Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Casa Gio - new Italian place with homemade pasta

IMG_8990A friend of ours (also known as Team Vatland) told us that a new Italian place called Casa Gio had opened up in Stavanger and Nikki and I decided to check it out on a Thursday evening. I love my Italian food and as you can see from the homepage http://gardkarlsen.com , we have been to Italy several times. I tried to search for the restaurant on the internet before going there and I could not find any information at all – not even the address. But Stavanger is not that big so I did find it based on the info that we had gotten from our friend. When I walked into Casa Gio it was actually larger than what I had expected – there is about 20 seats in the main room and then some tables in a sort of covered courtyard. Behind the counter I got a full view of the kitchen and the two women working there greeted me hello. Turns out that one is from Italy and the other one from Peru – and it seems like it is the Peruvian that is Gio. I just assumed that it was the other way around.

IMG_8991The menu was not that extensive and it was written on the blackboard next to the counter. It seems like their intention is to change the menu frequently so that people don’t get bored – and that sounds like a great concept. They did have regular coffee items on the menu and the espresso that I had was good. In addition to the coffee they also had salad of the day, soup of the day and dishes with homemade pasta. I decided to go for ravioli with a parma ham filling while Nikki decided to have the tagliatelle with a duck ragu. We got some bread to start with and as Nikki commented "this is not the bread for a date night" as it had quite a lot of garlic in it. But it was lightly salted and pretty good. It didn’t take us long to get the food either and my ravioli was simple yet delicious just like Italian food should be! The ravioli pieces were large and served with a butter sauce of some kind. They were a bit al dente and I enjoyed them but the portion was maybe a bit small. The tagliatelle was a bigger portion and also very delicious. The pasta had just a scent of saffron and the ragu was made “bologna style” if there is such a thing. I have noticed that normally the “Bolognese” sauce is quite tomato/red wine based while in Bologna is seemed like the ragu was a bit drier and less tomato based. Anyway, the tagliatelle was good. As the main dish had been a success I also decided to try out a dessert and I went for the semifreddo with rum raisins and a caramel sauce. The portion was way too big but I enjoyed it…and I did eat it all.

IMG_8996All in all the meal was very good and I look forward to trying this place again. They are working on making a homepage and hopefully there will be some information online soon. Note the opening hours on one of the photos – they are only open late (until 10 pm) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The places is located in Pedersgaten 48 if I’m not mistaken and the phone number is +47 924 38 227. Try out the place and let me know what you think - we will certainly go there again!

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Reopening of Deja Vu

IMG_8915We have been to Déjà vu before as you can see from this review. Recently the place reopened after being refurbished. We stopped by for lunch on a Saturday in September and it is still located at the same place in the small mall Magasin Blaa. It looks great after the upgrade and there are more tables and the place have become a lot lighter and modern. They have stuck to the same concept as before – meaning that it is both a diner and a catering company and IMG_8914you can also buy various products there. As we came in the was a sign with the specials of the day but the menu seemed to be very similar or identical to the old one – or maybe it was just déjà vu (OK, I admit that it was not a very original joke). I decided to go for a Parma salad and Nikki went for chicken satay. I had to order by the counter but the service was very good and it didn’t take long before we got the food even if the place was quite full. The parma salad was pretty good with thick slices of parma ham, small mozzarella balls, olives, tomatoes, melon etc. It was a pretty large portion but as I was starving that was not a problem Smile Nikki got the satay served with noodles and a salad on the side. The satay was a bit on the dry side…or maybe II ‘m just a bit spoiled as I just had excellent satay in Malaysia.

IMG_8912All in all it is still a good option for a lunch in Stavanger – but I’m still not crazy about the location as it is right by one of the entrances to Magasin Blaa so in the winter you will feel a bit of a draft coming in. I also think they should have used the opportunity to  change the menu a bit to celebrate the new facilities. Check out their homepage for more information.

Regards
Gard
gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures

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Aperitivo in Stavanger

IMG_8902If you have been to Italy you might have noticed that there is a tradition for something called “aperitivo”. This means that you go to a bar in the afternoon and order a pre-dinner drink and you get snack as a part of the deal. If you are not careful you end up spoiling the dinner plans as there can be a lot of delicious snack available. If you do go to aperitivo in Italy remember to try out the Aperol Spritz by the way. Check out this trip report from Bologna to read more about the Italian way of life Smile

Anyway – it is now possible to get a slice of Italy in Stavanger. Renaa Xpress in Sølvberget. If you go there on a Friday night from 7 to 9 you can just buy an alcoholic drink and then you get a platter of a pasta, some sausages, salad and bread and you can help yourself to pizza that are being made in the wood fired oven. I think there was only two types of pizza being made when we were there – the Tante Margrete (the pizza margherita Renaa style) and Emilia Romagna – a pizza with parma ham, tomato and ricotta. The Tante Margrete pizza is excellent! All in all I think this must be one of the best kept secrets in Stavanger when it comes to eating out. Where else can you buy a glass of red wine and eat as much as you want? So next time you go to the movies on a Friday night be sure to stop by Renaa Xpress Winking smile

You can read more about Renaa Xpress on their homepage and you can also check out the evening menu.

Regards
Gard
gardkarlsen.com – trip reports and pictures

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Alex Sushi–maybe the best sushi restaurant in town

IMG_7914Eating fish has long traditions in Norway as we have a long coastline and we have some great wild and farmed fish – wherever I go in the world it is always possible to e.g. find Norwegian salmon in stores and restaurants. But eating sushi has not become popular until recent years and now there are several sushi restaurants popping up around town. The latest addition in Stavanger is Alex Sushi located in the middle of town – we went there as soon as they opened to check them out.

IMG_7905The door leading into the restaurant is quite anonymous but the “lobby” is quite face with sculptures hanging from the ceiling and some cool “old super hero” oil paintings by Andreas Englund. We got a seat by the oval bar upstairs and we had a view to Alex working his magic right behind the counter. I have to admit that I’m not the greatest fan of sushi and sashimi but we got a great salmon sashimi sprinkled with roe to start with. IMG_7910We were four in the group so we shared various sushi – my tempura dish was good with a combination of fish, prawns and vegetable. We also got some wagyu wrapped around rice and then torched right before serving and that was also excellent. The combination platters seemed to include both sushi (nigiri and maki) and sashimi and the fish seemed fresh and tasted great.

IMG_7912All in all this might be the best sushi restaurant in town so far. It is a bit more pricy compared to the other places but the food was very tasty and it was great to see the dishes being made right across from our seats. So if you are craving for sushi in Stavanger I think Alex Sushi is a great place to go.

Read more about the menu and make a reservation on the restaurant homepage http://alexsushi.no/stavanger/

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

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