Bergen, on Norways west coast, the second largest city in the country, is a strange affair when it comes to dinning out. Literately situated in the middle of a plate, the city holds an impressive slim selection of good restaurants. Colonialen, Lysverket and this baby; Bare Vestland, pretty much makes up for what's worth eating at.
The main concept for this restaurant is tapas style sharing plates, dished up with local ingredients. They both have a lunch option and a larger dinner one. Decent size wine list and a good selection of beers. Prices are not bad.
We decide on the 4 course menu and an excellent bottle of rare white wine from Eric Texier, Rhonê France. Too bad for us, they just ran out of the wine and we head for a known friend; Matassa. The Cuveé Marguerite 2014 is a white, low alcohol nature wine affair, which could be good with most things on the menu.
First main dish is a vegetarian option. Leek, celeriac and hazelnut. Fermented and served on a delicious green mayo. Light, fresh and elegant brunt tones makes this a supreme start. This is Nordic cuisine at it's best. This is what the Noma revolution a few years back was all about. Well done!
Second dish is smoked pigs knuckle, with fermented cabbage, leek and crisp rye. Again; superb! Simple tastes combined in a very tasty plate. Also here we find nice burnt tones and slightly fermented cabbage leaves. The pig is elegantly smoked and dressed in crisp rye. Well done!
Third dish sets out on a serious mission to fill us up. "Plukkfisk" is white fish, mixed in a potato puré and soaked in butter. Add crisp bacon and bacon fat, and you're in for a polar expedition meal. You can go for days on this stuff. Some fermented vegetables provide a slight sour addition, and blend nicely with the dish. Bacon is super crisp and provide the propper crunch for this massive bowl of food. I mean, it's good; just a lot! This dish alone would be more than enough for the whole meal.
Fourth course is meat loaf and baked celeriac. It's served with saved horseradish and meat broth. Clean tastes and super juicy bits of celeriac, makes this a delightful finish to the meal. We don't have to eat for a couple of days, but that's not on the list of complaints. Our bottle of Matassa worked surprisingly well to all four dishes. A marvellous wine!
Bare Vestland received a mention in the Nordic White Guide 2017 - Michelin Guide for the Nordic Countries. And that's well deserved. This is a comfort food experience and if there was something to say, it would be that all the dishes look pretty much the same. It's a bowl of food, holding a surprise at the bottom. But tastes are nice and service is good.
All in all a very good dinning experience and well worth the 1800kr bill. Check it out!
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