Look up the name “Baltazar” on Urban Dictionary and this is what greets you: “One of the best guys you could ever meet. Sweet, handsome, witty and funny, with a natural charm which makes everyone love him. Your life is incomplete without a Baltazar.” That’s the exact vibe one gets at the Baltazar here in Oslo! No wonder the crowd on a chilly Wednesday evening! No, we did not mean any disrespect, doing Italian whilst in Norway on our first night! But the hustle and bustle of this alfresco restaurant set in the gardens of Oslo’s Old Cathedral drew us in from afar.The beautiful natural setting and gorgeous summer weather completed the wonderful food we were to cross path with.We sat by an old stone fountain, the sounds of flowing water surrounded by the crisp green grass and towering trees within a vast, spread out back yard of the old church. Our server, a zippy, cheery Italian lass, was knowledgeable, efficient and as she describes herself, “never forgets anything” 😀! We warmed up with a Chianti. And so began a perfect dinner on a chilly June summer evening.A generous basket of freshly baked focaccia and evo to get our stomach juices going. Then came the Antipasto All’Italiana, a medium size board containing a selection of different cold cuts and cheeses, bruschetta and chutney. We nibbled on warm bread and salty cured meats, a favorite pastime even back home. The chutney was a lovely addition to the platter… providing a hint of sweetness to the savory meats and creamy cheeses.Vitello Tonnato, technically a carpaccio-like dish. Thinly sliced veal with fresh greens, dusted with Parmesan and served with tuna sauce. I knew it would be delicious the moment I laid eyes on it and I was right. The cold roast veal slices had a beautiful texture and taste, not to mention juicy; the tuna sauce was sweet, savory, smooth and creamy! So perfect together! I made little veal rolls filled with the salad and sauce, the explosion of flavors was bloody awesome!! Oh I could have 2 of this!! All to myself, of course!!Mare Caldo wasn’t quite the soup we expected. More like a stew, if you asked me. Served in a shallow pan, and loaded with an assortment of seafood… prawns, scampi, fish, mussels and clams. The “soup”, (though lack of) was rich and robust; packed with a sea-salty flavor in a tart tomato based stock. A little too salty on its own, thus those huge, chunky roasted bread by the side! Dabbed with a thin spread of pesto to add zing to each bite. At the end, it surely did not disappoint… that bread, soaked in the rich broth was simply marvelous!!! The superb quality won me over!We finished with the Pasta Alle Vongole which was… hmm… alright. All the other dishes definitely outshone this simple pasta. In all fairness, the clams were fresh and sweet, the linguine, evidently homemade, was al dente with a tender chew. The freshly chopped parsley brought out the sweetness in the light white wine sauce. A good pasta, overall, just a tad of an anticlimax after all that foreplay!! Such a wonderful meal, in such a wonderful environment. The ambience was definitely a plus point here at Baltazar. With only a few short months a year of good sunny weather, it’s no wonder both Oslonians and foreigners are here soaking it in. This is indeed one “guy” you want in your life… at least when you’re in Oslo 😉!
The menu is uncomplicated with a good mix of meats, seafood, pastas and pizzas. Not forgetting an extensive wine list.
Clockwise from top left: Fresh Foccacia; Mare Caldo; Vitello Tonnato
Baltazar Ristorante & Enoteca @ Dronningens Gate 27 (Bakgården til Oslo Domkirke) 0154 Oslo Phone: +47 23357060
Disclaimer- This is not a sponsored post!