Basil & Co: Good pizza but boring pasta

Most restaurants in Stavanger are located in downtown area but with the building of more apartments in the Storhaug/Lervig area, there are places also popping up in the eastern part of the city. Ostehuset Øst have dominated the scene I guess but now there are new additions with places like Øst, Kaffekanna and Basil & Co. Nikki and I tried to book a table at Basil & Co for a Friday night in September 2016 but we were told that you can’t book a table unless you are more than 8 people. We came there at about 8 pm and there were still a couple of table available. We lined up in the line that we thought were the line for getting a table but it turned out that it was free seating and the line was actually for ordering food. The interior of the restaurant is modern – the place just opened after all. There is a combination of chairs and sofas and I was impressed to see power and USB outlets along sections of the seating. I assume they have been installed for letting people charge laptops and gadgets.
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The slogan for the restaurant is “Ferskt.Enkelt.Nydelig” (something like “Fresh, simple and delicious” and their goal is to serve food at an affordable prize. The menu is pretty limited – they have some small dishes, some pizza and some pasta! We looked at the menu and walked over to the counter to order some food and we decided to have a caprese salad and bruschetta as starters and pasta Bolognese and pizza picante as main dishes. The wine was pretty affordable with a bottle starting at 289 NOK (35 USD) and a glass starting at 59 NOK (7 USD). Having said that – this wine does cost 89 NOK at the local wine store so it is amongst the cheapest wines you can get here.
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It didn’t take long before we got the starters. Nikki was happy with her bruschetta as the bread was warm and the tomatoes were tasty. My caprese salad was served in a simple way and looked beautiful! But it was maybe served in a too simple way. It was just small tomatoes sprinkled with a bit of cheese and olive oil and a few leaves of basil on top. The tomatoes were tasty but maybe a bit too hard and I would have preferred it they were pre-sliced as it was a bit tricky to eat them – I ended up chasing tomatoes around on the plate with my fork.
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It then took a while for the main dish to be served. The picante pizza that I got was not bad at all. No, it is not the best pizza that I have ever tasted. It was light on the tomato sauce and sprinkled with the picante salami sausage together with onion and mozzarella. I would have enjoyed some more and more defined tomato sauce and some more defined mozzarella cheese. But all in all the taste was pretty good even if it was a bit on the salty side. Nikki was not too impressed with her pasta Bolognese. She had the option of choosing the type of pasta when she ordered and she decided to go for tagliatelle. When looking at the restaurant homepage I get the impression that everything is handmade from scratch but the paste that she got did not look like that. But I guess the main problem was that there was not a lot of sauce but a lot of pasta. Her conclusion was that we make a better Bolognese back home.
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I also wanted to check out the dessert menu as I saw a sign saying “tiramisu” when I walked into the restaurant. But when I went to order that I was told that they were sold out and the only option now was dessert pizza. I decided to go wild and ordered an apple compote pizza topped with Italian meringue. It took a bit of time to get this but I got it freshly made and it was a small pizza topped with warm apple compote with hints of rosmary and a bit of meringue on top. It was not bad but it just feels wrong to have a sweet pizza. As I love my Italian meringue I would have enjoyed a bit more of that on top of the pizza.
I think the place sticks to their slogan and concept and I think it will be a popular place. It will be a nice place to sit down for a pizza in the summer time with a glass of wine as they even have outdoor seating. Nikki was not that impressed with the pasta this time but with some adjustments this can also be improved. We will probably check it out again to try out more of their food – and next time I hope that they will also have more dessert options.
Our meal at Basil & Co was about 515 Norwegian Kroner this evening (not including drinks) – this is about 63 USD. Check out the restaurant homepage on for more information.
Gard – trip reports and pictures

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