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Franska Matsalen

by Debra C. Argen
Franska Matsalen Restaurant
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Marinated Salmon at Franska MatsalenThe Grand Hôtel Stockholm provides the perfect ambience for a romantic dinner.



Frenchman Régis Cadier, the personal Chef to King Oscar I of Sweden, built the opulent Grand Hotel Stockholm in 1874, as a fulfillment of a dream; the next owners added the French Restaurant, Franksa Matsalen somewhere between 1897-99. The hotel and the restaurant are a tribute to the grand dame European style, romantic and opulent, with an abundance of rich marble, shining gold and sparkling crystal chandeliers.

At the end of February 2006, the Grand Hôtel Stockholm closed the Franksa Matsalen, to expand and create a new restaurant, which will open later this year. I cannot wait to visit the hotel again, and experience their new restaurant. However, in the meantime, their restaurant Grand Veranda, which focuses on Swedish and international cuisine will surely please guests.

This article is now a lovely memory of a very romantic evening for me, and perhaps for many of our readers who have also had the pleasure of dining at the Franksa Matsalen throughout the years.

Lars RehonExecutive Chef Roland Persson presided over the elegant dining room, with a focus on French and Scandinavian cuisine. Edward F. Nesta and I had a very romantic dinner at the restaurant on a perfect late August night in 2005. Sitting at a window side table, we had views of the Royal Palace and the yachts out to enjoy the last evening of August. Our waiter, Lars Rehm brought us an aperitif and an amuse bouche of Toast Skagan, shrimp and diced hard cooked eggs on toast, as we watched the drama of the sunset, as day turned into night.

The restaurant had a striking wall of windows sumptuously draped with beige and cranberry treatments that offer guests spectacular views of the city and the water. Orchids and sculpture lined the wide window ledges. The tables were dressed with creamy linens, the silver glistened on the table, specially created low vases held an orchid, chrysanthemum and a votive candle, and the chairs were covered in a cranberry fabric with a leaf motif. The carpet was a deep cranberry with a cream diamond pattern, mirrors on either end of the room created an illusion of infinite space, and the curved ceiling gave a feeling of dining under a canopy.

Juergen SchaubachFor dinner we had their Menu Scandinave (Scandinavian Menu), beginning with Bleak roe with blini and smoked eel with scrambled eggs, (Löjrom på blini och ristad ål med äggröra), which Jürgen Schaubach paired with a 2004 Laurent Miguel Nord Sud, Viognier. I loved the bleak roe, which was served on blini with sour cream, chopped red onion, smoked and lightly fried eel with scrambled eggs. The wine had a white floral nose, with vanilla and white peaches on the palate.

Marinated Salmon at Franska Matsalen We continued our tasting with Marinated salmon soaked with juniper twigs, primeur salad and mustard vinegar sauce (Enrisrökt gravlax med primörsallad och senapsvinägrett.) The smoked salmon was accompanied with caviar, and baby vegetables with a mustard sauce and dill garnish.

Halibut with Shaved Truffles Halibut with shaved truffles on a bed of pea puree emulsion with gnocchi and spinach leaves, was paired with a 2003 Brolio, Classico Chianti, Ricasoli that was very aromatic with a peppery, blackberry nose, with spice, blueberry and lots of tannin on the palate. The delicate gnocchi melted in my mouth, and the decadent layer of shaved truffles completed this excellent dish.

The cheese course (Utvalda Svenska ostar) was an enticing selection of Brie, White Capri (Vit Capri), Linus, and Västerbotten, which was well paired with an intense 2002 Laurent Miguel Saint Chinian (Bordou), that had a fragrant nose with complex fruit, spice, and was well-rounded with a long finish.

Luscious DessertFor dessert, we had miniature French toast served with a mixture of fresh berries and vanilla ice cream (Fattig riddare med färska bär och vaniljglass), that was paired with a 2003 Cuvee, Paul Jaboulet Muscat de Baumes de Venise, that had a grapefruit, vanilla and anise nose, with pineapple on the palate and a creamy, long finish. With Edward’s first taste of the berries, he remarked, “If you don’t want yours, I’ll take it.” Not likely, I ate it myself!

Grand Hôtel Stockholm
Södra Blasiehomshamnen 8
Box 16424
SE-103 27 Stockholm, Sweden
Telephone: +46 0 8 679 35 00
Fax: +46 0 8 611 86 86
Email: reservations@grandhotel.com

Read our other articles on Sweden and the Grand Hotel Stockholm in the Destinations, Hotels & Resorts, Chefs’ Recipes, Restaurants, Music Scene, Gastronomy, Liquor Cabinet and Events sections.

For more information on Stockholm, Sweden and SAS please visit: www.visit-sweden.com, www.stockholmtown.com and www.sas.se.

© April 2006. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

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