Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Taste of a Scanian Summer

My article about summer dining in Skåne will appear in the summer issue of South of Sweden Magazine. Here is the preview.

The Taste of a Scanian Summer

Sweden’s most fertile province is the natural heart of Swedish gastronomy. We roam from Malmö’s ultra-hip Möllevångstorget to the ultra-traditional Österlen village of Hammenhög and scour the seaside in our search for the most unique and most jovial places to eat in Skåne this summer.

In the city
Tempo Bar & Kök
In Malmö’s liveliest neighborhood lies the aptly named Tempo Bar & Kök. The waiters of this bohemian gourmet restaurant banter Basil Fawlty-style with guests and serve up oysters on the half shell, frittatas and crème brulées. The offbeat menu is divided into meat, fish, shellfish, vegetarian and side dishes, rather than starters and entrées. The idea is to mix, match and share. A fake palm tree, colored lights and retro sidewalk tables strike a comfortable balance between cool and kitsch and the clientele is thick with young designers, musicians and artists. Singer/songwriter Nina Persson, best known for taking The Cardigans to international fame, lives nearby and is a loyal Tempo patron.
Go: Södra Skolgatan 30, Malmö

In the country

Hammenhögs Gästgivaregård

This authentic family-run inn has been serving travelers rest and nourishment for centuries and is the last outpost of the gutsy traditional Scanian rarity, slow braised rook. The dark fragrant meat of the young birds, a little like duck and just delicately gamey, is served with a rich gravy, freshly pickled slices of cucumber, red currant jelly and a fine Burgundy. Dine in the garden framed by a sea of wheat fields and stay overnight in one of the inn’s charming rooms. John Steinbeck and Greta Garbo have loved the old world hospitality here, as well as infamous Scanian author Fritiof Nilsson Piraten who often came to drink his lunch.
Go: Ystadsvägen 34, Hammenhög,

By the sea
Best seaside summer dining tips

, Helsingborg
Come barefoot, wriggle your toes in the sand and admire tanned flesh and blood-red sunsets over the sound. Put your bottle of pink champagne on ice while you have a dip between courses.

Bjerreds Saltsjöbad Kallbadhus
, Bjärred
A Scottish-Swedish couple serves fresh summer fare in this modern wood and glass building set on stilts at the end of Sweden’s longest swimming pier, which juts over half a kilometer out to sea.

Klitterhus restaurang
, Ängelholm
The name means ‘the dune house’ and the restaurant sits at the edge of the dunes on a secluded six-kilometer long sandy beach. Come for romantic beach walks at sunset and fine dining on the terrace.

La Plage – summer by MeNTO
, Helsingborg
With its prime waterfront location and an extreme makeover by new owners, the savvy crew from acclaimed Helsingborg restaurant MeNTO, this is the most exciting seaside newcomer this summer.

Niklas Viken
, Viken
The summer hideaway of celebrity chef Niklas Ekstedt draws a relaxed crowd of gastronomical hedonists to its sun sun-warmed wooden deck at the water’s edge.

Salt & Brygga
, Malmö
On the waterfront in shiny new Västra Hamnen, Salt & Brygga is an oasis of gastronomic social responsibility. The only Slowfood certified restaurant in Sweden, they serve superb organic gourmet cuisine.

Skanörs Fiskrögeri, Matställe & Butik
, Skanör
Herring is smoked here as it has been for over 1000 years, right next to what is perhaps Sweden’s finest white powder beach. Try all kinds of freshly smoked or grilled fish at the sunny waterside tables.

Vitemölle Badhotell Restaurant
, Vitemölla
Though proudly sporting the word BADHOTELL above the entrance, this place is almost too good to be true. The big sparkling windows of the dining room open onto sand dunes thatched with wildflowers and a heavenly sandy beach.

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