Stockholm Chef Bjorn Frantzen won 2 Michelin stars at his eponymous Old Town restaurant. Now, around the corner, he’s opened a gastropub called Flying Elk. It focuses on game meat and offal, real “nose-to-tail” stuff. It opened my well-traveled and well-fed horizons and I’m very glad to have been hosted to experience it!
It’s a casual, hip atmosphere: louder rock music plays in the background. In a spirit of “anything goes,” I went outside my comfort zone and ordered a starter of fried beef heart with horseradish. It’s actually a very flavorful, not gamy, piece of meat . . . with extra “beefiness”. The texture is much firmer than a steak, though. It was served with creamy cole slaw.
Flying Elk also has an appetizer category called “snacks” and I tried one of those, too! My dining companions laughed at the name: “An Oyster,” for its unabashed frankness. It has Jersey cream (I almost went to the island of Jersey this summer for their famous cream, not to stash assets in a tax shelter . . . I swear), black pepper, lemon and chorizo oil. It was new for me to try a raw oyster that still had a sauce. It was creamy, spicy, lemony and rich, all at once. Their oysters had a deep shell.
I had been debating between the sea bream and the halibut in my mind for a main course, so I asked the server for advice. “The sea bream.” Not content, I asked her why. “The sea bream is served as a whole fish. It’s more fun!” More fun! I liked the idea of a fun dinner and I’m definitely glad I went with her suggestion. The roasted fish was served with gremolata, smoky beans, yellow chanterelles and spinach. Getting to dig into the tender, fatty cheeks is part of the fun of eating whole fish! I’m glad they plated it with the head: some restaurants talk about serving whole fish, but cut the good parts out. The spinach was lightly cooked, preserving all of its color and flavor. The baby chanterelles worked well with the dish. The fish was stuffed with lemon slices, whole parsley and garlic.
I also got to taste a bite of the oxtail lasagne. It had a rich bechemel sauce with a deeper beefiness than ordinary lasagne.