Friday, November 20, 2009

There is a new restaurant in town

Well, actually it is not really one new restaurant but two. Renaa Restauranter is actually 2 restaurants located where Craigs kjøkken and Jans mat og vinhus was located. Craigs when bankrupt this year but I think that Jans did OK but the whole place is now taken over by Sven Erik Renaa and that should hopefull spell success. He has been voted chef of the year, he has been on the Norwegian Bocuse d'Or and together with Jostein Medhus and Sebastian Myhre they seem to be quite a powerful team (see http://restaurantrenaa.no/omoss.htm)

Anyway, the restaurant is split in 2: upstairs (in the former Craigs kjøkken) you can now find Renaa: Matbaren which seems to be a place for informal dining. Downstairs they have done a bit of work to the old Jans mat og vinhus place and this is now called Renaa: Restauranten and this will be the place for fine dining.

I had the pleasure to drop by the opening party held at the restaurant yesterday and we got to look around, drink some champagne and taste some samples of food that might be served when they open the restaurant. I think they have their first guests today and would you like to wish them the best of luck. I look forward to trying out the restaurant soon. Read more about the restaurant on http://restaurantrenaa.no/index.htm

Here are some photos from the place.















Thursday, August 6, 2009

Charles & De in - the best alternative in Sandnes

There are not that many places to eat in Stavanger's neighbor city Sandnes but when Charles & De opened a few years back, that helped a lot. We went there in the beginning of August 2009 before going to the movies and we had the Tom Yam that was not spicy enough according to Nikki and too salty. Gard had the cheddar burger which was a bit on the boring side. But we did like the fact that the portions were not too big and that we got fried potatoes instead of french fries to go with the burger. The menu at Charles & De is not bad and we will certainly try the place again...but then again, there are not that many places to choose from in Sandnes ;-) Check out the menu and opening hours on http://www.charlesogde.no/ . They also sell various food stuff to bring back home...and maybe you can even bring home some of the desserts that they had on display. Our meal today was about 300 kroner. Below is a video with a summary of what we thought and some photos of our meal :-)

video









Saturday, July 18, 2009

Delhi Indisk restaurant & bar – the new Indian place in town

In the last few months a few restaurants in Stavanger have closed down due to the economic situation in Stavanger. One of the restaurants that closed down was Soleado despite the fact that reviews were good. But it is great to see that new restaurants are popping up where the others have closed down. A few weeks back we heard that a new Indian place was going to open up in the same place where Soleado was located. When we came there on a weekday in mid-July, the first thing I noticed was the text on the window saying “A part of Indian Tandoori”. Indian Tandoori is one of the oldest (if not the oldest Indian restaurant in town) and we have been there many times to enjoy Indian food.


Delhi looks a lot more modern that Indian Tandoori that’s for sure and we got a table even if we didn’t have a reservation. Our waitress came over to ask us if we had made up our minds and we were a bit confused when she spoke in English…did she maybe just assume that we spoke English? Based on what she was speaking to one of her colleagues I would guess she was from Eastern Europe somewhere. We decided to go for (and I’m quoting the bill here) no. 32 Hariyali Lahsuni Tikka and no. 42 Malai Makhi Masala – with Lasani naan bread and rice on the side. One thing that our waitress forgot was to ask us if we wanted it mild or spicy.


The food came to our table pretty fast and my dish (the tikka) was pieces of chicken marinaded on garlic served on onion, a salad on the side and a sauce to go along with it. The chicken was very good indeed but the onion that it was served on was not fried long enough so it had not gotten to the stage where it turns nice and sweet. It would also have been nice to have the sauce a bit more on the spicy side. Nikki seemed pleased with her masala but she also commented on the fact that she would have liked to have it spicier. We did not get the naan bread to start with and we just assumed that they had forgotten about it and we didn’t bother asking for it as it looked like there was enough food. But halfway through our meal we got it. The naan bread was a bit different from what we are used to from Indian Tandoori…and it was not as good as the one that we are used to.


All in all we had to pay 515 kroner for the meal including a glass of red wine. I’m sure we will go back as the location is convenient in connection with going to the movies in Stavanger and the food was pretty good. You can find a bit more information on http://www.delhi.no/ - hopefully the menu will be posted here eventually :-)

Regards
Gard
gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures



Sunday, July 12, 2009

Brasserie Myhregaarden - several things that can be improved

Note that this place has closed down :-(

We walked around Stavanger on a nice summer day in July and we walked past one of Stavanger newest hotels, Myhregaarden hotell, and we noticed that their restaurant called Brasserie Myhregaarden had expanded to also offer tables outside of the restaurant. We checked out the menu and decided to try it out for lunch as they had available tables in the sun. It was free seating so we just grabbed a table and as the menu was limited it didn’t take us that long to decide on what to eat….Nikki wanted the hamburger and I wanted to try the Caesar’s salad. Shouldn’t the menu be in both Norwegian and English by the way?

We had to wait a while for the waiter and he even took an order from people that had arrived after us and in the end we had to sort of wave to get his attention. Nikki ordered a glass of Coke with no ice, the hamburger with no cheese and I just went for the salad and water. After a couple of minutes we got the drinks but Nikki’s Coke (or was it a Pepsi) contained lots of ice. It didn’t take that long for the food to come either but the first thing we noticed was that the hamburger had cheese on it. As Nikki is lactose intolerant she prefers to not have too much cheese. So we informed the waiter about the cheese and he was like sighing and told us that it was the kitchen that had made the mistake and not him. Come on guys….you should work as a team and not blame each other. But the waiter removed the hamburger and came back with it pretty fast and they had just scraped of the cheese…fair enough. So now we were almost ready to eat….Nikki just had to ask for cutlery first. At this point we felt that we had asked the waiter for so many things that Nikki felt a bit awkward about asking for some tomato sauce for the potatoes that came with the hamburger.

Let’s start with the Caesar’s salad…this salad is a classic and it is just romano salad served with a special dressing, parmesan shaving etc…Brasserie Myhregaarden’s salad was also served with chicken and bread crotons (which is very common as well). The salad and dressing was good but the chicken was very dry and I think the bread crotons must be the worst crotons that I have tasted….ever. Nikki’s burger seemed to be OK but it was served on a tiny plate so it was a bit tricky eating it without showing the potatoes out of the plate.
In the end we asked for the bill and it took a while to get that. When we finally got it we were informed that they did not take cards only cash!! Eh…for once I did have cash in my wallet but normally I only use cards when going out to eat. I do hope that this is just a temporary problem at the restaurant.

Conclusion
As you understand we were not that happy with our meal at Brasserie Myhregaarden. Our waiter seemed inexperienced, there were problems with our orders and the food was not outstanding. I hope that this is just a problem for the lunch menu but I have to admit that I’m skeptical about going back to try out their dinner menu.
The hotel and restaurant is located at Nygaten 24 and you can check out the hotel homepage here: http://www.myhregaardenhotel.no/

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ostehuset has moved into a new place

If you have a good memory you might remember that I have been to Ostehuset before – back then it was a bit of a disaster as I found a rubber band in my food (see review from back then). Even though it put me of a bit to say the least, we have gone back there several times as it is a great place for a fast snack in an informal atmosphere. Recently they moved from their previous location in Klubbgata to a new place in Hospitalgata…only about 100 meter from the old location. The new place is better in my opinion…bigger, lots of light coming in from the big windows and still the informal atmosphere.

Nikki and I went there before going to the movies a day in June and as you can see from their menu on http://www.ostehuset.no/ the selection of stuff to eat is pretty good. I ended up ordering the risotto fennel with chicken confit and Nikki went for a bacon and shrimp sandwich. We only had 40 minutes before the movie was starting and I asked if this would be a problem and the girl behind the counter said no problem. Well, I guess that depends on your definition of “no problem” as we got the food 10 minutes before the movie was about to start.

My risotto was simply delicious…it had the texture that I feel a risotto should have and it tasted excellent. There were big chunks of juice chicken in it and the fennel was sprinkled on top with parmesan cheese and rocket leaves. Nikki’s sandwich on the other hand looked pretty naked…due to her lactose intolerance she had asked to get the dressing on the side and she was left with just pieces of bread with bacon and shrimp – were there not supposed to be any form of salad on the sandwich I wonder?
Anyway…the conclusion is that Ostehuset is still a nice place to grab some snack in an informal environment. Note that you can also get tapas here to bring back home, buy cheese, olive oil etc that you might need for cooking. If I had know that Transformers 2 would be as bad as it was I think I would have skipped it and spent more time eating my risotto ;-)

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
















Monday, June 22, 2009

Great champagne lunch at Tango

For some years I have heard about the champagne lunch at Tango but we have never gotten around to trying it out. We have eaten at restaurant Tango before and that was a pretty good experience but not outstanding in any way. But we decided to try out the champagne lunch on a Saturday in June after it was recommended by friends and I sent an e-mail in advance to book a table – it was a good thing I did that as there were only 1 table left. After a bit of bus trouble we finally arrived at Tango about 1 hour late – I did call the restaurant to make sure they didn’t give away our table and the table was still there waiting for us ;-) The first thing I noticed when I walked into the restaurant was that I was the only guy there! I don’t mind that of course but it was a bit weird – are champagne lunches a chick thing?
The champagne lunch at Tango is very simple: the menu is a set 2 course meal with the option of dessert and you can of course get champagne. So the first question we got at the table was “Do you guys want some champagne today” and we said of course. The champagne was a
Grémillet Brut Selection and it was 400 kroner per bottle (about 60 USD at the moment) or 95 per glass if I’m not mistaken (about 14 USD). This is actually not that bad taken into consideration that it cost 210 kroner at the Vinmonopolet and many restaurants actually triple the prices when they sell it. I’m not an expert on champagne but the Grémillet Brut Selection was easy to drink – or maybe I was just very thirsty as we arrived late :-) The waiter just left the bottle on the table but it was a bit strange that it was not put in a cooler.
After that the waiter came over to present the short set menu and as Nikki has a bit of lactose intolerance she asked if they could modify the dishes a bit and this was no problem at all. The first dish came to the table pretty fast and it was a small portion of pasta, mussels, shrimp, tomato, avocado paste and saffron foam maybe. Anyway, it was a delicious dish with lots of flavors to it.


The location of Tango is great on a nice summer day (like this Saturday was) – when you step outside the restaurant you are at the harbor of Stavanger. When we were there they were preparing for the annual beach volleyball tournament and there were two cruise ships docked.

But back to the food – the main dish of the day was chicken breast, with potatoes and cabbage. I know, it sounds terribly boring and chicken breast can easily turn into a dry disaster. But that was not the case at all at Tango – the chicken breast was delicious and the sauce was full of flavors – enough to compensate for the more anonymous flavors of the potatoes and cabbage.


We decided to go for the dessert as well while we were at it – I got the pannacotta that was on the menu served with strawberries and strawberry sauce and a small ball of lime sherbet on top. Due to Nikki’s allergy, the kitchen whipped up a separate dessert for her: ice cream served on a sweet cracker and sweet almonds. The total price including coffee, some Baileys etc added up to 1250 kroner (190 USD) – the lunch was 275 kroner per person and the dessert was 95 kroner per person.




Conclusion

So there you have it – if you want a lunch with your partner (or with your friends) I can easily recommend Tango and the champagne lunch. Make sure you book a table in advance as it seems to be popular and the seating is limited. You can find the contact details of the restaurant homepage
http://tango-bk.no/ - but don’t expect to find much more. Thanks for a great lunch Nikki – you looked stunning in your black and yellow outfit.


You can check out the location of the restaurant in my Stavanger Google map.

Regards
Gard
gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures




















Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Visiting Uncle Toni again - Ristorante Allegro

I have been to Allegro a few times before and it has always been a great experience. The only problems have been the lack of tables and chairs and that it has been a bit cold in the restaurant as there has always been a draft when people come in the entrance door. To avoid the first problem I booked a table in advance for me and a couple of friends for a week night in May 2009.

When we got there I had to go to the bathroom and I noticed that there was a staircase leading up to the second floor and I had never seen this before. So I went upstairs and it turns out that the restaurant has expanded and the upstairs facilities looked better and warmer than the original restaurant downstairs. So I asked our waiter kindly if we could move up and that was not a problem.

Allegro is a small Italian restaurant and I associate it with Uncle Toni (or Antonio Bjelancic) and I think he has run the restaurant since 2001. My previous visits have been great as it reminds me a lot of Italy…the food is 'simple' but yet very tasty and it seems like he only uses the best ingredients. Nikki and I have gone here many times on special occasions. But this night it was time to see if Uncle Toni could also pass the test on my friends that had never eaten there.

We decided to go for a 5 course menu each and we started by having a 2006 Monsanto Chianti Classico. I started with the scallops in a sauce - you can’t go wrong with scallops and there were even 4 of them in this dish. The soup that came along with the scallops was thick and rich…excellent. After a while it was time for starter number 2 and it was a big prawn. I have never actually seen big prawns like this in a restaurant in Stavanger so I was a bit surprised. Once again it was a very tasty little dish.

From there we moved over to a fish on a bed of noodles. I’m not a big fan of noodles but this was not a bad dish at all. For main course I decided to have the monk fish on a bed of risotto. The risotto was a bit different than what I’m used to but it contained lots of chunks of vegetable and the fish on top was excellent.

In the middle of the meal we did go for bottle of wine number 2 and in order to compare the Chianti Classico we decided to go for a Rosso del Montalcino (Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona). For dessert I had a difficult choice…chocolate fondant or tiramisu. Life is difficult sometime. I did end up with the chocolate fondant and it was just like the one that I make at home…which means that Toni used good butter, good chocolate and lots of eggs :-)

We rounded of the meal with some limoncello and coffee and before we knew it we had spent the entire evening there. In the end we even got to meet the Godfather himself…uncle Toni and he even gave us a limoncello on the house.

Once again I had a great evening at Allegro and the food is excellent at this place. I’m pretty sure that their web site http://www.allegromat.no/no/index.html.htm won’t win any prizes but don’t let that fool you: Allegro is one of the best Italian restaurants in Stavanger. I will certainly be going there again in the future :-)

You can check out the location of the restaurant in my Stavanger Google map.

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures