Coffee and Herbal Infusions
Elk Landjäger and Cucumbers
Pop Art Arctic Blueberry Soda, Pop Art Lingon Cream Soda, Cloudberry Grenade by Marc Strömberg
2009 Fleury Extra Brut Champagne
Linseed and Vinegar Crisps, Mussel Dip
Mycelium Broth with Fresh Cheese
Wholegrain Wheat Crackers with Swede Salad
Wild Trout Roe served in a Crust of dried Pig’s Blood
Pig’s Head dipped in Sourdough and deep-fried, Rhubarb, Tarragon Salt
Bird’s Liver Custard, Malted Cabbage, Gooseberries
Slices of ‘Spickeskinka’
2014 Jean-Marc Vincent Puligny-Montrachet Corvee des Vignes, Cote de Beaune, France
House Sourdough, hand-churned Butter
Scallop “I skalet ur elden” cooked over burning Juniper Branches
King Crab and almost burnt Cream
Perch steamed with wild Leaves and Flowers from around Fäviken, a disk of Butter flavored with Garum, Cooking Juices
Sourdough Pancake, Seaweed, Beef Butter
Lupin Curd Gratin
Mahogany Clam with frozen Lingonberries
A small Egg coated in Ash, Sauce made from dried Trout and pickled Marigold
Aged Apple and molded Milk
Asparagus cooked in fermented Pear Juice from last year, Oat Sauce
Veal and “Tasty Paste”
Colostrum with Meadowsweet
Raw Jerusalem Artichoke, darkly roasted Cereals
Silage Ice Cream
Rhubarb baked in Pearl Sugar, very fresh Cottage Cheese
Bone Marrow Pudding, Frozen Milk
Pickled semi-dried Root vegetables
Reindeer and Birch Pie
A wooden box filled with Tar Pastilles, Meadowsweet Candy, dried Rowanberries, Smoked Caramel, Sunflower Nougat, dried Black Currant
While the phrase “destination Restaurant” gets thrown around rather liberally in this era of lists and Netflix documentaries it would be impossible to consider Magnus Nilsson’s Fäviken Magasinet anything less, the sixteen seats located in an old farmhouse amidst some 20,000 acres of trees and fields as coveted a reservation as any today and the experience from arrival at 16h00 until after midnight one that has left many diners calling it the most memorable meal they have ever had.
Officially under Nilsson’s toque for ten years, the fact that the Fäviken estate was actually established sometime in the late 1800s not really surprising to those who take the opportunity to explore its grounds during their stay, it is upon arrival between two burning fires that guests are greeted by one of the Restaurant’s staff, those fortunate enough to spend the night soon escorted to a room for two with shared sauna, showers and restrooms.
Rustic yet romantic and refined without ever feeling stuffy, the all-in price for two with a couple glasses of Wine somewhere around $1300 notwithstanding, it is from complimentary Sodas and Elk Sausage or Beer and Wine charged on the honor system that guests are invited to snack before Dinner, a prompt start at 19h00 finding the whole staff including Magnus himself present in the downstairs lounge where guests are seated in a variety of comfortable couches and chairs.
Known to be a lengthy menu of small bites with brisk pacing, a Sommelier-suggested house Champagne from Fleury kicking off a flurry of nibbles in the lounge, it was using crispy Linseed Crackers to scoop up Dip made from Blue Mussels that dinner got underway, the up-front brininess quickly followed by locally foraged Mycelium prepared as a Tea and poured over squeaky housemade Cheese.
Not changing the menu as often as one might assume from a Restaurant of Fäviken’s caliber, the strict reliance on items from the Estate with few notable exceptions likely part of the reason, it was following a Cracker topped in pickled Root Vegetables that Nilsson’s Trout Roe in Pig’s Blood and fried Pig’s Head arrived, both bites rich, salty and nicely paired to brisk bubbles while the Bird’s Liver Custard proved too funky for some guests, though the Gooseberries did an admirable job of tempering the minerality in comparison to what it likely was in its natural state.
Finishing up downstairs with Charcuterie from an old Hog before heading to the main dining room, only those guests dining at the communal table left behind, it was with Nilsson as the guide that guests passed by his famous Wolves’ fur coat en route to well-spaced tables surrounded by hanging meats and herbs, the Sommelier once again coming through with a full-bodied glass of White Burgundy that went well with everything that followed up until Dessert.
Serving the same warm Bread and salty Butter as Krus throughout the evening, an empty plate occasionally seeming as though it spawned another slice given the fluidity of service, it was mere moments after getting situated that Nilsson’s clapped hands announced the arrival of Fäviken’s signature dish, a baby’s fist-size Scallop served in its liquid with a hint of smoke and shortly thereafter followed by nearly wrist-thick King Crab Leg gently cooked and intended to be dragged through charred cream nearly as thick as the table Butter.
Not following a true “Tasting Menu” format, dishes typically growing richer but not always larger, it was after steamed Perch caught from a nearby pond that dinner reverted to a series of small bites, a tiny Pancake with umami far bigger than its size would indicate trailed by local Flowers made into a Curd and Bruleed on top, the bitter floral notes intriguing more than delicious but making sense in the context of a local Clam topped in Lingonberry Granitee served as follow-up.
With one of the Sous presenting course fourteen, a confession that technique here was perhaps more important than the taste admittedly seeming a bit pretentious, it was by a rubbery Bird’s Egg with crust peeled away and dipped in boldly flavored Paste that diner’s mouths were quickly coated in rich Yolk, the taste actually quite pleasant, as too was a heavily charred Apple carved tableside and presented with Sour Cream reminiscent “molded Milk.”
Growing plates again in terms of size as the “main course” approached, a stalk of Asparagus nearly as thick as the Crab Leg showing off sourcing as much as skill in its simple presentation, it was with two preparations of freshly slaughtered Veal that savories came to a conclusion, the Loin and Breast tender and rich with a housemade condiment of dried Herbs and Leaves while Toast spread with Liver Mousse was intense but also just sweet enough to serve as a logical transition to Dessert.
Again scaling back at this point, edible ‘shots’ of Colostrum steeped with Meadowsweet giving way to thinly sliced Sunchoke and Grain ‘jam’ Sandwiches, it was as another Sous churned away with a rickety old Ice Cream maker that other staff presented tiny Potato “Dream” Cookies that crackled and disappeared with a sweet linger soon to be replaced by the herbal yet pleasant taste of Grass.
Offering one full-size Dessert before transitioning back to the lounge, whole Rhubarb cut from its Pearl Sugar Crust and brushed with Butter and Sugar before adding several local Herbs and Flowers, it was on arrival downstairs that Coffee carrying a nickel-and-dimey 60 SEK surcharge was poured, quickly-melting Raspberry “Ice” another interesting idea as it was served like a Candy while the Bone Marrow Pudding set ablaze and extinguished by frozen Milk was intensely boozy at first with later bites creamy, sweet and comforting.
Not done yet, a box of “Pickled semi-dried Root vegetables” not unlike all-natural Sourpatch Kids arriving alongside Mignardises and a circle of candied Seeds, it was with a tiny Reindeer Jerky Pie that was simultaneously saline, sugary and smoky that a tall glass of housemade Duck Egg Eggnog was poured, the Rum less than subtle but every rich sip well worth drinking.
Allowed to linger over Coffee as long as one might like, housemade Snus plus a selection of Cigars or Spirits available to those so inclined, it was after a brief stroll in the midnight sun and a visit to the teepee that guests were bid farewell by Chef Nilsson as he walked down the road in street clothes, other members of the staff sticking around longer to chat while still more were involving themselves in tasks to be ready for next day’s Breakfast.