Bergen and Oslo recs

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Peter Kleban
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#1 Post by Peter Kleban » September 21st, 2016, 3:13 pm

We'll be in Norway for a few days starting Sept. 29th.

Any recs for dinner in Bergen and Oslo?

Also, recs for a fjord tour from Bergen (a part-day trip is what we're looking for). I realize it will almost certainly rain on us in Bergen, but so be it!

TIA!!
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#2 Post by Peter Kleban » September 23rd, 2016, 5:45 am

Bumpity-boo!
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#3 Post by TR Barry » September 23rd, 2016, 2:52 pm

I will ask around and see what I can find out Peter. My companies headquarters are in Oslo and my brother has traveled over a few times for meetings so hopefully between him and the office team I can provide some help.
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#4 Post by Peter Kleban » September 23rd, 2016, 6:16 pm

TR Barry wrote:I will ask around and see what I can find out Peter. My companies headquarters are in Oslo and my brother has traveled over a few times for meetings so hopefully between him and the office team I can provide some help.
Thanks, Todd (I take it that's your name!). I'll look for your reply.

FWIW I located a few that sound interesting:

Territoriet (wine bar with tapas)

Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin

THEATERCAFÉEN (in the hotel Continental)

Oro Restaurant + Bar & Grill [edit: this seems to be permanently closed]

Solsiden sounds very good, but it's closed for the season.
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#5 Post by Magnus Solhjell » September 26th, 2016, 10:42 am

I live in Oslo. Territoriet is a good choice, it is probably the best wine bar here. A good mix of classic and less traditional bottles and pretty much everything is available by the glass.

Tjuvholmen is one of the three best seafood restaurants in Oslo, the others are Mares and Fjord.

Theatercafeen is a place to see for the atmosphere, the food is overrated.

Other places I like in Oslo include Le Benjamin, a french bistro around the corner from Territoriet, and Trattoria Popolare, a good italian restaurant a little further down the street. Delicatessen, a tapas place next door to Le Benjamin, is also good. Cru is also worth a visit, they have a wine bar in the basement and a restaurant on the first floor. Their wine list is excellent and the staff is very knowledgeable.

I haven't been to Bergen in a few years, but I've heard very good things about Lysverket and Marg & Bein. Edit: And Colonialen.
Last edited by Magnus Solhjell on September 26th, 2016, 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Bergen and Oslo recs

#6 Post by Magnus Solhjell » September 26th, 2016, 10:45 am

Other places to consider in Oslo include Publiko, Bass and Sentralen. If there is anything specific you are interested in, please let me know.

One more thing: What you really don't want to miss in Oslo are the good coffee places. My personal favorite is Supreme Roastworks, but Tim Wendelboe is also great. Fuglen is worth a visit both for the coffee and the atmosphere.

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Bergen and Oslo recs

#7 Post by Henrik N » September 27th, 2016, 12:45 am

I agree with many Magnus here, Le Benjamin is a very good choice. Just around the corner from Territoriet as well.

Wine list: http://lebenjamin.no/content/2-menus/vin-september.pdf

Trattoria Popolare is a good choice as well. Italian menu, located pretty much in the same spot as Le Benajmin & Territoriet.

Wine list: http://www.popolare.no/files/uploads/wine.pdf

Kolonialen is another good choice. One of the guys from Maaemo started it last month. Astral should be worth a visit, as well as Publiko, Bass and Sentralen as Magnus mentioned. Other good choices might be BA 53 or perhaps Bokbacka, depending on what kind of restaurant you are looking for, as well as in what area of town.
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#8 Post by Peter Kleban » September 30th, 2016, 10:28 am

Thanks Magnus and Henrik! I got very busy in London, so just came back to this thread today. We got to Bergen fairly late last night, so went to the Fisketorget resto for dinner because it's nearby. It was excellent, my first taste of hot smoked herring as a starter and the sole for mains was very nicely done. They had Fevre Chablis by the glass which went very well. Tonight we're off to Marg & Bein, thanks to Magnus. I'll report back.

I made a reservation at Sjomagasinet in Oslo for Tues night, but if one of your recs looks better I'll just change that. Haven't got to it just yet.

Really enjoying Bergen despite the rainy weather (actually, we were out on a fjord this am and I had the feeling it may well look better under a grey sky). Our first time in Norway.
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#9 Post by Peter Kleban » September 30th, 2016, 3:01 pm

Magnus, thanks very much to whoever told you about Marg & Bein. We just went, and it really was very good. The bone marrow starter was a nice combination of rich, pickled, and fresh f;avprs (parsley IIRC). I had their version of Plukkfisk (hope I'm spelling that right :-) ). This combines two smoked white fish (didn't get the species), potatoes, bacon, beets, pickled carrots, and (I think) bread crumbs. The fish and potatoes were slightly mashed, the other ingredients in small bits. The flavor of the whole was really interesting, one of the most compelling dishes I've had recently. Whoever invented it is very talented. My other half had the ox cheek which was greatly enjoyed. I got a glass of '13 Maîtrot Bourgogne Blanc which was very nice, and complemented well. The room is airy and pleasant, tho a bit noisy due to several parties going on tonight, and the waitresses were very good and fun to talk to--one of them even apologized for the noise.

BTW, I get the impression that people in service jobs in Norway are far happier than in the States, maybe because they are better taken care of over there (better salaries and benefits from what I've heard).
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#10 Post by Peter Kleban » October 11th, 2016, 6:23 pm

To complete this:
The last night in Bergen, we went to Colonialen (thanks for bringing it to my attention, Magnus). We thought of Lysverket, but it was booked and apparently very noisy on a Saturday night. Anyway, Colonialen had some things that were off the charts (in a good way), especially appetizers. The starters and mains varied a bit. For starters: My other half: Beets with black currant and sabayonne, which was greatly appreciated, me: Hake with sea weed, tomato and mussel consumé, also very good if not spectacular. Mains were lamb with cabbage and chanterelles (apparently they get ripe in September and October up there!) and monkfish with cabbage and gooseberries (what they list as cabbage could in fact be some root vegetable, didn't taste like cabbage usually does). Anyway, there were at least very interesting, but our impression was that their chef tries a bit too hard--the dishes had a few too many ingredients, making them overly complicated; they might have been better if a bit simpler. The ambiance is very pleasant, and the service attentive but not too much so and very knowledgeable. Of course you're paying roughly 2X what you would at Marg & Bein, but so be it! Our wine was Domaine du Pélican Arbois 2014, a mix of Pinot Noir and two Jura grapes (one was Poulsard IIRC), very light and on the acidic side, but went very nicely with all these dishes.

The next night we were in Oslo, but by the time we were ready for dinner it was late and we didn't feel like exploring, so we went to the nearby Brasserie 45, which is fine if not very elaborate. I had mooseburger, very tasty! The next night we were at the Opera, so we stopped at Sentralen on the way back to the hotel. This was really fun, a very informal but pleasant and welcoming place, that serves a list of smaller dishes; kind of a choose your own tasting menu. The food was very high quality and well prepared, I'd definitely go back there. The next (and last) night we ate at Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin. This is in a very welcoming modern building, right near the water's edge (but it was too late to see much, I'm not sure how much view you'd get in daytime) and the service was again very good, if not at the Colonialen level. The food was of extremely high quality and imaginative. I had scallop starters and fish of the day (common ling).

Perhaps I should mention the breakfast buffets at the hotels we were in (Clarion Admiral in Bergen, where we got a view of a rainbow over Bryggen one day!) and Christiana Teater in Oslo. These were really impressive, in Bergen they had about six kinds of herring and three of smoked salmon, besides lots of other things, and the quality was very high. I ended up eating fish three times a day!

Overall, we really liked Norway, and not just for the food!

PS I should add, it's not as expensive as you (probably) think! Prices are, very roughly, like in Manhattan. I think the NOK has come down quite a bit relative to the dollar in the last 4 or 5 years, which I suppose explains that. The hotels, for ex, were about $200/night (which is actually cheaper than NYC for the equivalent).
IMG_2890.jpg
Bryggen view, Bergen
IMG_2890.jpg (16.02 KiB) Viewed 1290 times
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#11 Post by Odd Rydland » October 15th, 2016, 11:16 pm

My daughter is the restaurant manager/waitress at Marg & Bein, glad you liked it. Small world....

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#12 Post by Peter Kleban » October 16th, 2016, 8:50 am

Odd Rydland wrote:My daughter is the restaurant manager/waitress at Marg & Bein, glad you liked it. Small world....
Small world indeed! Very likely we talked with your daughter (I think we spoke with two waitresses that night, both of whom were friendly, interesting people and seemed to really enjoy what they were doing). Congratulations to her on a very good and well-run restaurant!
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Simon Bize Savigny-lès-Beaune Les Bourgeots '14
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#13 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 19th, 2016, 2:48 am

As always, thanks for these posts. Headed to Oslo on Monday!
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#14 Post by Magnus Solhjell » November 22nd, 2016, 2:26 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote:As always, thanks for these posts. Headed to Oslo on Monday!
Welcome! Be advised that the restaurants are getting busier now in the pre-christmas season, so you might want to be early with reservations, especially in the weekend (if you're staying until the weekend, that is).

And don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

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#15 Post by Andrew Kotowski » November 22nd, 2016, 2:45 am

In and out for business, leaving Wednesday. Went to http://www.vaaghals.com/ with one of my directs and enjoyed dinner. Wine list wasn't bad and I had a 2012 Domaine Les Bruyeres Crozes Hermitage Reynaud that was reasonably priced. Food was good, as was the background on the chefs, etc.

Holy ridiculously expensive taxis though. Granted, I'm staying up next to a ski jump at the hotel "The Shining" was filmed in (I kid), but...

Again - grateful for the posts; dinner was prearranged, to my surprise.
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#16 Post by Peter Kleban » November 27th, 2016, 8:30 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:In and out for business, leaving Wednesday. Went to http://www.vaaghals.com/ with one of my directs and enjoyed dinner. Wine list wasn't bad and I had a 2012 Domaine Les Bruyeres Crozes Hermitage Reynaud that was reasonably priced. Food was good, as was the background on the chefs, etc.

Holy ridiculously expensive taxis though. Granted, I'm staying up next to a ski jump at the hotel "The Shining" was filmed in (I kid), but...

Again - grateful for the posts; dinner was prearranged, to my surprise.
Glad you had a good time Andrew. Yes taxis are out of sight, it's best to use public transport when you can (but you have to find tickets, not totally obvious!) or walk.
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#17 Post by Andrew Kotowski » February 14th, 2017, 9:45 pm

Headed back to Oslo for a few days at the end of the month. I looked up Magnus's three recs and they all look great... then I looked up where I'm staying on a map, based on my memory of taxi fares.

It appears I'm staying on the edge of civilization in a farmhouse. http://www.lysebu.no/en/

Mares looks like the closest, but is still 25 mins away with no traffic. Would you revisit your recommendations based on location, or just suck up the taxi fare and deal with the "dinner was worth the $100 taxi ride (each way)" conversation that I will inevitably have?
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#18 Post by Henrik N » February 15th, 2017, 5:20 am

If you are staying at Lysebu, they have one of the best winecellars in Norway.
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#19 Post by Andrew Kotowski » February 15th, 2017, 6:09 am

Henrik N wrote:If you are staying at Lysebu, they have one of the best winecellars i Norway.
Tough one then. I don't expense nice wine, so it'll be on my personal card. Will have to check out the list, etc., as I usually avoid hotel restaurants. Sounds like this might be the exception :D
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#20 Post by Magnus Solhjell » February 24th, 2017, 1:38 am

Andrew Kotowski wrote: Mares looks like the closest, but is still 25 mins away with no traffic. Would you revisit your recommendations based on location, or just suck up the taxi fare and deal with the "dinner was worth the $100 taxi ride (each way)" conversation that I will inevitably have?
My recommendation would be public transport neener . It takes about 35 mins to the city centre, costs about $5 one way and most of the journey is really beautiful.

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Bergen and Oslo recs

#21 Post by Andrew Kotowski » February 24th, 2017, 8:13 am

Magnus Solhjell wrote:
Andrew Kotowski wrote: Mares looks like the closest, but is still 25 mins away with no traffic. Would you revisit your recommendations based on location, or just suck up the taxi fare and deal with the "dinner was worth the $100 taxi ride (each way)" conversation that I will inevitably have?
My recommendation would be public transport neener . It takes about 35 mins to the city centre, costs about $5 one way and most of the journey is really beautiful.
Will let you know where we do dinner on Monday night. I get in late Sunday (21:00), Monday is planned by the local team and I opted for the hotel restaurant on Tuesday based on the wine cellar note above and the fact that this particular place is on the edge of civilization. I need to get back to Oslo during the summer, instead of all this winter nonsense.
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Bergen and Oslo recs

#22 Post by Andrew Kotowski » September 11th, 2017, 9:19 pm

Back in Oslo visiting the local office again. Had a group dinner at Festningen last night and was very impressed. The view, which looks back across the water/harbor, reminded me of Palisade in Seattle and the meat... was spot on. Again, everything was presented family style, but I'd love to go back and destroy their wine list while gorging on chunks of meat. Would love to hear from one of the locals if they've been for a normal dinner.

Couple of pics from dinner below. Other note - the restaurant was a prison at one point in time, which was a fun story.
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Re: Bergen and Oslo recs

#23 Post by scott c » April 21st, 2019, 5:59 pm

I have one night in Oslo in a couple of weeks, on the way back to the States after Faviken. We booked Kolonialen. Please tell me whether to keep it or suggest a replacement. We figured a bistro-like vibe would be a good idea since Faviken will have been such an ordeal the night before. We're staying at The Thief hotel if that helps.
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Re: Bergen and Oslo recs

#24 Post by Magnus Solhjell » April 23rd, 2019, 1:02 am

Kolonialen is a fine choice.

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Re: Bergen and Oslo recs

#25 Post by scott c » June 4th, 2019, 12:51 pm

Magnus Solhjell wrote:
April 23rd, 2019, 1:02 am
Kolonialen is a fine choice.
Thanks. We had a great time! Very welcoming crew, good list, and excellent food. Definitely recommended.
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