Rye Crisps, Sourdough, Whipped Butter
Toast Skagen, Kalix Roe, Dill
Smoked Lamb, White Pig Salami, Swedish Ham, Vasterbotten Cheese, Adelost Blue Cheese, Candied Apricots, Pickles
Fried Salted Bacon, Creamy Onion Sauce, Boiled Potatoes
Pelikan’s Meatballs, Cream Sauce, Gherkins, Lingonberries, Pommes Puree
Swedish Cheesecake, Vanilla Ice Cream, Cloudberries, Sultanas
Pelikan’s Chocolate Pralines
Open since 1904 and undoubtedly showing its age there are plenty of opinions about Restaurant Pelikan when discussed amongst gastronomes, some seeing it as a relic while others praise the heritage, a visit on Friday afternoon finding validity to both sides of the argument but an assessment based entirely on the Food highly favorable across six items plus complimentary Bread service.
In reality an entity in Stockholm since 1664, the cellar adding a Restaurant in 1733 before relocating to its current environs at Blekingegatan 40 some 114 years ago, guests entering Restaurant Pelikan in 2018 will quickly be taken by heavy wood and pale yellow walls with paintings and sconces, each table decorated by a single burning candle and menus available in both Swedish and English.
Not a place for modernity or the sort of “quick service” many crave in this era, both waitresses approaching the age of retirement and pleasant despite being in no hurry, it was with a basket of Bread dropped off and room-temperature Water poured that a list of classics was perused before choices were made, two three-course meals tallying just shy of 1000 Swedish Crowns.
Dining just prior to 13h00, reservations made online proving unnecessary in a space less than 25% full, it was after a short wait during which glasses ran empty that plates of Charcuterie and tiny Shrimp in Cream Sauce arrived, the later sweet with just enough Dill and salinity to give it balance while the former was highlighted by four-year old Ham and granular Cow’s Milk Cheese that reminisces of Parmesan in taste and texture.
Using surprisingly good Bread and condiments including house Pickles plus candied Apricots to cleanse the palate between bites, a second Basket delivered on request in addition to more Water, it was after a shorter delay than the Appetizers that two Main Courses arrived in sizable portions, the housemade Bacon resting in a pool of pungent yet pleasant Sauce while Pelikan’s world-famous Meatballs were nearly twice the size of others served in Stockholm – tender, dense and rich no matter which blend of accoutrements they were consumed with.
Further impressed by both boiled and whipped Potatoes, the later almost achieving Joel Robuchon consistency, it was with plates wiped clean that they were cleared in anticipation of Dessert, the heralded house Pralines nothing more than good Chocolates while the Swedish Cheesecake featured a crumbly consistency up-front that slowly melted on the palate without much intrinsic sweetness, that aspect instead left to Raisins, Cloudberries and Ice Cream.