August 28, 2013

Restaurant Gondolen

Gondolen as seen from Slussen
 I believe most towns and cities have that one mainstay restaurant where businessmen take visiting clients, husbands take wives for anniversary dinners and locals take out-of-towners who they want to impress. While there are a few restaurants in Stockholm that fall into this category... Gondolen is the one that comes first to mind for me! Established in 1979, it has been around awhile too, which means that most Stockholmers have been there once or twice. I visited the restaurant today for just one of these reasons... a lunch celebrating a friend's 40th birthday.
Back entrance from Mosebacke square
Views towards Slussen and Gamla Stan
The restaurant is owned by celebrity chef Erik Lallerstedt (since 1994) and, in fact, the restaurant's full name is Erik's Gondolen. The food, Swedish/international cuisine, is great, but what really brings in the guests year after year is the fantastic views. Located on the heights of Södermalm, where the locks separate the island from Gamla Stan, it has impressive views of the harbour, Djurgården and (of course) Gamla Stan. It is hard to miss the restaurant... it sticks out from the Södermalm heights like a pier, with its name emblazoned on the side. That, and the digital clock & thermometer on the end of the restaurant, has made it a Stockholm landmark.
Table with a view.
Main dining room.
To get to the restaurant from the Rival Hotel is very easy... just a 10 minute walk! You can either enter the restaurant using an elevator from the bottom of the building at Slussen, or you can enter the back way, across the bridge, from the square Mosebacke Torg. One word of warning... this is a restaurant that needs a little advanced planning to visit. Because of its popularity, one should book a table at least a week or so in advance (in order to be guaranteed a table). I often get guests who come to me in the early evening and want me to book them a table the same evening. Difficult! If no tables are available, I usually recommend that they visit the restaurant's cocktail bar, which is very good, have a drink and enjoy the views before heading to another restaurant for dinner. Another good tip is that during the summer months they have a roof-top (open air) barbecue restaurant as well, which is on drop-in basis only... no reservations!
Click here for other restaurant recommendations and click here for other places in town with a view.

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