In October 2018 my friends Martin Ljungqvist and Miriam Bensafiddine opened the doors to LIVS – a restaurant at Bjurholmsgatan 18 in the south district of Stockholm. LIVS is a dream come true for Martin and Miriam, it’s a family business with an ambition to create an ‘at-home’ feeling – and they certainly nailed it!
As I entered the venue Martin greeted me with a smile. A regular ordered the duck at the table next to the bar and at the bar-disk another regular enjoyed a glass of red wine. I parked myself next to her at the bar, and I asked Martin about their beers. LIVS is a restaurant focused on food and craft beer. Their wine selection is modest but genuine. Their cocktail list consists (so far) of long drinks and the only advancement in that area they might agree to stretch to is perhaps serving Negronis and Old Fashioneds, eventually. I mentioned a Daiquiri might be nice come spring, and Martin then replied with: “Well, then we need to squeeze lime and shit.” Fair enough! This is not a cocktail bar – and it shouldn’t be. It’s a beer bar. They do beer, and they do it because they love it and they’re damn good at it. So I’m just gonna shut up about the cocktails and simply leave them with their expertise and passion, and with that chilled kind of family way they do things at LIVS. And I mean, I love beer too, so alles in ordnung, hey!
Martin went through their menu of craft beer on tap and I decided to go with what I thought was the least safe card: Nerdbrewing- Implements Imperial Chocolate Truffle Stout – Cinnamon & Licorice edition. You see, I’m not that fond of licorice, but I did fancy a stout since I’d been aiming for their oysters since October – and the stout-oyster combination is on the other hand a safe card, indeed. At my visit they served Fine de Normandie No. 3 with Oxalis, black currant and olive oil. The licorice- and chocolate heavy stout together with the distinguished salty and slightly acidic taste of oysters (although they didn’t add any acidity) was a 1 + 1 = 3 experience that without a doubt got those dopamine centers in my brain firing! I continued with the duck as well, and washed it down with a rather fruity – and for me totally perfect – red wine on carignan grapes from Roussillon- Languedoc in south of France called Le temps des Gitans. Over dinner I enjoyed a conversation with the regular who sat next to me. Turns out she’s a sommelier and we got straight into talking about wine and beverage in general.
The family-vibe embraced me as I entered LIVS, and it lingered through out the whole evening. Especially since my best friend joined me, who’s also a good friend of Martin and Miriam. It was a great evening. Very calm, very delightful. If you’re in Stockholm, pay LIVS a visit and enjoy the ambience, the beer, the exquisite cuisine and the venue. And pay some attention to the art hanging on the walls. It’s unique and intriguing. I especially liked the squint-eyed horse in the restroom!