I hate ranking the things I love. So I thought I should give it a try.
Of all the places I have visited this year, these are my favourite dishes of 2012.
A list of my favourite meals of 2012 will be posted separately. Happy New Year!
# 14 Swedish Wagyu sausage, truffle, cabbage (Esperanto, Stockholm) (Photos)
I have had about 35 dishes from Chef Olle Tagesson since he joined the small restaurant 19glas in Stockholm earlier this year. This morcilla served with saffron rice, raisins, onion and spinach confirmed the fact that Tagesson is on top of my rankings when it comes to simple yet delicious food with big flavours. See you next year, Chef.
The clam juice was very carefully seasoned with liquorice which worked brilliantly with this dish; the sweet and crispy haricots, high quality clams with a beautiful salty taste and a soft, chewy texture and the light yet very flavourful clam juice. Luckily Chef Mauro Colagreco served me this dish twice during 2012.
I love vegetables and I have not yet found any Chef that can serve them in a more exciting way than Daniel Berlin. Here was green asparagus cooked in different ways served with nettles, couch grass, spruce shoots, cardamom flavoured dumplings and chicken broth. Divine.
I doubt this dish could be taken any further. Yes, Dominique Le Stanc serves the definitive version of the Nice-style pates au pistou.
The body of the cuttlefish had been sliced into tagliatelle-like slices while the offals from the cuttlefish made a ”ragu”. The ragu had an incredible depth of flavour, the “tagliatelle” had a small bite to it before melting in my mouth with the tomatoes adding beautiful sweetness to the dish. Wow.
Magnus Nilsson served the sirloin of a retired dairy cow that had been dry aged for seven months. The meat had a rich, deep and somehow compact flavor with its fat being absolutely lovely. This dish was paired with a 1996 Barolo Rocche from Lorenzo Accomasso in Piemonte, which worked brilliantly with the beef, some of its fat and the sour, creamy onions that were served to the dish. I cant stop thinking about it.
About 30% of the ragu was pork sausage, cooked in a pan without using any fat. The rest was cheek, belly, tail and tongue that had been cooked sous vide separately, then beaten with a knife and thickened with bone marrow in order to replace butter. The pasta was made using yolks from embryonic eggs and had a beautiful, almost hardened, texture and stunning colour. This dish was absolutely packed full of flavour and without a doubt one of the best dishes I have eaten this year.
The best desserts in the world are served at Le Louis XV. The signature, Le Baba au rhum comme à Monte-Carlo, is one that is impossible to get tired of. And the mascarpone sorbet served with warm wild strawberries is one I dream about; the cold sorbet, the wild strawberries and the warm sauce of wild strawberries.
This is the best risotto I have ever had being perfectly creamy yet firm and packed full of flavour, with the saffron entering the palate sweet to finish bitter in taste, the liquorice working the other way around. Brilliant.
Choosing a favourite dish from Chef Björn Frantzéns 2012 menus at Frantzén/Lindeberg is a difficult task. Baked bone marrow with Iranian caviar, sour cream and smoked parsley? The winter-, spring-, summer- or autumn editions of his signature dish “satio tempestas”? The velouté of fried yellow onions? The Coal-flamed tartar of lamb, cumin, sheep’s milk yogurt and lavender served on my last visit? Sweetbread. Fried and basted in butter. It had been poached in hay and was served with grilled Matsutake mushroom, fresh hazelnuts, hazelnut oil, a few onion flowers and a burnt béchamel sauce. Picture the most amazing crispy exterior on the sweetbread with a soft and tender interior. The Matsutake with its unique flavor, odor and beautiful texture. The burnt béchamel sauce that lifted all the flavours. The fresh hazelnuts that made the textural balance complete. This was elegant and intelligent. One of the very best dishes I have had from this kitchen. Top drawer food and Björn Frantzén at his best.