Located just off the petit Köpmantorget (Merchant’s Square) is Österlånggatan 17, a cosy restaurant placed right on the edge of one of the Old Town’s most quaint pathways. The beautiful fountain and surrounding trees make it nearly impossible not to plump down on one of the café chairs for an invigorating glass of bubbly or a cup of hot coffee.
Restaurant group Bockholmengruppen, owners of Österlånggatan 17, have long since perfected the art of capturing a particular location and setting. Seven out of nine of their restaurants are named after the address they’re found at, and the general formula is very much the same at most locations – to create a relaxed place where people can meet and come together for a good time.
We’re greeted by a genial maître d’, and although our online booking seems to have vanished into cyberspace, the constantly-smiling staff swiftly conjure up a free table for us. Over a ‘Louise’s Rose’ cocktail (128 kronor), we compile a short list of mid-sized dishes to share. It doesn’t take long for a mini chuck steak burger (85 kronor), two tartlettes with Skagen seafood mix (85 kronor), an escargot dish with roasted garlic mushrooms (60 kronor), an avocado casserole (175 kronor) and a bottle of R Ripazzo by Alpha Zeta Wines (460 kronor) to appear. The rest of our appetiser order – fried Västerbotten cheese and a plate of charcuteries – disappears, just like our reservation, into oblivion. But for some reason, we don’t even mind. We’re already smitten with Österlånggatan 17’s courteous servers, homey atmosphere and good foods.
Although the tuna burger (235 kronor), served with crab aioli, hot island dressing and salsa fresca, has been seared for a few seconds too long, the fries that come with it could do with half the salt, and the seafood pasta casserole (185 kronor) is too hefty, we’re feeling particularly lenient this evening. Österlånggatan 17 isn’t so much about the quality of food, as it is about the clinking of glass, the flickering of candles, the gentle hum of voices and the smiles from our servers.
08 577 773 00
Words: Micha van Dinther