Enough Brits are of South Asian descent that Indian and Pakistani foods have permanently transformed English cuisine (although people likely bristle at the phrase “Let’s have a curry”). Similarly, immigrants from Turkey and the Middle East have influenced Swedish food.
Husband-and-wife team Chef Roberth and Andrea Sundell of Hayes Valley’s warm, Californian-Scandinavian restaurant PLÄJ are set to open Stockhome in their hometown of Petaluma, and there are no Swedish meatballs to be found.
Rather, the cuisine is Turkish-Levantine in a nod to Roberth’s childhood recollection of street food, which ranges far beyond pickled herring and husmanskost. (Eating seasonally in a Sonoma-esque way is hard in an oceanic climate at a northerly latitude. Who among us could really be content with dark brown cream sauces and lingonberry jam for months at at time?)
Of a piece with the Scandinavian emphasis on bright contrasts, Stockhome serves things like hummus and baba ganoush with chili-pickled red onion, halloumi cheese baked until the squeak is almost gone, and chermoula over grilled pitas, and a chicken shawarma with falafel, saffron-basmati rice, garlic yogurt, and hot tomato sauce will grilled onions.
Because the Eastern Mediterranean is one of few places in the world where eating a salad doesn’t feel like you’re missing out on all the fun, there’s also a fattoush with naan, tomato, radish, scallions, cucumber, red onion, herbs, and pomegranate molasses, as well as a tabbouleh with pearl barley, parsley, tomato, mint, chili garlic oil, and lemon. Although the details have yet to be finalized, Stockhome will serve more traditional Swedish dishes as well, both on its regular menu and as specials.
The 40-seat Stockhome has a separate dining room that can accommodate another 10 warm bodies. And there will be candy. We’re talking an entire wall of it: licorice, Swedish fish, Turkish delight, and the like. So firm a hold does sugar have on the Swedish mind that the country’s dentists had to meet people in the middle with the now-famous slogan, “All the sweets you want, but only once a week.” That would be Lördagsgodis, meaning “Saturday’s candy.” Whoever said Swedes were dour?
Stockhome, 220 Western Ave., Petaluma, stockhomerestaurant.com