When restaurateur Henrik Nordström, the man behind concepts like Lux Dag För Dag, EAT and B.A.R., joins forces with Johan Evers, one of Sweden’s best bartenders, the duo manage to tick all the boxes in au courant Stockholm dining in 2017. There’s this space, located just off Stureplan, that is as gorgeous as it is painfully trendy, with an overload of petroleum-coloured terrazzo, cognac leather upholstery, and heavy teal drape curtains. There’s the fact that they call themselves ‘Sweden’s first gastropub’, a concept that’s been around internationally, but seems to be only now gaining traction in the Nordic region. Last but not least, there’s the idea of combining mid-sized dishes with cocktails, introducing so-called ‘foodtails’ (food and cocktail pairings) to the Swedish restaurant scene.
After having gotten a thorough introduction from a knowledgeable and enthusiastic server, we’re off into an eye-opening world of unexpected and well-tuned flavour combinations. First off is a salmon sashimi with light soy sauce, katsuobushi flakes, vinegar and cured turnip cabbage, served alongside a champagne saucer of pisco, Pimm’s, dry vermouth, cucumber, lemon and mint (230 kronor for the combo). This is the kind of dining that sparks a passion for discovery, motivating us to voluntarily dissect and analyse each component and its flavour. This is what we wish fine-dining was more about: curiosity in the exploration of food that is passed down from its creators to those enjoying it.
At Penny & Bill, no dish leaves us uninspired or indifferent. Aside from the obvious fact that these are some damn tasty food and drink combos, we’re really enjoying how what’s being served automatically fascinates us to the point where most of the conversation at ours and our fellow patrons’ tables concern gastronomy. It’s not that there’s a lack of other topics to cover, it’s the novelty in the way of eating that gently captures our full attention.
Penny & Bill is very strong on vegetarian dining. We adore the artichoke and sourdough tempura with soy sauce and shitake mushroom served with Power Jab (245 kronor), a cocktail with gin, Amaro Montenegro, mirin, apple, lime, baby spinach and all-spice. Also the beef skewer, in a deep grill vinaigrette with black garlic, accompanied by Belly Dancer (310 kronor), mixed using tequila, blended scotch whiskey, Cynar, Oloroso, roasted bell peppers and vinegar, is one to try.
Grev Turegatan 30
08 611 02 11
Words: Micha van Dinther