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Gastrologik's New Nordic Cuisine

Gastrologik's New Nordic Cuisine

In the heart of Stockholm’s chic Östermalm district, Gastrologik dishes out refined new nordic cuisine.

“The potato is worth exactly as much as the truffle. It is not nature that decides what’s good or bad, it’s you and me.” When I read this quirky statement on the Gastrologik website, I knew I was in for a memorable dinner.

Run by chef-owners Jacob Holmström and Anton Bjuhr, Gastrologik focuses on the restrained elegance of Scandinavian design (blond Danish wood; clean lines; handmade cutlery) and the freshest local ingredients. The six-course tasting menu is one of the most harmonious—extravagantly inventive, yet respectful of traditions—I’ve ever tasted. Crab might be served with sunchoke and horseradish cream, whipped, frozen, and grated on top; oysters, with birch-sap vinegar and ground-elder jelly. “A carrot in June does not taste the same as a carrot in September, and it would be a shame to cook it the same way,” Holmström explains. “You have to be able to change your menu every day. Our guests get a piece of paper reading, ‘Let today’s produce decide.’ Every dish is a surprise.”

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Novelist Patrizia Chen's Tour of Todi, Italy

Patrizia Chen on Todi, Italy

Stay: I send out-of-town guests to the Relais Todini (Frazione Collevalenza $$), a 14th-century manor. The view from the swimming pool stretches for miles. Equally pastoral: Tenuta di Canonica (75 Località Canonica $$), in a former watchtower.

Shop: Daniele Parasecolo (1 Via S. Maria) is one of Todi’s last remaining traditional wood inlayers—his panels are as intricate as paintings. You’ll find elegant coral and cameos at Arte del Corallo (11 Corso Cavour; 39-075/894-4473). Nearby, Marco Cianini (39 Via Giacomo Matteotti; 39-349/505-2195) makes exquisite handmade shoes. Don’t ask him to copy your old pair—he needs to create!

Eat: When hunger interferes with my shopping, I head to La Cantina del Mercataccio (1 Via del Mercato Vecchio; 39-338/246-2587) for a plate of strigoli al tartufo, pasta with fresh tomato, guanciale, and black truffles. At gelateria Bar Pianegiani (40 Corso Camillo Benso Cavour), I order one scoop of fig and walnut and another of chocolate, with plenty of whipped cream.

Do: A quick drive north of town, 513-year-old majolica ceramics company U. Grazia (181 Via Tiberina, Deruta) holds three-day painting and glazing courses. What’s better than a few pampered days in Todi, learning one of the most ancient Italian arts, then realizing you can take it with you?

Photo by Ben Mostyn

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