Oh, it's undoubtedly relatively new — this part of the city, Hammarby, is quite new: blocks and blocks of identical apartment buildings, many storeys high, with offices or occasionally shops on the street level. I'm sure this was formerly a working dockside enclave, but it's a new century, resting on a very different economy; from San Francisco's Mission Bay to here in Hammarby, clean lines and technology have displaced steam locomotives and stevedores.
But this place was nothing but nostalgia: smallish dining rooms; chandeliers; mismatched comfortable chairs (some of them — hoorah! — armchairs); candles; stemware.
And then the food came.
We'd ordered moderately: chicken breast for the Contessa; pappardelle "with Italian cheese" for me. But the plates!
My pasta was hidden, as you see, under green asparagus and arugula, and involved also leeks, mushrooms, cream, and a haze of nutmeg. The Italian Cheese was a cows-milk tomino of some kind; it had been dusted in panko and then baked. Faced with such a thing one sets prejudice aside and plunges into the local culture. We didn't come here to eat as we do in Italy.
So why did I order pappardelle? The alternatives were simply too hard to figure out, given lack of sleep and the minuscule quasi-elegant script on the menu. And I wanted to eat light. Oh well.
A toy shepherd at one end of our dining room, and an equally polite little bulldog wandering among the tables — the house dog, I suppose. I have to say that while I dislike dogs in general in the USA I do like the custom of well-behaved little dogs participating in the European urban life.
We didn't even mind the frequent bursts of song from another dining room, where a group of twenty or so were seated at a long table — a Christmas party, no doubt — most of them men, and all of them well versed in drinking songs. Good voices ameliorate enthusiasm. We'll probably encounter more of that, too.
☛Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants