697 93, Hjortkvarn
Gastronomy close to nature
The winding road to this woodland restaurant takes longer than we and Google think, especially when you keep having to stop to let deer cross the road. They are splendid animals in pretty surroundings, and Boo Castle glows like a pink gingerbread house when we arrive. Large outdoor candles lead to the restaurant, where staff greet us at the door and bid us to sit down in front of the fireplace in the pub. The drinks menu has grown both longer and broader, but we choose the drinks package, which we don’t regret. We have no say in choosing the food – the day’s succession of 15 tastings is imposed. The Italian in the kitchen has chosen a spumante from Marche as the first drink, and it pairs nicely with the initial flavourful nibbles. The signature one of pig’s-ear crisps to dip in a tart cream of fermented field peas became our favourite. The kitchen scores right away on flavours, and on showing that the quality of ingredients is more important than their purported poshness. We proceed to our table in the dining room, beautifully laid with linen and silver, a bloom and a pheasant’s feather. The cooks serve and present the dishes, each one a couple of bites in size. You have time to get to know the flavours and wish for just one morsel more. Yes, without exception they are good, usually very good. Intense, distinct and confident flavours. The obligatory tartare of venison from the property is covered with chopped hazelnuts and pickled wild mushrooms, and at the table this is complemented with a generous blanket of grated Gotland autumn truffle. The best local produce of the season, spiced up with an accompaniment from other parts. A red Jura with hints of rosehips and rose proper is a perfect match. Next, a small Japanese grill is rolled up tableside and a langoustine tail on a spruce branch is brushed with rosehip glaze and grilled before being returned to the kitchen, where it is placed on a bed of pointed white cabbage and garnished with pickled mustard seeds and wild chamomile plucked from the lawn outside. A brisket of beef baked for 48 hours at the kitchen’s favoured temperature of 50°C is served with an oyster emulsion, pickled European blueberries and thyme oil, and smoked under a glass dome on its way to the table. We’re struck by how quickly the service has evolved into the added spice to the whole experience that it is now. Every query gets a quick response, no wait grows over-long. Two desserts complete the dining room sitting, with the buttermilk sorbet with tiny pumpkin doughnuts and pumpkin-seed crackers triumphs in a photo finish. In front of the fire once again, we enjoy coffee goodies with Örebro-roasted coffee. It’s the end of gastronomy performance the likes of which we’ve never seen in these parts, and well worth the trip by itself.