Q: What is it? A: Hands down the best bistro in Stockholm at the moment!
It happened where you’d least expected it…
I know the surroundings quite well. Not because there’s a well-known strip club nearby but because my brother live kitty-corner to this place. This is a rather remote corner of Stockholm. The city sort of ends at the end of the next block. In this unlikely place, Linus Ahlstedt and Mikael Gröndal created a different kind of bistro. Or maybe it’s not that different. The difference is that this is your quintessential, simple, local bistro where everything is better executed than you’d expect.
It’s in the details.
The tiny establishment have room for some 25 guests seated around six tables. The menu is changed daily and you will be carefully informed that there are only three plɑː də ˈʒʊə remaining (this evening it’s the monkfish). A choice of beef will always be available, says Linus: “You can’t run a place like this without it”.
Water is served in tiny Tintin glasses. Meat knifes are from Laguiole and the wine is selected with fingerspitzengefühl. The restaurant is manned by just Linus and Mikael. They work hard and their care and good spirits are all around this establishment.
It’s in the kick-ass monkfish.
Ordering the egg with ham meant that I soon had quite potent appetizer in front of me. My friends were full of praise for the grilled mussels and the anchovies. Myself, I wasn’t at all disappointed, but the next time I’ll go for a slightly lighter starter.
Enter the grilled monkfish. Almost lobster-like in texture, it proved to be the perfect match for the light hake and the mussles, with the aioli adding the subtle edge and acting as a nod to the Provencale restaurants where the owners obviously gathered loads of inspiration. The perfect balance between lightness and taste.
Some of my friends ordered the pizza, baked in the massive wood burning stove, and there were zero complaints, but I suppose they all wanted my monkfish. Together with a dry riesling, it was my ticket to the feelgood zone.
It’s in the tarte tatin.
Weight watchers, beware! Having a tarte tatin at Chez Betty means that you will be attacking an apple tarte where the apples have been caramelized slowly in an ocean of butter and sugar later to be baked upside down in the wood burning stove covered by puff pastry. An orgasm for dessert lovers. The vanilla sauce also played its part remarkably well.
So, looking for a non-pretentious bistro experience in Stockholm? Then you’ve found it. In my opinion it will be very hard for anyone aspiring to enter the category to top this. However, I’ll wait with the 5th star until a few more visits.
Note to the owners: Just remember to fix the hasp on the door to the restroom, OK?
S-113 54 Stockholm
Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 6 PM to 10 PM.