The story of the newly opened restaurant Santo can be traced back to 2006. That’s when Stockholm girl Hanna Engerdahl visited Rome on a language school trip. Hanna stayed at a hotel located above Gabriele’s family-owned restaurant where he worked as a waiter. What was originally planned to be a few months-long trip morphed into something entirely different. Shortly after they met, Hanna moved to Rome to train to become a pastry chef and together they worked at the renowned Restaurant Rosti in Rome. When they became a family they moved to Sweden and Stockholm where they realised that there were bits from their previous life in Italy that they wanted to recreate. “There’s so much of Italy we want to showcase. Everything from the wines, to the food and the atmosphere. Through Santo we want to recreate parts of our lives in Rome, both for our guests as well as for ourselves,” says Hanna Engerdahl.
Santo serves contemporary Italian cuisine and Gabriele points out that their food distinguishes itself by a modern touch on classic Italian fare. When it comes to wine, they focus on biodynamic producers. They only use organic produce in their food and their menu is seasonal with everything from broadbeans to octopus. The meat they serve comes from Ramsele in northern Sweden and the desserts are obviously made by Hanna herself. Most, but not all, of their dishes are made on-site, and their ravioli is shipped to Stockholm every week. They point out that you of course could make it here, but it turns out so much better if made by a full-time ravioli-maker in Italy.
The name Santo translates as saint and when I ask why, Gabriele explains that it comes from Italy, where the moment when you eat your dinner is sacred, something you cherish together with your nearest and dearest. Gabriele and Hanna advocate simplicity and use the best produce from Sweden and Italy. “At Santo we make the food that us Italians eat at restaurants every day,” says Gabriele Paziani. “Just like in Sweden regional and traditional dishes are given a new life by chefs tracing their roots. It’s mainly these classic, but at the same time modern, dishes I feel strongly for.”
Santo has 40 seats with a bar including a room that can be used as a chambre separée for up to 12 people. The restaurant is open every night apart from Mondays. Lunch is served on weekends.
Restaurang Santo, Roslagsgatan 43, restaurangsanto.se