I went to NB Sørensen 2. etage in Stavanger in the beginning of May 2007 on a work related dinner. I had to leave for South Africa the next day and then to Thailand (see http://gardkarlsen.com/thailand2007.htm ) so I’m afraid that I can’t recall in detail how all the different meals tasted. But I’ll do my best :-)
At the moment NB Sørensen is regarded to be one of the best restaurants in Stavanger (see the review from the local newspaper http://www.rogalandsavis.no/bruland/article2609317.ece(only in Norwegian)) so we knew that we were in for a treat when we went there. I would just like to say that there is a lot of difference between the NB Sørensen located on the ground floor and the NB Sørensen located on the first floor. The one of the ground floor serves “standard” restaurant food and I have had very mixed experienced there. The restaurant on the first floor on the other had is a gourmet type restaurant and it is popular so be sure to book in advance if you want to check it out.
The whole restaurant is located in an old house used in the fishing industry in the old days. I guess it is a reminder that Stavanger was once an important town for fishing and canning…just like it now is for the oil and gas industry. We started out in the rustic bar on the ground floor where I went for Kir Royale as usual. It was a bit funny when the waitress asked if I wanted to have it with champagne as she seemed a bit reluctant to open a new bottle. But as far as I know the Kir Royale is with champagne and Kir is with white wine.
At 8 PM we went upstairs to the restaurant and I was once again a bit surprised to see how tiny the place is. We were 8 in our party and were places on a table next to another party and there was just enough room for the waitresses to walk past us. We had booked in advance that we wanted to go for the 8 course menu and as one expressed “it is a good thing that I eat fish” as there was quite a lot of fish on the menu.
After we had tasted a bit of starters (e.g. homemade potato chips), we started out with our first course for the evening. It was blackened trout with ginger, avocado and oyster. The trout could have been more blackened if it was up to me but it was really interesting with the tiny oyster vinaigrette seen in the four corners of the plate. I’m not much of an oyster person but in small doses they do have a great taste.
We continued with something I have never tasted before: Kamtsjatka crab (or also known as king crab). This huge crab has been spreading down the Norwegian coast from the Russian border and it has been a bit of a pest. But it has also been discovered that it tastes pretty good and hence it is being used in nice restaurants. We got it served together with Swedish caviar and it was a good meal.
The next course was also fish…this time Monk fish with mussel cavatelli, grape fruit and mussel foam. I’m not sure what cavatelli is but monk fish is my favourite fish and this was not a let down in any way. It was easy to smell and taste that saffron had been used in this dish and I guess that also gives it its yellow colour.
We continued with more fish… cod with brandade, fried anchovies and lobster sauce. Once again a great course and the fish were just right. What is brandade by the way?
By this time we had been through many courses and with a glass of wine for each dish. So I was getting a bit tipsy and I hate to admit that I forgot to take a picture of the main meal this evening which was lamb with sausage, risotto croquette and rosemary sauce. It was nice to get some meat but what I remember best from this course was the wine. I think we had a Ch. Vieux Bonneau 2004, Montagne-Saint Émilion, Bordeaux. I like red wines that are a bit different and this was certainly different from the red wines that I’m used to :-)
After a plate of cheese we rounded of the evening with a dessert: Dark chocolate cake with oranges. The combination of dark chocolate and oranges is good and the dark chocolate cake was very tasty. At this point we were all stuffed and no one could even make room for a coffee.
Conclusion: I agree with the newspaper review recently. NB Sørensen is one of the better restaurants in town and we had a lovely evening here. It doesn’t come cheap by the way…we had to pay about 750 Norwegian kroner for the 8 course meal and I suspect that we had to pay something similar for the wine that went along with the different courses. But if you want a dining experience you should try out NB Sørensen 2. etage.
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