In the end of August 2008 Nikki and I went into town to grab something to eat before we went to a concert. We decided to try something new and we ended up going to Pizzeria Al Forno located at Skagen in Stavanger. It was during ONS (a big oil conference) so when we came there we had to wait for a couple of minutes as we didn’t have a reservation but at least we got a table. We got the table close to the entrance door and it was constantly open so it was a good thing there were blankets on the chairs so that we could keep warm
The menu is quite extensive and I was thrilled to see that they had risotto, gnocchi, pizza etc on the menu. The wine selection on the other hand was very sad…only like 3-4 red wines that you could get by the bottle (or half a bottle) and only one kind by the glass. Anyway, I ordered the gnocchi con carne for starter, Calzone con pesto e pollo for main and Nikki went for lasagne. One positive thing with the menu was that it was possible to order small portions of the pasta dishes for half the price.
The restaurant is located in the very middle of town so the location ideal. As the restaurant was full it took quite a bit of time to get the food. I was actually impressed to see that the main waiter managed to keep up to speed with all the new guest, people ordering food etc. But I did at least get the wine pretty fast. But I never did get to see what wine it was as the waitress ran of as soon as she had poured it into my glass :-)
When the food was served I was very disappointed. The gnocchi that I had ordered was not gnocchi but dry pasta shaped to resemble gnocchi. Come on guys, you know and I know that this is not gnocchi so why write it on the menu? The dish itself was not bad once I got over the disappointment and it contained real meat and not just minced meat. Nikkis lasagne was drowning in cheese so they had been pretty generous with it. As Nikki is lactose intolerant I got to steal most of the cheese. The lasagne was OK but not the best I have tasted (but not the worst either).
After a few minutes I also got my Calzone con pesto e pollo served. It looked pretty nice as it was in a perfect shape served with a few basil leaves on top. But as I started digging into it I found out that the appearance was misleading. The pizza was extremely boring in taste as it seemed like the only content was fried chicken breast (which can be extremely dry and boring), cheese and something that I assume were pesto. But it was a big thing so at least it was filling.
I don’t think we will be going back to this place soon. Well, maybe if we want to grab something fast to eat before going to the movies but not for a romantic dinner. I was very disappointed to see that the gnocchi was not gnocchi at all and I’m wondering if they are faking other dishes as well. Italian food can be simple and very tasty…at Al forno it was just simple. So if you want a great Italian meal in Stavanger you should rather go to Allegro or Restaurant Nero.
For this meal we had to pay 75 Kroner (about 14 $) for the gnocchi and the same for the lasagne (these were ordered as small portions) and 145 kroner (27$) for the pizza. The glass of wine was 62 kroner (12$)…the same as a bottle would cost me on a restaurant in South Africa J. So the bill came to about 400 kroner (74$) which is not bad for Norwegian standards.
Check out the restaurant homepage on http://www.pizzeria-alforno.no/ for mor information.