Monday, December 14, 2015


IMG 2751
Umeå, Sweden, December 14, 2015—
WHAT YOU SEE HERE is the first of four or five courses of the Julbord served today at a nice little bistro on the outskirts of town. Jul is, of course, Yule; apparently a special Christmas smörgåsbord has replaced the normal menu here. (Too bad: it's always nice to sample traditional bistro fare in a new town.)

The red pot with the lid and handles contains nice steamed potatoes flecked with chopped parsley; the bowls to the left are filled with six different flavors of herring; the rectangular platters involve salmon in various forms. There were also shrimpy items which I of course did not sample.

In the distance beyond, left to right, you have an impressive array of spirits, a sideboard laden with many desserts, and a tray of cheeses. But those, of course, are the fourth and fifth courses: before them, out of sight on the right, are two others. The first of them was charcuterie, and I'm afraid I so loaded myself down there that I wasn't able to do the cheeses justice. There was ham, roast beef, various sausages, pork belly (oh my, the pork belly) — I mistook all this for the main course, but in that I was mistaken.

To the right of the charcuterie, being served out as needed by the cooks, there were little hot Vienna-type sausages, and red cabbage, and a marvelous local specialty involving potatoes and anchovies, and a lithe and supple omelet — almost an Eggs Picabia — with porcini and chanterelles neither of which somehow detracted from the other.

IMG 2765 And I know I'm forgetting things, but then I do that, first of all, and secondly the conversation was so interesting, and the waitresses so entertaining, and the food so good, that it was hardly the time to take either notes or for that matter photos of any value.

Mâcon-Villages, Domaine Moulin de Foulot, 2013, very nice, authentic, and crisp; and a small akvavit afterward, since Fernet is temporarily discontinued

Le Garage, Umedalsallén 15, Umeå, Sverige; 090-316 52
Restaurants visited in 2015 are listed at Eatingday's Restaurants

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