Checking out the "new" Tango
I have been to Tango a few times before but not after they moved in with Fish & Cow, right on the city square (torget) in Stavanger. As we wanted somewhere special to celebrate our anniversary, we decided to give “new” Tango a try and we went there with high expectations as most reviews are very good! We arrived at 7 pm on a Saturday evening. Fish & Cow has been a bit noisy the times we have been there but Tango has been separated from Fish & Cow and there are maybe 6-7 tables with comfortable leather chairs. The staff and reception experience are not maybe as formal as at RE-NAA (see RA-NAA review here) but we got menus and were asked if we wanted an aperitif to start with. The menu is quite simple – you go for either a 4-course dinner or a 7-course dinner and we were asked if there were any allergies that they had to consider. We decided to go all in and have a 7-course dinner, and there is also an option for a wine pairing package.
We started with a small snack – cured bacon from an island outside Stavanger. Sliced in slivery thin slices and comparable in taste to great pancetta (maybe even lardo) from Italy. As we had decided to try the wine pairing, we soon got the first glass and it was a nice gesture to leave the bottle on the table. This allowed us to take photos of the ones we enjoyed the most for future reference. We also got information about the wine, but the various staff members had very different approach to this – some gave a detailed introduction and others were more concise and fact based.
First dish of the evening was a playful taco – a wrap made from potatoes with grilled langoustine, together with some green pepper - that gave it just a bit of a punch. The following dish was just described as boiled potatoes with butter and truffle but when we got it, there was a bit more to it. But yes, the main ingredient was the potatoes from Gyda gård located just a bit outside of Stavanger. Unlike many Norwegians, I’m not totally crazy about potatoes so this was not the most memorable dish for me. However, we do think it admirable that they are using locally sourced ingredients. At the same time as we got the potato dish, we also got some bread served. As a bread lover, I loved this serving as the bread was still warm out of the oven and it was served with a lovely herb butter.
We went back to seafood as next dish was described as just Hake (or Lysing in Norwegian) on the menu – but again it was more to it when it was served. It was actually a piece of hake that was topped with a fluffy yet creamy Hollandaise sauce that been made so thick that it was laid as a blanket over the fish. A lovely dish accompanied by a lovely Chablis on the side. We stuck to seafood and local produce as the next dish was halibut from Hjelmeland (not that far outside of Stavanger). It was a good size piece of fish served with a butter sauce with citrus and decorated with edible flowers.
As you would expect, it was time to move over to meat and first up was a piece of veal served with sweetbread if I’m not mistaken (or brissel in Norwegian). The meat was very tender and tasty and the sweetbread is always a bit weird to eat (not something we make at home or eat that often) but that is also tasty. The next dish was also meat and this time we got a piece of lamb. Again, very tasty but maybe a bit to similar to the previous meat dish.
Dessert was served after about 20 minutes and it was ice cream on a stick. Served with a good sweet dessert wine, this was awesome. I do like my ice cream and this was simple yet very tasty. But dessert was not over – we also got a white chocolate cream with a black current compote. I enjoyed this dish as well, but I do have to add that I have quite a sweet tooth. When this was served, they also poured some liquid over dry ice and it resulted in some cool photos – but maybe this has gone wrong before as the chef made sure to add that this was not meant to be eaten. We rounded the meal of with some petit fours and the small eggs filled with a ganache of sea buckthorn (or tindved in Norwegian) was excellent and I do love the taste of this orange berry. I was not that convinced about the canelé in the end or maybe we had just had enough food.
Conclusion: this was a solid evening and certainly a culinary experience with some memorable wines; It was also great to see that Tango uses a lot of local produce, as our area has a lot to offer. Some are worried that they will walk out of a fine dining dinner hungry but that was certainly not the case here. We were full after being through an array of seafood, meat and dessert! As mentioned in the beginning, we had high expectations and they were definitely met to a certain degree. The most common question I have gotten afterwards is “how did it compare to RE-NAA” and I found it to be more of a traditional fine dining restaurant while RE-NAA has moved on to a more modern twist of the fine dining experience. But all in all, it was great to visit Tango and there is no doubt that this is a place worth visiting if you have a personal or work occasion to celebrate– or just want to enjoy an evening of seriously good food.
Location: Skagen 3. See this Google map
Price of food: 1490 kroner (160 USD) for the 7-course menu for 1! 990/1490 kroner (110/160 USD) for the wine pairing.