Operakällaren in Stockholm dates back to 1787 when the restaurant was situated in the cellar under Gustav III’s opera house. A decision was made in the late 19th century to demolish the opera house to build a new, better equipped one. The new Operakällaren was inaugurated 4 April 1895. Our visit to Operakällaren some weeks ago can best be described as exquisite with original dishes executed with elegance – a meal to remember – in Stockholm.
We were welcomed by restaurant manager Hugo Hall who recommended us to have a starter in a separate corner of the beautiful premises. He introduced us to head sommelier Johan Iller, who recommended us a champagne from Côte des Blancs developed by Marie Doyard in collaboration with Operakällaren. The cuvée was launched in September 2018. Marie Doyard is the granddaughter of the successful champagne-maker Maurice Doyard, who helped to found Champagne’s regulatory body, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne.
Appetizers in a row
Our first encounter with the food was when one of the waitresses came to our table and cut a Pata Negra in thin slices. This buttery and delicious Iberico pork shoulder from Pata Negra pigs supplemented by the champagne was just a prelude to an evening of the most exquisite dinner I’ve experienced so far. And I must admit, I am a spoiled restaurant visitor.
Other waiters arrived regularly at our table to serve other small dishes, and the concoctions were a great way to warm up before we were accompanied to our table.
Elegance at the tables
One of the most impressive things in Operakällaren was the way the exquisite and original dishes were executed with elegance at the tables by waiters who clearly showed how much they loved their profession and their affection of what they served.
When it comes to the actual cooking of the food here at Operakällaren, they’re masters. We were served a series of small wonders, everything made to perfection, both visually and with flavors promised in the menu description.
A Meal to Remember – in Stockholm
Our excellent entrées were roasted Jerusalem artichoke soup with “Svedjans” cheese cream baked Jerusalem artichoke and autumn truffle shared scallop from Frøya with cauliflower cream, pickled turnip and browned butter.
Our very memorable mouthfuls of main dishes were baked monkfish with Jerusalem artichoke, crispy pancetta, grilled salsify and spicy tomato sauce and baked pike perch from Angsö with corn cream, baked point cabbage and sabayon with sorrel.
Related: Where to Eat in Stockholm
I must admit I couldn’t pinpoint all of the flavors mentioned above, but after eating it, we felt not only was it the best example of a connoisseur dinner we’ve ever had, but something we’ll never forget.
After all the dishes and surprises, including excellent wines, we barely had any room for dessert, so we were content with petits fours and coffee.
Don’t let the essential presentation of the plates fool you as there is a lot more going on under the surface. Each plate truly allows the ingredients to speak for themselves. Pair this with an incredibly well-thought out menu with wines and you’re left with exquisite and original dishes that make for the most memorable feast.
I’m sure you’ve already worked out what I thought about Operakällaren, but if not and if I had to describe it in one word that would have to be – unforgettable.
In 1997 Operakällaren was honored with one star in prestigious Guide Michelin and five red ‘Couvert symbols’, crossed forks and spoons. I wonder why one star suffice.
Hint: In November, a new wine cellar bar opened its doors for lovers of fine wines. Some years ago, it was a key club for celebrities only.
All photos by Tor Kjolberg
A Meal to Remember – in Stockholm, written by Tor Kjolberg