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Walnut Creek Magazine

Go Nordic This Holiday Season with a Julbord Holiday Feast at PLÄJ or Stockhome

Oct 09, 2019 05:57PM ● By Fran Miller



It may still be 80° outside, but as the nights grow longer, it’s only natural that we start the ‘nesting’ process. Think fuzzy blankets, warm fires, and glowing candles, all of which eventually direct us to the holidays. And in the land of snow and ice, where each of these aforementioned hygge-like amenities are plentifully found, the holidays are a season unmatched. Scandinavia is about as close to the holiday idyll as one can get. And if a trip to Sweden is not in your travel forecast, fret not. Roberth and Andrea Sundell bring a bit of Sweden to the Bay Area in the form of their two lauded eateries, PLÄJ Restaurant in San Francisco and Stockhome Restaurant in Petaluma – each of which presents a Julboard Holiday Feast, the likes of which you’ll not find anywhere this side of the Atlantic.

PLÄJ interior


Stockhome interior

The incredibly talented, cuisine-focused Sundells have expertly combined haute stylization with the casual fare of one of the world’s most celebrated cuisines in this culinary capital of the world. PLÄJ (pronounced ‘play’) was recently named among the San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Restaurant List just weeks after its sister restaurant, Stockhome, was named ‘Bib Gourmand’ in the 2019 Michelin Guide.

“We are thrilled that our family-run business is continuing to garner such acclaim,” said Andrea, who oversees the front and back of house for both restaurants. “We are also excited about celebrating a banner year and the rise of Scandinavian dining culture in Northern California with two diverse, yet authentic variations during this popular holiday.  

PLÄJ’s take on Julbord will showcase family-style Scandinavian delicacies including spiced wine, pickled herring and smoked meatson four consecutive Sundays in December: 1, 8, 15 and 22. At Stockhome, Julbord will be celebrated with a buffet overflowing with well-loved Scandinavian favorites on Saturday December 14.

Both menus will feature holiday favorites and flavors found year-round in Scandinavian cuisine. Cinnamon, cardamom and clove will meld with traditional smoking techniques utilized in salmon and herring dishes. House-made pate and charcuterie, freshly baked, handmade breads, ice creams and sorbets will be served beside popular dishes such as Halibut crudo with pickled red onion, honeydew melon and crispy garlic and poached lobster with dill flower, lumpfish caviar, Skagen (a Danish town salad dressing), horseradish and avocado chili for example.

PLÄJ’s cozy environs are a rare find in the city – contemporary, mid-century Scandinavian modernism meets a warm Nordic feel. In the main dining room, light ash furnishings with black accents mingle with the Scandinavian floral wallpaper found in the semi-private dining room  where pops of color are found in patterns and textiles. 

Petaluma’s Stockhome is playful, fun and a bit more casual. The interior designed by Andrea, is a relaxed, minimal, cheery, sunlit haven where the handicrafts of local artisans are highlighted – think jewelry, pottery, assorted gifts, and imported Swedish candies.

Stockhome interior


Offering a taste of the Sundell’s favorite culinary influences, the menu includes classic Scandinavian cuisine and modern Stockholm street food that utilize local Sonoma County ingredients. 

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for being able to offer a taste of the cuisine that shaped my own palate and share my culture with so many people through my food,” said Roberth.  

PLÄJ, 333 Fulton Street, San Francisco. Call 415-294-8925 for Julbord Feast reservations, or click here.

Stockhome, 220 Western Ave., Petaluma. Call 707-981-8511 for Julbord Feast reservations, or click here.