November 14, 2012

Restaurants Riche, Teatergrillen and Lillabaren

Writing about three restaurants in one post? Have I become lazy? Not really... all three restaurants/bars are actually located in the same building and have the same owner. I was invited last week for a meet-and-greet with the management, so I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to write about these cultural & culinary landmarks.
Riche is the grand dame of Stockholm restaurants and has been around in one form or another since 1896; for many years it was run by famed Swedish restaurateur Tore Wretman. Just about every Stockholmer has been there at some point in their lives... whether for a celebration, dinner or just drinks. The name and interior design of the restaurant comes from its Parisian namesake Café Riche. The menu today reflects the restaurants history with classic Swedish dishes mixed with French influences and favorites. The bar is very popular with people of all walks of life, from after work drinks to late night partying. Riche is located on the street Birger Jarlsgatan in the upscale Stureplan district. I especially like their generous opening hours... Riche is one of the very few restaurants open for a la carte breakfast (weekdays from 7:30am).
Teatergrillen ("The Theater Grill") is located in the same building, though the entrance is in the back on Nybrogatan. Where Riche is loud and boisterous, Teatergrillen is quiet and sedate. The name comes from the restaurant's proximity to the Royal Dramatic Theatre ("Dramaten") and it has long been a favorite of the theatre artists. The menu contains the same influences as Riche... the difference is that perhaps you go to Riche to be seen and Teatergrillen for some privacy. Lillabaren ("the little bar") is as the name suggests and is located adjacent to Riche on Birger Jarlsgatan. This can be a loud and rowdy with a younger clientele. They have live performances on their stage about 5 times a week. They do have a great veranda where you can eat simpler dishes from their bar menu.
While all three have their own seperate entrances, they are all connected inside and guests often find themselves going from one locale to the other as the evening progresses. Chief sommelier (Källarmästare) Anders Timmel has a great way of describing their concept... many of their clientele start in Lillabaren as youngsters before moving on to Riche as up-and-comers before finally graduating to Teatergrillen as discerning adults. It is easy to reach from the Rival Hotel, either by a 7-8 minute taxi ride, or 4 subway stops to Östermalmstorg (red line). All pictures provided by Riche (much better than mine turned out!).

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