Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dining While in Jail?

Yes, if you happen to be at Hornsgatan 82 in Stockholm, Sweden. Located just a stone's throw away from our apartment in central Stockholm lies one of Stockholm's new best kept secrets. Häktet. (Shhh... it's still a secret!) Named for its previous incarnation as a jail, which is also the precise meaning of its name, the atmosphere is moody and haunting, though refined and stylish by today's hip and trendy standards. The original jail served the public between 1781-1872 and the location has since the 1900's served as a bar, until its most recent make-over.

The chef's creations were fresh and inspiring. Mussels in a wine and cream broth paired nicely with the bread and senap smör (mustard butter), and the hälstrad gös (grilled perch) served with asparagus salad and wine-braised spinach was the perfect meal after our all day drive to and from Vansbro for the Tjejsim (women's swim) competition. 

My husband and I enjoyed our meal and the atmosphere so much so that we made a return visit when another friend was visiting from the States just a few weeks later. The mussels were a definite repeat but for the main course I selected the "Bläckfisk och Kungskrabba" (squid and king crab) served with browned butter and lemon-scented, Beluga lentils, which were holy cow good. And aside from spilling my own glass of ice water right into my lap before we really got started, the evening was perfect and the food delicious and satisfying. We were too full for dessert but I am strongly inclined to return, yet again, for something on the menu that had to do with rhubarb. 

If you find yourself in the mood for an evening out any time soon, drinking and dining among the ghostly spirits of the old jail, I would heartily recommend Häktet. Do make reservations because it will definitely not remain a secret for long. And do plan on having a leisurely evening ahead of time, as the servers allow you plenty of privacy and lengthy spaces to enjoy each course ;-). 

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