The Swedish fast-casual concept Stockhome is scheduled to debut on Aug. 1 in the San Francisco commuter town of Petaluma, Calif.
The restaurant — with is deliberately spelled differently than the Swedish capital — by husband-and-wife team Roberth and Andrea Sundell is a more casual presentation of the bistro and street food Roberth Sundell grew up with in Sweden.
The couple is also know for the Swedish restaurant Pläj — pronounced “play” — in San Francisco’s theater district, which they opened six years ago. Initially that concept was designed to reflect Swedish comfort foods, but it evolved into more of a fine-dining concept, responding to the theater-going clientele and higher-end competition in the neighborhood. The average spend at Pläj is about $60 per person, said Andrea Sundell.
Pläj is “going great,” said Roberth Sundell. But the couple, who live in Petaluma and have four children, longed for a restaurant in their own community where families would feel welcome — and not necessarily have to spend $100.
“What we wanted to create here was something more casual, more family friendly and affordable,” said Roberth Sundell, who runs the kitchen while Andrea mans the front of the house. “We wanted to create someplace where we wanted to eat, but also to get a good mix of what I grew up eating in Stockholm, so it’s a lot of bistro food, Middle Eastern influences and a lot of classic dishes.”
On the menu are dishes most Americans would associate with Sweden, like meatballs with mashed potatoes; plank steak or salmon with duchess potatoes and béarnaise; Matjes herring; and korv kiosk, a smoked German sausage that can be found on any Swedish street corner, Roberth Sundell said.
But the menu also reflects Sweden’s increasingly diverse population with a lineup of kebab plates with lamb, beef, chicken or falafel with yogurt, spicy tomato sauce and a choice of saffron basmati or pommes frites. The kebabs can also be wrapped in thin Swedish bread or pita.
The vegetable-heavy menu also reflects California’s produce bounty, with small plates like gioa burrata with cherry tomatoes, squash blossoms and sunflower seeds; grilled stone fruits with barley, pomegranate and molasses; and shaved fennel and cucumber with tarragon vinaigrette with pink peppercorns.
Prices range from about $8 for a veggie and falafel wrap to $24 for a full order of wienerschnitzel with roasted potatoes and English peas.
The menu is large for a counter-service concept, but Andrea Sundell said diners in the area have so many dietary restrictions, the goal was to offer something for everyone.
The couple has designed the 45-seat restaurant for both dine in and takeout, and delivery might be added down the road.
In addition, Stockhome has a wall of imported Swedish candy, called Lördagsgodis, or “Saturday’s candy,” sold in bulk.
“We really just wanted to be a part of our community,” said Andrea Sundell. “I knew what I needed and I thought other people must need it too.
“Petaluma has wonderful restaurants but nowhere I want to sit with my family,” she added. “I thought I can’t be the only person in this boat. I’m a working mother and I’m exhausted and I don’t want to cook all the time.”
Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]
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