurant's big brother the Cadier Bar, which is on the opposite side of it. The view of the Royal Palace, the Old Town and the boats on Stockholm's current. Both restaurants are located in Sweden's most exclusive and very beautiful Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. While the Cadier Bar, which is named after Régis Cadier (French chef and hotel founder), is a restaurant where one comes mainly to be seen, and drink champagne, cocktail or beer, the Veranda is a restaurant where you come to eat good food and drink good wines. In the Cadier Bar, one can also order good food, the food comes from the same kitchen that makes food for the Veranda. During all years, which I have been visited the Cadier Bar, it has seemed that the visitors of the Cadier Bar are there to drink something or to take something that fits well with champagne or coffee. In addition to these two restaurants, the hotel has two restaurants of renowned Swedish chef Mathias Dahlgren: Matbaren (see my article from 05-11-2017) and Rutabaga.
As an aperitif before a three course lunch, we drank Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV. The wine got 3,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP. It suited well as an aperitif, but it lacked complexity and balance and therefore it got 3,0 NJP. But I was not surprised that it got 3,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP because extremely few champagnes in this price range gets more than 3,0 NJP from me. The lunch started with the fabulous Öjeby toast with bleak roe from Kalix, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP. With it, we drank Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Riesling 2017, which got 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP without food and 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP with food. Then we tried to eat Veal loin with celery root purée, hasselbacks potato, duck liver sauce and blackcurrant jelly, which got 2,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP because the meat was too dry and gummy. We were so dissatisfied with this dish that we requested to get another dish and we got Diced fillet of beef with potato, onion and Dijon mustard cream, which got 3,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP because the potato was quite dry, the onion was not cooked (caramelized) enough and the presentation was poor. With this dish, we drank Château Macquin Saint-Georges Saint-Émilion 2015, which got 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP without food and 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP with food. The lunch was ended with a perfect dessert Glazed almond sponge cake with vanilla ice cream, strawberries and sea buckthorn purée, 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP. Given that we had lunch in November, I still wonder where the desert’s perfect strawberries came from. With this dish, we drank Kracher Beerenauslese Cuvée 2017, which got 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP without food and 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP with food. That no food and wine combination got less than 5,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP shows how absolutely brilliant the restaurant's sommelier had combined the dishes with the wines. NJ Wines has only once before been giving so many high points for food and wine combinations and then it was to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London, UK (see my article from 18-12-2018). Below you can see a summary of which food and which wines we ate and drank during the lunch and the points that they got. Note that the points in brackets show how well a wine suited with a dish.
1. Öjeby toast with bleak roe from Kalix, 5,0 NJP
2a. Veal loin with celery root purée, hasselbacks potato, duck liver sauce and blackcurrant jelly, 2,0 NJP
2b. Diced fillet of beef with potato, onion and Dijon mustard cream, 3,0 NJP
3. Glazed almond sponge cake with vanilla ice cream, strawberries and sea buckthorn purée, 5,0 NJP
1. Dr. Bürklin-Wolf, Wachenheimer, Riesling, 2017, Germany, 3,5 NJP (5,0 NJP)
2. Château Macquin, Saint-Georges Saint-Émilion, 2015, France, 3,5 NJP (5,0 NJP)
3. Kracher, Beerenauslese, Cuvée, 2017, Austria, 4,0 NJP (5,0 NJP)
The reason the restaurant did not get more than 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP is the following. Regardless that 30% of the restaurant's tables were not occupied, we had to wait 15 minutes to get in. The waiter who served to us was a little well superior and not so much accommodating. When we after that we got a new dish, Diced fillet of beef with potato, onion and Dijon mustard cream, instead of the very dry and gummy Veal loin with celery root purée, hasselbacks potato, duck liver sauce and blackcurrant jelly, told the waiter that now the meat is much better, she “taught” us by saying that one cannot expect Veal loin can be as good as Diced fillet of beef. Here, I have to say that when I visit a really good restaurant, I expect the meat should be perfect and that it should almost melt in the mouth regardless of which animal it comes from or which animal part of the body it comes from. Veal loin with celery root purée, hasselbacks potato, duck liver sauce and blackcurrant jelly and Diced fillet of beef with potato, onion and Dijon mustard cream got 2,0 NJP and 3,0 NJP respectively. Two of the wines got 3,5 NJP of 5,0 NJP without food. The door to the men's toilet looked pretty worn and the toilets were not clean enough for a five star hotel.
Last but not least, the Veranda is Sweden's first restaurant that I give 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP. The other two previously visited restaurants got 1,0 NJP and 2,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP respectively (see my article from 05-11-2017 and my article from 18-08-2019).