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Food and Drink For Members

Eating out in Stockholm: Perfect for a date or an evening out with friends

Lauren Abston
Lauren Abston - [email protected]
Eating out in Stockholm: Perfect for a date or an evening out with friends
The chocolate cake is the perfect ending to the evening. Photo: Lauren Abston

Food writer Lauren Abston visits a cosy neighbourhood brasserie serving seasonal food and drinks with an excellent wine list and welcoming staff. Perfect for a spontaneous romantic dinner or for a glass of wine and snacks with friends.

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Hungry and freezing after a long day of walking and Christmas shopping, we sit down at the bar in Nektar around six o’clock. I typically choose bar seating if it is offered because it is fun to watch the chefs in action while they prepare food.

There is a couple in the corner at a table for two, but otherwise no other diners. We are warmly greeted by one of the owners, Embla, and immediately assent to her suggestion of ordering the Christmas cocktail. Eric, the other owner and chef, is heads down cooking. We have a chat with Embla for a bit about nothing in particular.

The drink is eau-de-vie with warm apple cider and a topping of cream mixed with winter spices, and it is absolutely the most perfect transition from our festive day into a long, relaxed dinner. Even if you don’t go for dinner, it’s worth coming here for this seasonal drink in the holiday season.

The Christmas cocktail is perfect to warm you up in the chilly Stockholm winter. Photo: Lauren Abston

For a starter, we opt for the Boudin Noir. I am fortunate because my dining companion has been here loads before and is recommending what we should order. The name is accurate, and the dish does not disappoint. Served in a blue, flowered shallow bowl and accompanied by a spiced apple and onion compote it is by no means a light starter. It’s warming, filling and perfect to share. 

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Our next course is an onion and comté tart that comes with a side salad of endives, walnuts and apple cubes dressed in a light vinaigrette. The slice of tart is rich and fatty and the bitter leaves help balance it out perfectly. Because of the dry winter weather, I am parched and Embla does a lovely job of making sure we are taken care of and consistently have a full flask of water.

My friend orders a glass of wine and she brings out a funky, natural wine that will pair well with our next course, pumpkin gnocchi. I don’t order wine, so I will return to test out the wine list at a later date. Nektar does quite a few events and collaborations, so I recommend following them on Instagram and joining for an evening. 

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The restaurant is starting to fill up now, mostly with pairs of two, and one table of four women. Everyone is ordering wine, and Eric and Embla become busier. The gnocchi is what jumped out at me when I first read the menu, so I’m excited to eat it when it arrives on a plate with brown floral edging.

The gnocchi is completely covered with thin strips of lardo, which we mistakenly took to be cheese at first, a green citrus oil, lots of pepper, and seasoned bread crumbs. It’s delicious and the perfect winter entreé. Plump orange pillows of pasta, swimming in oil, that melt in your mouth.

The melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi. Photo: Lauren Abston

The other large plate we order is salsiccia, and it seems like what has been served at winter time for the past three centuries, plated in a lovelier way. Simple, well-cooked food with seasonal ingredients. A large lamb sausage cooked to perfection, buttery mashed potatoes with cracked pepper and warm kale and lentils. 

At this point, we are completely full, but one of the main reasons for my visit to Nektar is the "chocolate nemesis and whipped cream" dessert, so we order that at the end. Embla goes to hand-whip the cream behind the counter and hands the cake over to us when she’s finished.  It is aptly named because I take about four bites and am unable to eat more. My friend devours the rest so that none goes to waste! The cake tastes like a cocoa bean; it’s pure and bitter chocolate. It is the perfect ending to our meal. 

We stay a bit longer in the convivial atmosphere, delaying as long as we can putting our coats, hats, scarves and gloves on to walk home in the cold and dark. I look forward to returning to Nektar in 2024 and trying a new seasonal drink!

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Nektar Mat & Vin

Rating: Four stars

Location: Rörstrandsgatan 12, 113 40 Stockholm, Sverige

Price: Snacks: 35 to 110 kronor; Small plates: 90 to 155 kronor; larger plates: 195 to 215kronor; desserts: 95 to 120 kronor. 

Details: Tuesday through Thursday from 4-10pm. Friday 4-11pm. Saturday 1-11pm. Sunday 4-10pm.

This review is the writer's own opinion and the rating is based on food, service and ambience, with price and quality considered. Five stars: Outstanding on every level; a must go. Four stars: Excellent and recommend visiting. Three stars: Very good. Two stars: Good, but wouldn’t return. One star: Not great, do not recommend. 

Lauren Abston moved to Stockholm two years ago from San Francisco. She loves exploring all the city has to offer, trying out new restaurants and bars with friends, picking up new Swedish words and learning how to dress for four distinct seasons.

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