FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Nordic Nights in Oslo

by Ron Bernthal

Dec 1, 2017
December 2017

WHEN THE BUSINESS DAY ENDS in Oslo, its night spots sparkle, especially during the long winter when the sky darkens in the afternoon and lighted windows line the snowcovered streets. Norway is a new star on the world’s culinary tourism map, one reason for the phenomenal increase in leisure and business travel to Oslo. With its excellent restaurants, seafood markets and regional suppliers, Oslo boasts extraordinary venues for experiencing the city’s culinary offerings during cold winter evenings or soft summer nights.

In late afternoon visit Mathallen, an exciting indoor food hall in the new Vulkan mixed-use development alongside the Aker River in the Grünerløkka neighborhood, not far from downtown. The Scandic Vulkan design hotel, Dansens Hus and Mathallen anchor the project.

Converted from an early-20th-century ironworks factory, Mathallen makes a great place to take local clients to explore more than 30 specialty food shops, cafés, restaurants and produce markets. Stop for wine and tapas at Champagneria Bodega or visit Hopyard to pair American-style sub rolls made with Norwegian ingredients with any of 300 beers on offer. SMELT, focusing on grilled cheese sandwiches, also sells high-quality bread and pastries, fresh juice, smoothies and coffee. You’ll likely see pop-up restaurants, cooking demonstrations or a lively band in the hall as well.

A leisurely 20-minute walk or quick taxi ride gets you downtown for dinner at Maaemo, the only restaurant in Norway — and just one of two within the five Nordic countries — to achieve three Michelin stars. Under head chef Esben Holmboe Bang, Maaemo features an intimate, brightly lit interior and a mezzanine-level kitchen. The fresh, colorful and original seasonal dishes utilize locally sourced ingredients. The pricey 20-course tasting menu (the only option) may include Norwegian langoustines with pine, mackerel with ramson and Røros butter ice cream with brown butter caramel. Reservations are mandatory: The restaurant has just eight tables in the dining room plus a private Test Kitchen table with a view of the chefs at work. Maaemo, meaning Mother Earth, offers dinner Monday–Saturday.

April to early September, The Thief hotel in trendy Tjuvholmen opens the Thief Roof, boasting views across the Oslo Fjord and serving signature cocktails and refreshing summer dishes, often featuring locally caught seafood. When seasons change, move inside to the second floor, where Fru K serves breakfast, lunch and dinner menus featuring Norwegian ingredients. The Nordic atmosphere includes artwork from the nearby Astrup Fearnley Museum.

Thursday–Saturday nights enjoy music and drinks at Astrup Fearnley’s Vingen cocktail and food bar, a five-minute walk from The Thief. Vingen overlooks the sea, a sublime place to spend the last few hours of the evening.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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