In Sweden’s southernmost agricultural heartland, about an hour from Copenhagen’s airport, lies Daniel Berlin’s dining experience, outside the town of Tomelilla. To call it a restaurant doesn’t do justice to the careful preparation and exquisite presentation of a bounty of local food, in the hands of a team who respect the palate’s power to delight, nurture, comfort and celebrate.
Paired with 5 wines hailing from France, Germany, and Spain – from dry whites to a sweeter Muscadelle that foreshadowed the close of the meal – the lunch tasting menu was a taste bud explosion. Over 12 courses, all ingredients are grown on site or sourced locally, excepting the dessert’s Tanzanian chocolate. On a brilliant autumn afternoon, here are some highlights. You’ll be booking a table, I promise.
Words don’t do the experience justice, and there’s a reason the Guide Michelin has “starred” it. It’s in the hamlet of Skåne-Tranås, in an unassuming farmhouse with an ample farm garden in the back and an atrium-like outbuilding used for the multi-location evening dining. Chef and owner Daniel Berlin welcomed our 11-person party to his “house” for lunch at the doorstep, his lovely staff introducing themselves as well. With a glass of champagne to start because well, why not, I was full of anticipation….
The first course, a broth of roasted corn, was so exquisite I forgot to photograph it. Imagine a liquefied ear of corn, unadorned, except for the complement of meadowsweet, a common European herb. Just beyond wonderful.
As this is a tasting menu, each course is simply plated and served; designed to be enjoyed in a bite or two. With snappy service, no one is never without something to enjoy yet never harried. It requires flawless, very well-coordinated service, not easy to pull off with grace.
Next up: Dried lobster with its “skin”, atop lovage and turnip, both fresh from the garden.
Eggs on top of eggs! Roe nestled in quail eggs….
Rooster skin (if you’re a fan of turkey/chicken “crackle” this is a treat….). Attended by verbena and beans. Paired with a delightfully dry white wine from Wüttemberg, Germany.
A yeast pancake with plum set off the game-y ness of the wild boar….
Two more treats, so beautifully presented. Birds liver in chestnut and cinnamon rendered delightfully elegant and subtle; followed by apple, marehomp and pickled flowers served on a platter of ice….
A breather from the exotic with a simple but lovely tip of the toque to Daniel’s early cooking inspiration, Lena Nilsson, a teacher from his high school days. Simple four-grain bread with both goat and cow butter.
With a lovely Spanish red wine, we moved into the “mains” with taste buds on full alert…
Cod with local walnuts; partridge and cherries; grilled lamb.
Cod with local walnuts; partridge and cherries; grilled lamb with a bit of cabbage….
Winding down with a goat yoghurt topped with egg-white and, finally, a taste of chocolate to accompany the richly aromatic Kenyan coffee.
A gracious photo opp with Daniel and his able staff at ground-zero – the kitchen. A wonderful “souvenir” of a fantastic experience. Thanks again, everyone.
Guests were invited to amble around the grounds….
And in the lovely autumn afternoon, I ran into Daniel’s parents and our chat touched on a common topic to many of us in the “Boomer” generation – grandchildren – they are happily expecting their first!
Skåne-Tranås is a lovely small town with a picture-book churchyard….
After a cozy stay at the STF Hotel in Skåne-Tranås, arranged by the restaurant, it was time to head back, and savor the pastoral beauty of Skåne one last time.
A word of warning – book early! I was lucky a month ahead in the shoulder season, but don’t leave it to the last minute….
Just in case you need more raves – or more hints – here’s the Trip Advisor page….
Have you been there? Please leave comments below…
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