Smörgås Chef & Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival

One of the great joys of blogging for me is forging great friendships. There have been several wonderful meals I have had over the past few months with warm and kind food souls, including with Diana from A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, Laura from The Cooking Photographer, and Andrea of High/Low Food/Drink.  One of the more recent lunches was with Jenn of Tiny Urban Kitchen, Jessica of Food Mayhem, and Andrea of High/Low Food/Drink at Smörgås Chef at the Scandinavian House.

Smörgås Chef offers a terrific two course pre-fixe menu of soup or salad and a select entree for $14.95.  Several of us at the table started with a light seafood chowder, a delicate, refined stew, thinner than that of the traditional New England clam chowder, which I found to be quite enjoyable for the warming Spring afternoon.

Following our seafood stew, each one of us chose a different entree. I chose the Swedish meatballs & lingonberries, which are somewhat similar to blueberries. The dish was comforting, hearty, and quite enjoyed the sauce that accompanied the delicious tender meatballs.

Andrea's friend, who came along for lunch, had a Norweigan smoked salmon sandwich with chive scrambled eggs on an eight-grain bread.

Jessica chose the Smörgås Board, which included gravlaks, Jansson’s potato, Swedish meatballs, herring, traditional accompaniments. Jessica liked the entree well enough, but wasn't overly impressed.

Jen had the house-cured gravlaks, with avocado, romaine, tomato, bacon, spicy tartar sauce, 8-grain bread. It looked delicious.

Andrea ordered the herring sampler, which included four herring varieties, “lefse” potato wraps, and potato salad.  Andrea thought the herring plate offered an authentic experience, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys vinegary tart flavors.

Here is a picture of the gang courtesy of Andrea from High/Low.  If anyone of you guys are in town, and want to meet, feel free to e-mail me.

On a seperate note, I will be heading over to San Francisco this afternoon for the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival over the weekend. There will be way too many options for what to drink and eat, and the Grand Tasting is only going to last three or four hours, so help me short list a few things you think I should try. Thanks for your help!

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival
Chef/Restaurant Dish(es)
Shaw - A 16
Wild Mushroom, Green Garlic and Ricotta
Habetz/Nick Wood  - Bunk Sandwiches - Tillamook
Grilled Tillamook Vintage White Extra
Sharp Cheddar and Apple Chutney with Slow Roasted Pork Belly
Ayers - Pacific's Edge
Smoked Braised Pork Belly, Garnet
Yams and Port-Blackberry Reduction with Fresh Origins Micro Celery
Phan - The Slanted Door
Northern Vietnamese Style Halibut,
Vermicelli with Fresh Dill, Scallion ,Peanut and Pineapple-Anchovy Sauce
Ken Frank
- La Toque
Soy Braised Pork Belly, gingered brussels
sprout slaw
Grosjean - Aubergine
Heirloom Beet, Argan Oil, Horseradish,
Marcona Almond
O'Toole - Bardessono
Humphrey - Murray Circle Restaurant
Crisp Petrale Sole, hijiki seaweed
Simpson - Pebble Beach
Peanut Butter Crunch, milk chocolate
bavarian, salted caramel cream
Cal Stamenov
- Marinus at Bernardus Lodge
Spicy Crab & Nantucket Bay Scallop 
rangpur lime, heart of palm, fresh olive oil
Reddington - REDD
Scallop Ceviche Tacos/Glazed Pork
Belly, soy caramel, apples and burdock
Chiarello - Bottega Napa Valley
Smokey Paprika Rubbed Grilled Octopus
Spiedini with Olive Oil Braised Marble Potato, Pickled Onion and Salsa
Villar -Calistoga Ranch
Chilled English Pea Soup, fresh ricotta,
mint, lemon oil
Grilled Lobster "Pizza"
with mascarpone, baby tomatoes, basil, green house greens
Garcia - Occidental Group - Aruba
Keshi Yena
Nemec - Pebble Beach
Artichokes "A' la Grecque",
cured meyer lemon, aged jack cheese  Pebble Beach Tide Pool in-a-cup 
abalone, crab, urchin roe, shellfish consommè, sea water & seaweed
Baker - Montrio Bistro
Smoked Tea Cured Wild Salmon, duck
Liver parfait,  apple gastrique and smoky raisins 
Tom Douglas
- Dahlia Lounge - WWC
Red Mountain Riesling Cured Wild Sockeye
Salmon, fennel, coriander, blini, riesling poached pear
Sullivan - Spruce
Marin Sun Farms Goat Confit, turmeric
dates & carrots
Estee - Moody's Bistro & Lounge
Tombo, extra virgin olive oil, panisse, 
spring relish
Yard - Spago
Lauren - Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
Marinated Anchovy Bruschetta, beet
puree, burrata, lemon agrumato, maldon sea salt, basil
Manzke - Church & State
Tarte Flambe
Ford -Aqua Terra - Monterey County Ag
Mixed Berry Cordonniere w/ Green peppercorn
Ice Cream/Rapini, Fennel, Spicy Italian Sausage Ragout, pinenuts, asiago
cheese, pasta crostini/Yucatan Chicken and Nopales Salbutes with habanero


Megan said...

The slow-roasted pork belly and the artichokes both sound amazing. I'd definitely give those a try! Have a fabulous time!

The Diva on a Diet said...

I'm a sucker for good Swedish meatballs ... so, good choice! It all looks and sounds delicious.

Have a wonderful time at the Pebble Beach F&W Festival. I can't wait to read all about it!

high low said...

I always enjoy hanging out with you Christine! We'll be in San Fran May 30-June 5, so let me know if you'll be there too!
So much at Pebble Beach, but I loved Bottega, so I'd try to get some Chiarello octopus before they're all gone!

Simply Life said...

Looks like a great meal to share with good company!

Angie's Recipes said...

4 elegant ladies!
I would probably order Norweigan smoked salmon sandwich for the lunch too! So yummy look!

Sippity Sup said...

I'll be there too! I hope we get to meet. GREG

Anonymous said...

We were just trying to remember the name of this restaurant, we had a meal there the last time we were in NYC. Have fun in SF!

Beth said...

Have a great time at the festival!

Mimi said...

Looks like a fun lunch. Have a good time in SF. I alway opt for things I can't make myself.

Sara said...

So fun! I'd love to have a meal with you sometime. Next time I'm in NYC (or if you're ever in St. Louis) we must dine together!

Sook said...

Great photos, Christine! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

Michelle @ HealthyEatingRoadmap said...

Looks like a very interesting array of entrees. The one looks like it came with a slice of those new thin sandwich round thingy's. Have fun in SF!

MaryMoh said...

The happy faces of 4 gorgeous ladies explain it all. Must be full of fun.

alison said...

gorgeous ladies!and the food,too!

Michelle said...

I love lingonberry jam and someday I hope to actually taste a lingonberry!

Chow and Chatter said...

wow great food and fun times you live in the right city for hooking up with foodies for sure lOL

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a great get together, and what wonderful eats. THere's nothing better than good food and good friends.
*kisses* HH

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Everything is so deliciously beautiful..have a super trip to SF...

That's Ron said...

wow!!! that looks great!

Bellini Valli said...

Sounds like an excellent way to spend the weekend!!

Joanne said...

I love blogger meet-ups! They are the best.

Have fun in SF! That festival sounds amazing!

Bridgett said...

What fun! Maybe I will see you there this weekend, in amongst the crowds, of course ;)

OysterCulture said...

Hey, we'll be there on Sunday, hope to meet in person. In the mean time, safe travels and save us some samples =)

El said...

That's a lot of food! Glad you had fun!

sophia said...

Christine, I'm so envious! I agree, the biggest perk of food blogging is the awesome friendships you gain!
I really wish I could meet you in person...that would be SUCH an honor!

Chef E said...

I started my Scotch Masters Class tonight, so you guys have fun fun fun! I had a tiny portion of good food compared to you guys!

Love the spread sheet, love it, lol!

sweetlife said...

what a wonderful time you must of lovely..enjoy the festival


theUngourmet said...

What a neat place! I love that first photo of the building. The Swedish Meatballs look amazing! :)

Velva said...

Tender sweedish meatballs sound delightful-Delicious. I am not sure I can help with the food list for Pebble Beach because it all looks good. But, I will be waiting to read the posts when you return.

Stephanie Savors the Moment said...

Mmmmm those Swedish meatballs look delicious! Sounds like a fun meal with some fun friends. Hope you enjoy Pebble Beach Food & Wine - Cheers!

Tara said...

As always, great pics! These pics are making my tummy growl!

Krissy @ said...

ooh were you one of the lucky people that got picked for the free tickets from foodbuzz??? if so, congrats and have a wonderful time at pebble beach! look for ravenous couple.. they will be there!

A Canadian Foodie said...

How can you pick... do Michael
Chiarello for sure, and Sherry Yard... and I'd do Church... but, if you work at it, you should be able to get through them all. We do almost that many at Indulgence - a F and W fest in our city, and I seem to get to and through each one. Just a taste, a photo and on to the next... but a LOT of learning, and incredible differences between venues. You, of course, will be at the creme de la creme of F and W fests. Have fun and tell us all about it.

Sherry said...

Hi Christine, I vote for the two pork belly dishes - yum!

Sophie said...

I also love blooger meet- ups!! They are allways lots of fun!

The food & those lovely dishes in this Scandinavic House look so tempting & appetizing too! Georgous pictures too, Christine!

The Duo Dishes said...

Big fans of blogger meet ups. It's so nice to go from virtual to real life.

Katy ~ said...

How nice to be able to share a meal with friends in such an elegant atmosphere. The Swedish meatballs would have been my choice as well. The sauce sounds intriguing. I hope you have a wonderful SF trip.

Debinhawaii said...

Looks like a delicious meal--love the Swedish meatballs, and so nice to meet up with fellow bloggers.

Tom Douglas is one of my favorite chefs ever--all of his Seattle restaurants are stellar--I would go there and try his food for sure! ;-)

lostpastremembered said...

That looks like so much fun... next time there's an NYC event... count me in! Hope you have a great time in Pebble Beach.. the roster looks amazing. I look forward to your posts from the road!

Barbara said...

Such fun to meet with other bloggers and enjoy/critique a meal together, Christine!

And your Pebble Beach trip sounds wonderful. When I go to tastings like this (on a much smaller scale or I couldn't manage it) I try nearly everything!
If I have to choose, however, I definitely try the chilled pea soup, both pork belly dishes and the mixed berry cordonniere.
Can't wait for your report!

Mari's Cakes said...

I am glad you ha an excellent time. The meat look awesome....actually every plate looks delicious. Thank you for sharing all these goodies.

Have a blessed day.

Claudia said...

The smorgasbord brought back grand memories of my teen birthdays in NYC where we always went to a now-closed restaurant for a terrific smorgasbord. Glad to see the tradition alive and kicking! Enjoy Pebble Beach!

TKW said...

Have a great time at the festival! I look forward to hearing all about it!

Penny said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. Anything Michael Chiarello makes would be my choice. Have Fun and look forward to your comments.

Trissa said...

Enjoy San Fran. I hope to see you when I get to NYC! I'll email you!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Looks like a good time was had by all. Hope you have a great trip to Pebble Beach.

Trix said...

What fun! I'd love to lunch with you one of these days! And good luck deciding what to eat at Pebble Beach ... (Or you could just be a pig like me and eat everything. )

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I bet you all had fun! Meatballs and lingonberries - yummmm! Peanut butter crunch and salted caramel cream sound like a treat. Enjoy!

Kathleen said...

I am jealous! Wish I was at the festival!!! I hope you have an absolute blast!

Kim said...

I hope you have an absolutely wonderful time in Pebble Beach. I'm sure all the food will be wonderful. The last one with Dory Ford and the pasta crostini sounds interesting. Safe travels.

Pierce said...

What fun - I'm jealous!

Mar said...

I want to be there with you
A kiss from Spain

tasteofbeirut said...

This stopover at the scandinavian restaurant flashed me back to several family meetings in Paris in years past at the "La maison du Danemark" on the Champs Elysees!
What I would do in Pebble Beach? chill out at the beach with some Los Reyes Cheese and baguette and wine!

Tiny Urban Kitchen said...

It was great seeing you! Ha ha, if people put two and two together, they'll read your post and know the answer to the "quiz" on my post. :)

Gloria said...

Have a nice weekend Christine, huggs gloria

Lori said...

Blogger meet-ups are the best. I love all of the great people blogging has introduced me to. Looks like a wonderful meal and I absolutely love lingonberries. They sell a jam at IKEA so I always stock up. :)

Can't wait to see the recap of the fest.

ModernMom said...

So suddenly my turkey sandwich at lunch is just nopt cutting it! lol Great post as always:)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

How exciting to attend the Food and Wine festival! You shouldn't limit yourself to a short list!

Little Inbox said...

Hi, feel free to come to my blog to stand a chance to win a Rachael Ray Casserole!

Haddock said...

:-) Have a good time at San Francisco

Lori Lynn said...

I'd try that herring. Yum.

Have a great trip, can't wait to hear all about it!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

I cannot wait to meet you in May when I am in town!!!! I can't wait to read all about your trip either - living vicariously is the best I can do!

Anonymous said...

Christine! I'm sorry I ignored you when you called me "Stephanie" today! I was just confused, and wet. What a gross day! I wish we could have bumped into each other again. But what an awesome afternoon, from a pure food/wine perspective, yes?

Hope you're enjoying your time here, rain and all...

Juliana said...

Oh Christine! I am sure that is was a fun time...all the dishes look wonderful, so well presented :-)

Cocina Savant said...

Michael Chiarello's Octopus and whatever comes from the kitchen of Spago would be my first choices. You make me quite jealous looking at that incredible list of dishes and chefs. I hope you have an excellent time though. On a second look back through the list, the soy braised pork belly with gingered brussels sprout slaw sounds awfully tasty.

rental mobil said...

I love blogger meet-ups! They are the best.
Have fun in SF! That festival sounds amazing!

Joy said...

WOW this looks amazing all the dishes look delicious -- how wonderful that you got to meet some bloggers, you guys are all beautiful ladies. Great to hear you had a wonderful time!

Diana Bauman said...

Christine, I'm so jealous! Wish I was there!! I am so posting our day next week :D Would love to spend some time with you again!