Dining in Sweden: Pio Country Club

Despite the cheesy name, Pio Country Club, in south Sweden along the road between Halmstad and Simlångsdalen, is a very good restaurant. Two years ago we had a very nice mid-summer’s dinner there with typical Swedish mid-summer’s dishes in haute cuisine fashion with paired wines. This year we discovered that the guy who runs it is a fan of Argentina, has visited the country and serves great Argentinian food.  They have a garden where they grow their own vegetables and everything is freshly made from good quality ingredients. Reservations are required; since it is a bit out of the way they are not used to serving people who just show up unannounced.

The restaurant is located in a hotel with a nice garden where you can have an aperitif in summer. They serve a menu of between 3 and 6 courses, if desired accompanied by a wine package.

The appetizer was a ceviche of sea scallops ‘cooked’ in lime juice and olive oil, served with fresh fennel and tomatoes from the garden, fennel fronds, chile pepper and oregano flowers. A nice dish with great texture, even though the taste of the scallops was slightly overwhelmed by the other flavors. Paired well with a high-altitude torrentes from Argentina, a very aromatic wine that is imported into Sweden just for this restaurant.

Rib-eye steak from the BBQ, cooked on the medium side of medium rare, with beets from the garden and chimichurri. Again the Argentinian origins of the dish are obvious. I like it very much that they serve it like this and offer to cook it longer if you want. Both beef and beets had a lot of taste, and paired well with an oaked Malbec from Argentina.

It was not a surprise that also the dessert is from Argentina: dulce de leche with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream. Good match with a late harvest riesling from Chile.

Pio is not cheap at SEK 595 (EUR 72/US$ 89) for 3 courses plus SEK 450 (EUR 55/US$ 67) for matching wines, although I should mention that I do not know how this compares to other Swedish restaurants. This is not Michelin star level, but certainly very good and worth going to if you are in the neighborhood.


6 thoughts on “Dining in Sweden: Pio Country Club

  1. I’ve impressed myself because I think I can see from the pic that the steak is the medium side of medium rare – I mean its a bit more medium than I would have it – if you see what I mean


  2. I would be more on the rare side of rare but never mind that. The scallops look excellent. I love the idea of ‘cooking’ them in lime. The desert looks excellent too. In fact it all looks fantastic and I really approve of the wine matching.


    1. Thanks Conor, it was an excellent dinner. I would have preferred the steak to be slightly more rare too, but it was good all the same. I’ll have to post about a ceviche recipe soon (before the summer’s over, I mean).


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