Pubologi is a small gastropub belonging to the hedonistic restaurant group of Leijontornet and Djuret in Stockholm’s Old town. The staff calls it simply “The Pub” but I soon had a feeling that their ambitions were a bit higher than just serving pub food, even though they denied any Michelin star aspirations. My dinner last fall was very good, absolutely on Michelin star level. Back then they had just introduced the concept “The Luxury”; one dish on the menu that would fit on many classic three star restaurants.
With this years introduction of The Chef’s Table in the kitchen, they raised the level of the cooking even higher. Much higher. The dinner I had at the chef’s table was without doubt on Michelin two star level. It was even better than some three starred restaurants.
As of this fall Pubologi has entered into phase 3. The à la carte menu has been replaced by a five course tasting menu for 550 SEK (about €60). If you want, you can add on a cheese course and a hamburger. The menu comes with different wine pairings. One normal for 445 SEK (since I am talking about Pubologi the word normal is maybe not really correct) and a more luxurious one for 1 245 SEK.
I have written a couple of times that I do not like wine pairings. All to often wine pairings consist of uninteresting wines. But not at Pubologi (and Leijontornet 12 x 8 is even better). Or what do you say about the following wines that this night’s wine pairing consisted of: 2005 Riesling Scharzhofberger Kabinett Egon Müller; – 2004 Chassagne-Montrachet 1:er Cru Boudriotte Domaine Ramonet; – 2007 Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos Domaine Vincent Dauvissat; – 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins Henri Bonneau et fils and – Kishu Kosho Umeshu 5 years old, Kino Tsukasa Brewery, Kishu, Nihon. Restaurants in Stockholm, this it was a wine pairing should look like and cost!
Dinner started with a very nice appetizer. A seared scallop with algae butter. Very good.
Butter fried girolles, baked mushroom Dashi, grated summer truffle, raw shaved champignons, puffed wild rice, crispy sour dough, split peas and jus of chives. The girolles were fried quite hard, just like it should be. I really liked the chives jus which finely balanced the richer ingredients on the plate. A very good dish.
Coarse tartar of dry aged beef, Arbequina oil, charcoal grilled onion emulsion, burned leak, grated Parmigiano Reggiano 2011 and cress. The tartar was very nice and the onion emulsion delicious but unfortunately the tartar was seasoned with black pepper. I am not a huge fan of black pepper on beef since it hides the wonderful flavours of beef. It is difficult to have an opinion about a dish when it based on ingredients you do not like.
Fried pike perch, mussel emulsion, grilled baby leek, cucumber in caramelized butter, zucchini and mussel bouillon. This was an absolutely wonderful dish. The pike perch was fried hard on the skin but still soft in the flesh. The fish was accompanied by some crunchy cucumbers, zucchini and a delicious mussel stock. So, so good!
Saddle and heart of lamb grilled on char wood, creamy and crisp Jerusalem artichoke, sauteed black cabbage, lamb jus and grated duck liver “Au Torchon”. The lamb was very good but the stand out ingredient was the Jerusalem artichoke cream. I could eat a litre of the cream.
Supplement # 1
Charcoal grilled coarsely minced burger of dry aged cow, sesame brioche, Panceta Iberico de Bellota, truffle mayonnaise, Manchego and pickled silver onions. Side: Panko onion rings. This is simply the best burger in Stockholm.
Supplement # 2
Grated Comté 24 months, roasted hazelnuts, browned butter and grated summer truffle. Normally I prefer to have a cheese served just as it is. I tend to find very few composed cheese courses any good. But this dish was absolutely wonderful. Partly because the cheese had not been altered in any way and partly because the comté itself tastes of browned butter and roasted nut and the three ingredients therefore making a perfect combination. I will replicate this dish at home.
Blueberries, almond cake, almond cream, almond milk sherbet, sugar pickled ginger and whipped cream. When I started eating this dessert I liked the flavour combinations very much but found it a bit too fluid and lacking structure. But looking back I think it was I who destroyed it by taking too many photos. It took a while to get a good picture and by that time the sorbet had started melting. That’s the downside with taking pictures while eating. The melting probably explains why my friend did not understand my remark while we sat at the table. It would be nice to eat it again before it has started to melt because it was very delicious.
You could argue that there was a little bit too much grating on the dishes (four times) and maybe that some dishes could consist of fewer different components. But when the food is so delicious as it was and every ingredient made sense and created a unity (and not a ”smörgåsbord” which is sometimes the case) it doesn’t matter. The quality of the ingredients were high. Much higher than you would expect from a tasting menu that cost only 550 SEK. Everything was cooked to perfection. In sum this was a very, very good dinner. And it is very difficult to eat better for the same money in Stockholm.
This was my third dinner at Pubologi in less year. The kitchen team directed by head chef Mikael Einarsson and assisted by sous chef Olof Håsteen (who was in charge the night I had dinner at the chef’s table) have on all three dinners performed on a very high and consistent level. On these dinners I have had very few remarks. This time mostly due to personal preferences which therefore by definition are not really remarks. Just because I do not like black pepper it doesn’t mean it is objectively bad.
In my opinion Pubologi performs on one Michelin star level. And that’s not counting the price. Taking into consideration the price this is without doubt worth one Michelin star. Remember that value for money is actually one of Michelin’s criteria for stars.
Service was like always excellent. There are few restaurants which make you feel as welcomed and ”at home” like Pubologi (and Djuret) no matter if you are a regular or a first time visitor. Daniel Crespi, Dan Jay-Olsson and David Svensson all have the talent to give perfect and knowledgeable service while at the same time being very relaxed.
Being one of my favourite restaurants in Stockholm I will of course return to Pubologi. Several times. But first I will visit The Burgundy, the new wine bar that the team behind Pubologi and Leijontornet opens on 2 september.