Owner Björn Stenbeck's salt & brygga Restaurang & bar in Malmö, Sweden is a perfect example of how a restaurant can be ecological, stylish, and most of all, very tasty.
Malmö is Sweden's third largest city and is located in the southernmost province of Skåne, and having lunch and meeting with owner Björn Stenbeck at salt & brygga Restaurang & bar exactly 7 years after he opened the restaurant, was a luscious learning experience. The Skåne region is well known for its gastronomy and its environmental outlook and salt & brygga Restaurang & bar epitomizes this concept.
Björn Stenbeck was a pioneer when he started his organic restaurant in May 2001 where the emphasis is on excellent organic quality and a slow food concept, as he is the Slow Food Delegate for Sweden. His inspiration was the Farmers Markets in San Francisco and San Diego, and his hero is the American restaurateur Alice Waters. His dream was to open an organic restaurant that was not boring. Today he follows the seasons and buys from local producers, purchases organic fish from Norway, serve no fish on "the list", serves Norwegian cod organically farmed or caught on a hook, has contracts with farmers for organic chicken, recycles the restaurant's organic waste, their products are certified, in January 2008 he installed special lights that require one tenth of the electricity of normal lights, they use organic towels, the staff wears Patagonia clothes made of organic cotton for the summer, and the list of achievements goes on, including being the first non-smoking restaurant. To simply state, he is consciously trying to make a difference.
Since opening, the restaurant's appeal has steadily grown, attracting a loyal clientele to the pretty waterfront setting where the organic food, the extensive organic wine list, and the long list of spirits on the menu, equally match the restaurant's ecological distinction.
It is interesting to note the small details of the charming high ceiling restaurant with its attractive exposed red brick walls accessorized with colorful prints, floor to ceiling wall of windows overlooking the harbor and the bridge, mosaic tile with fish motif bar, and an open kitchen where the guests can watch the chefs in action. The ambience is both contemporary and casual with bare wood tables accessorized with pots of herbs and tall white tapers in black wrought iron holders, and special black metal chairs with burnt sienna leather seats tanned with bark instead of chemicals, as Björn has a clear focus on sustainability and ecology, all without sacrificing on esthetics.
For our two-course lunch, Edward F. Nesta and I began with the salad bar, which Björn said was the restaurant's "calling card and advertisement," which was an inviting and diverse selection of healthy salads including carrots and black beluga lentils, mixed vegetables, new potatoes in a mustard sauce with capers, and marinated fish, of which we most heartily enjoyed.
For our second course we had a generous portion of salmon with perfectly crisp skin presented on a rich pool of sauce on a bed of new potatoes and accompanied with grilled fennel and two asparagus spears. The combination of the fresh from the sea taste and attractive presentation made this course a delicious winner.
As we chatted with Björn over espresso made with KRAV certified coffee beans, we came away with a new appreciation for restaurants with an ecological focus, and his comment that "organic is not just food, it is a lifestyle." Congratulations Björn on salt & brygga Restaurang & bar's success.
salt & brygga Restaurang & bar is open for lunch Monday - Friday from 11:30 am - 3:00 pm and for dinner from 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm; and on Saturdays for lunch and dinner from 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm.
salt & brygga Restaurang & bar
Read other articles on Skåne in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Arts and Antiques, Spas, and Gastronomy sections.
Read other articles on Sweden in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs Recipes, Gastronomy, and Travel News - Sweden a Green Destination sections.
For information on Sweden, please visit the websites: www.VisitSweden.com, www.Skane.com, www.Malmo.se, and www.Helsingborg.se.
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