maitre d' - Mathias Dahlgren, Stockholm
Written by Samuel Sweetman
Mathias Dahlgren’s eponymous restaurant, delightfully situated within Stockholm’s Grand Hôtel, is conceptualised through the gastronomic philosophy of natural produce and natural taste – The Natural Cuisine.
“At the point of intersection, where opposites cross, the most interesting developments occur,” explains Mathias Dahlgren, the former proprietor of world-renowned restaurant Bon Lloc, the only Swedish chef to have been awarded the internationally acclaimed ‘Bocuse d’Or’, and whose namesake restaurant opened on May 14, 2007.
Restaurant Mathias Dahlgren offers two different dining environments that complement each other: Matsalen (‘Dining Room’); and Matbaren (‘Food Bar’). In a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, ‘Matsalen’, the private à la carte dining room, offers a culinary experience based on creative cuisine presented in a traditional form. ‘Matbaren’ accommodates a quicker but still high-quality eating experience in a robust and natural setting; the experience here is based on traditional cuisine presented in a different form, and the venue is never booked out, to encourage spontaneous ‘drop-in’ dining.
The two dining experiences designed by Britain’s Ilse Crawford draw upon the traditional roots of both Sweden and Stockholm, while incorporating the global influences of the city. The Entrance Bar distinguishes the two environments with an oversized gilded narrative screen designed by the celebrated Studio Job, where culinary tools, Swedish icons, and Viking longboats are woven together creating a dramatic statement piece. With this ‘global meets village’ philosophy, Mathias aims to create a new Swedish identity, a theme that resonates not only through the cuisine but also throughout every detail of the restaurant’s design.
“With a Swedish identity on a regional platform, I create my cuisine open for local as well as global ingredients and influences, a cuisine based on natural produce and natural taste – The Natural Cuisine,” says Mathias.
Dining at Mathias Dahlgren is meant to be an experience for each and every sense. Fortunately the restaurant shares its wine cellar with the prestigious Grand Hôtel, and encourages customers to try new and unexpected taste combinations by the glass. Mathias is world-renowned for his passion for fresh produce, contrasting textures, highly evolved sauces, and surprising combinations of tastes. Main courses can be humble and regional while desserts are often daringly modern; and because the food is prepared according to the philosophy of The Natural Cuisine, with only the best produce and ingredients dependent on seasonal availability, the menu changes on a daily basis.
Grand Hôtel Stockholm is Scandinavia’s leading hotel, as well as being one of the world’s most famous. Since opening in 1874 Grand Hôtel has been a natural gathering spot for international and domestic cosmopolitans visiting the Swedish capital.?A stay or visit at the Grand Hôtel provides the patron with the epitome of Stockholm inner-city living. The landmark hotel is nestled in next to the National Museum and opposite the Royal Palace and Old Town. The Parliament Buildings and Royal Opera House are within view, and across the street float the docks that whisk you away to the breathlessly beautiful Stockholm archipelago.
For visitor or ‘Stockholmer’ alike, summer in the city is a watery walkway of small and large islands lined with cafés and shops to visit, while bicycled blondes and traditional wooden boats whiz by. During winter most of the waterways freeze, and where you once swam in the summer heat you now walk, ride, or skate upon the ice. Springtime sees not only nature blossom to life but a city full of vibrant smiles and warm weather-worshippers; whereas autumn is a mix of fiery leaves falling amongst snowflakes and lit candles – making Stockholm an enchanting visit all year round.