* * * Stand by for an updated review – this restaurant has closed and reopened as Un Poco, an Italian restaurant owned by DJs Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell of Swedish House Mafia * * *
Q: What is it? A: A very ambitious and very pleasant Italian high-end restaurant in Stockholm.
An instant hit.
D.O.C. – formerly known as Divino – is constantly rated very high among Swedish reviewers. That’s not hard to understand. Italian food has been a reason to avoid meatballs since the late 60s, and this restaurant delivers an array of such reasons.
On this, my first visit, the kitchen quickly sets the standard: The amuse-bouche is a little cup of fluffy crème of parmesan has just the right kind of parmesan-ish sting. It’s based on mascarpone, topped with tiny pieces of smoked ham and sprinkled with little drops of olive oil. An instant hit. Yay!
When the appetizer arrives there are still shock waves being sent through my sensory system. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the scallops that come together with cauliflower, shelling peas and shaved truffles. Also, although the wine is certainly not complex, the Grecanico and Catarratto grapes of the Sicilian Claudio Bianco wine, are a pretty good match to the food. It’s not, however, an instant orgasm.
Her name is Matilda.
When it’s time for the main course, I make a mental note of something. Correction; it should be someone. Her name is Matilda. She’s the kind of waitress who is able to find the perfect balance between professional and personal. And she seems to be doing her job without effort. A real gem.
The veal, both coming in the form of a sausage and a small piece of skillfully treated meat is not a failure either. The aparagus and the morchella that accompanies the white, creamy polenta, works amazingly well with what’s in the glass; a rather potent Bolgheri Rosso DOC from Le Macchiole.
But… who designed this place?
There’s an image on the restaurant’s website. This image of the dining room, garnished with the Tom Dixon Tall Dining Chairs has kept me from booking a table here. The place simply looked just like it wasn’t for me.
Apparently someone has put some effort into the “design” of this restaurant. First, I wonder if this someone was visually impaired or just trapped in a 90s time capsule? Later, when doing my homework for this review, I found something even more mindboggling; those chairs were launched by Dixon as late as 2006! The chair’s USD 700 price tag didn’t stop this someone either. I guess those chairs give the place some, ahem… character. Out of sheer politeness, I will not even mention the lamps. They represent a subject much too sensitive to bring up.
Leave without feeling like a song by The Commodores.
On the least expensive menu, Classico (SEK 495 ≈ USD 70), only the dessert remains. It arrives in the form of strawberries and a cake with almonds alongside a strawberry sorbet. For a few moments, Divino takes my flying again.
Before coming here, I read a review; “as a location for The Very Important Second Date, Divino ranks among the top numbers in Stockholm”. A very fitting description indeed. Lovers will also leave without feeling like brick houses, (no Lionel Richie didn’t sing on that one, it was drummer Walter “Clyde” Orange).
I promise myself to be back soon. I want to try the other menus. I’m also considering calling ahead to make sure that the parmesan crème will still be there.
For the Tom Dixon Tall Dining Chair, please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.