Statholdergaarden – classic elegance
In 1993, Chef Patron Bent Stiansen was Norway's first winner of the much sought-after Bocuse d'Or trophy. He opened his Statholdergaarden the subsequent year and 14 years later the restaurant is still one of the best in Norway.
Statholdergaarden is situated in Oslo's historical quarter, in a building from 1640, which used to be the private residence of the governor Ulrik Fredrik Gyldenløve. Today the building has status as cultural heritage. Its interior is classy, elegant and old-fashioned, but the atmosphere is at the same time also relaxing and cosy.
Raising your head, looking at the amazing ceiling, you will notice some famous stucco from that time as well, built by workers brought in from Hamburg. One of the stuccos is showing Cleopatra's tragic death, after beeing bitten in her breast by a deadly snake.
The historic house is in a quiet part of the old centre of Oslo, surrounded by monumental buildings housing among others Norway's State Bank.
When you arrive, you can see Stiansen's Bocuse d'Or-trophy in the hall, together with his many cookbooks. Gold is also a prominent part on the plates you will find on the table when entering one of the four dining rooms at Statholdergaarden.
The food served at Statholdergaarden is based on fresh Norwegian ingredients, such as scallops, crayfish, turbot, lamb and game. It is prepared and presented with an open eye on European traditions, but with a modern approach. Bent Stiansen's famous shellfish bisque, made on lobster and crayfish shells cooked with cognac, is still on the menu, but the presentation has been upgraded throughout the years. For the moment this creamy revelation is served with ravioli, lightly smoked mountain trout and herbs like parsley, fennel and spinach.
Daily caught fish and shellfish play an important role in the menu, with an innovative twist that can bring you mushroom foam to the scallops or some Asian flavours with the turbot. During the winter months, skrei (a special breed of Atlantic cod) will be served in different variations. Lamb and Norwegian game food are also prepared to perfection, again with modern influences collected by a team of determined young chefs. Sous Chef Fred Owe Tofting has for instance gained some of his experience at The Fat Duck in the United Kingdom and Noma in Denmark.
The constantly changing six course tasting menu at Statholdergaarden is innovative and tempting, and the accompanying wine menu set up by knowledgeable sommeliers shows the broad selection of wines that can be found in Statholdergaarden's impressive wine cellar, which stocks around 6,000 different labels. The sommelier may come up with wines from France, Germany, South Africa and USA one night, focusing on Italy, France, Austria, Spain and Hungary the next. Even French cider may be served, with cheese.
Much attention is paid to the details in this restaurant. There are fresh flowers on each table, and you can see flowers also in the pattern of the tablecloth. Some dishes look like coming straight from the garden, and a monumental flower arrangement in the middle of the main dining room serves as an ”island” the waiters use as a roundabout while moving quietly into the room to check if the guests are all right.
The service is very attentive and at the same time quite seamless. You do not even notice that the waiter has given you an extra filling in the glass. Then the same waiter will immediately after give you a timely and efficient introduction to the next wine.
The meal is elaborate and detailed in its preparation and presentation, and the small extras that fill in the time between the main courses, like cones with guacamole and salmon roe or pumpkin soup, salmon mousse or passion fruit granite, make the evening very satisfactory. When leaving you will remember the classy interior, the professional restaurant team and the clean flavours. Not to mention the petits fours, home-made chocolate experiences in different variations.
After two decades as one of the top restaurants in Norway, Statholdergaarden is still a safe place to visit for food prepared and served with both heart and knowledge.
Statholdergaarden scored 72 points of 100 points in our rating system. View our Top 60 of the world. Back to the reviews.
Phone: +47 22 41 88 00