The popularity of Chef René Redzepi’s Michelin-star Noma in Copenhagen brought Scandinavian cuisine into the spotlight with gourmands around the globe. For the most part, however, Americans are still more likely to conjure images of Ikea meatballs when they think of Swedish food. Waxin’s Restaurant & Bar, a new Swedish-American
eatery in Palm Beach Gardens, is disarming that perception, one beautifully plated dish at a time.
“I’ve been involved in restaurants before as part-owner, but I’ve never had my heart and passion into it like this one,” says Patrick Waxin, who moved to Florida from Sweden nine years ago with fellow founding partner and wife, Tessie, and their three children. The entrepreneurs missed their native cuisine and saw an opportunity. The Waxins began to assemble a team that included Swedish Chef Andreas Nordström, American-German Chef Björn Eicken, Sous Chef David Hagan, and restaurant industry veteran Richard Sandström, who brings a lifetime of experience to his role as co-founder and CEO.
In June, Waxin’s finally opened its doors to the 3,800-square-foot space comprised of a giant bar room with green velvet chairs, a casual TV-lined living room, a spacious chef’s room, and a “Stockholm room” with a private entrance for parties of up to 18 people. There’s also a lush garden patio with an outdoor bar, ideal for social distancing. The sleek and moody aesthetic permeates throughout the space and details, including matte black plates and bold lighting fixtures. Whimsical artwork—like a painting of John McEnroe and Björn Borg—furthers the Swedish-American theme.
The unique menu highlights Swedish cuisine while also taking on American and global classics. “Sweden is without a doubt one of the top three culinary countries in the world,” says Waxin. “If you look at the biggest tournament for chefs, the Bocuse d’Or, I don’t think we’ve placed outside of the top three for the past five years.” Plates like toast Skagen (hand-peeled ice-ocean shrimp from Norway and Iceland on buttered fried toast) and Swedish-style caviar, which is only fished for four weeks out of the year, are alone worth making the trip to Waxin’s. Of course, you’ll also find meatballs with the traditional fixings—a demi cream sauce, pickled cucumber, lingonberries, and potato purée—as well as Wallenbergare, a double-ground veal steak that Waxin refers to as a “luxury meatball.”
“The whole concept of our food is very simplistic,” says Sandström. “For us, it’s about flavors and presentation and how you turn those raw materials into a product that has a lot of thought behind it.” The whole team played a role in developing recipes; diners may notice dishes with names like Patrick’s risotto and Tessie’s bouillabaisse, each with
its own story.
The cocktail program embraces that same sense of simplicity with drinks such as the signature elderflower spritz (gin, elderflower liqueur, cucumber, and prosecco). The presentation, like libations served in an Instagram-worthy rose gold gnome vessel, sets a playful tone. And definitely save room for dessert: Try the strawberry puff, similar to a pâte à choux or profiterole topped with strawberries and dill. The restaurant also plans to launch a plant-based menu in the future, with 8 to 10 items comprising vegan or vegetarian versions of their classic dishes.
Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday,
5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; 5300 Donald Ross Road Unit 130, Palm Beach Gardens; 888.892.9467