Theatercaféen and the Grand Café - Two great restaurants to try in Oslo, Norway!
Oslo is the capital of Norway, has a half-million inhabitants, and as such, this charming and fashionable city has a wide selection of outstanding restaurants. During a short stay in August 2005 Edward F. Nesta and I managed to find some restaurants of note.
Theatercaféen at the Hotel Continental, Stortingsgaten 24/26, is a 350-seat restaurant that opened in 1900, and is the largest Vienna style café in Europe. The restaurant exudes old-world charm with its columns, gothic-style arches, and ferns. There are over 80 portraits by famous artists of the Theatercaféen’s famous guests that line the walls, and there are sumptuous window treatments and live piano music. It is also consistently on the New York Times list of the 10 most famous cafés in the world. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the restaurant. We began by sharing a delicious first course of a creamy Shellfish Risotto redolent with shrimp, scallops, corn, arugula, lemon and thyme. For Edward’s second course he enjoyed the Fried Arctic Char with Creamed Root Vegetables, Red Wine Syrup and Pommes Anglaise, accompanied by a 2002 Domaine Andre Brunel Chateauneuf du Pape, which had an earthy, leather nose, was dry, with heavy tannins, and was well-balanced on the palate. I had Poached Salmon served on a bed of spinach, mushrooms, and fennel that was surrounded by a beurre blanc sauce and new potatoes accompanied by a 2003 Jean-Marc Roger Sancerre Cuvee ‘Les Caillelles’. The restaurant also offers traditional cuisine of reindeer and whale meat. Please read Chefs' Recipes for Chef Nils Jørgen Aas’s recipes, including the recipe for the Fried Artic Char.
Grand Café at the historic Grand Hotel located at Karl Johans gate 5, across from the Stortinget (The Parliament) was where Henrik Ibsen, (1828-1906), the dramatist, playwright, and poet, had his lunch everyday. The 240-seat restaurant opened in 1874, was renovated in the summer of 2001, has dark wood paneling and elegant crystal chandeliers, and offers an ala Carte menu as well as their Smorgasbord and Cake Buffet (Smørbrød og kakebuffet) which features a wide selection of Norwegian open-faced sandwiches including smoked salmon, shrimp, crayfish, and mozzarella and tomato. Although their ala Carte menu was very nice, we decided to sample their Smorgasbord, which also included hot meat dishes, as well as an assortment of desserts. They also offer wines and non-alcoholic wines by the glass as well as beer, and other beverages, and are open for Breakfast and Lunch. We lingered over our lunch, enjoyed the ambience and thought of Ibsen. Please read Chefs' Recipes for recipes from Executive Chef Bjørn Artz and Sous Chef Andre Wels.
For other articles on Norway, please read our articles in the Destinations and Restaurants and Chefs' Recipes sections.
For more information on Norway, please visit: www.visitnorway.com, www.invanor.no and www.visitoslo.com.
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