When figuring out the concept for Pocket, chef and restaurateur Pontus Frithiof appears to have sat down with a calculator. The numbers are as follows: no main course costs more than 185 kronor, kids eat for 50, a three-course-dinner is around 300, the restaurant’s own wines go for 355 per bottle and on Wednesdays, a bottle of Bollinger will set you back only 450 kronor. And you won’t need to know the telephone number, as tables can’t be booked.
These days, it’s certainly not a bad idea to focus a bit on the economy, or on making things easy and fuss-free. Frithiof wants his restaurant to be a casual, affordable but still classy option for a weekday family dinner – a concept not too popular around Stureplan.
The old seafood bar at Pontus! has been redecorated and turned into Pocket, with its own entrance at Norrlandsgatan. The bright yellow Thonet chairs against the grey walls and the clever bookshelf-print curtains create the sense of a modern French-Swedish bistro or a café, which is also reflected in the menu: there are a handful of snacks, starters, mains and desserts, mostly inspired by French cuisine, with some Swedish, Italian and South American influences thrown in. There’s pickled herring with boiled egg and onions, ceviche, beef tartare, manchego-gratinated broccoli, meatballs, tuna Niçoise and the by-now-compulsory cheese and charcuterie plate.
The snacks don’t cost a fortune but are very much just snacks: the ceviche, for instance (65 kronor) is very tasty but all over in about three forkfuls. The hungrier among us should go for the starters instead, such as the tartare (125 kronor) which is quite generous in its size – and, with a perfectly round egg yolk on top and crispy green salad on the side, tastes wonderfully fresh too.
For the mains, we try the cheapest and most expensive dishes on the menu: the salmon Wallenbergare (165 kronor) and the Vitello tonnato (185 kronor). The Wallenbergare is juicy and delicious, served with crispy onion rings, sautéed vegetables and a cold sauce of caviar and chive. The Vitello, covered in ruccola and red onion rings, looks great but is a little on the dry side; some more tuna sauce would have not hurt.
The dessert menu is also a straightforward and familiar affair. Nothing wrong with that – the polenta lemon tart with whipped cream (60 kronor), for instance, is a wonderfully tangy and satisfying finish to a meal. Pocket’s tiramisu (65 kronor) is nice but light and dry; not moist and rich like many tiramisu-lovers like it.
All in all, Pocket delivers more or less what it promises – an easy-going restaurant where it’s relatively simple to pop by for a (possibly Bollinger-fuelled) Wednesday meal.
And while some dishes impress more than others, the restaurant also has a somewhat hidden selling point – with 12 vegetarian or fish dishes on the menu, it’s one of the best places around for those wanting to avoid red meat.
Pocket, Norrlandsgatan 31