"I imagined the interiors as the physical expression of the food," says London-based design luminary Ilse Crawford of her latest project, restaurant Mathias Dahlgren, in the Grand Hotel Stockholm (6 S. Blasieholmshamnen; 46-8/679-35-84; dinner for two $246). "The materials are the thread that connects it all," she adds, referring to both her efforts and chef Dahlgren's talent for uniting local ingredients and a global sensibility. Guests pass through a deep-blue bar area presided over by a giant gilded screen on the way to the Food Bar, where simple Swedish dishes (salmon tartare with apples and horseradish cream; brisket of lamb with potatoes, and truffles) are mirrored by spare but robust interiors (a mix of 18th-century wooden tables and Marten Cyren and Vico Magistretti chairs). The regal dining room—umber walls and oiled parquet floors frame velvet chesterfield sofas, lacquered tables, and chairs upholstered in canary-yellow leather—is where Dahlgren delivers the real culinary fireworks, with such specialties as raw and smoked reindeer with whitefish roe, and pan-fried canette with red berries, duck liver, and pistachios.
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