Matkontoret - some room for improvement
The historic Restaurant Skagen has become Matkontoret and we went there on a Saturday night to check it out. The place has not been changed that much and the concept is similar to before – a few smaller dishes and you can decide to just have a few or all of them. I decided to go all in and ordered 7 courses with wine pairing.
We got some bread to start with that was a bit plain but the lemon butter on the side was a nice twist. We also got some crisps and a small herring and apple dish as an amuse bouche and it both tasty and pretty. The first dish was a “soup” and when it was served it looked like a warm dish, but it was more like a gazpacho. The local tomatoes are good and combined with good olives, a bit of feta cheese and some chili oil, this was a good dish. Next up was an artichoke barigoule – a traditional French dish with braised artichoke. I think they did a twist on this as it did not come with the cured ham specified on the menu but an apple jam that dominated the dish in a negative was. We would have enjoyed more artichoke.
We moved on to salmon from Hjelmeland – served with daikon and greens. The dish was also served with a small tartar of salmon wrapped in rice paper, and this was the best part of this dish! Next up was a small risotto and the risotto was great - but I would have enjoyed a bit more risotto and less of the pumpkin topping. The grand finale was lamb from Brimse gård but just the look was a bit disappointing. The piece of lamb was quite good, but the lamb meatball was lacking in taste and the Jerusalem artichokes was not done right in my opinion – they should have been backed a bit longer as they were very firm.
To round of the meal, we had two desserts – first a white chocolate dish and then a chocolate sorbet on mascarpone. Both desserts were a nice treat served with good dessert wines. The wine pairing was excellent, and we had a wonderful Pinot Noir rose, a delicate Pinot Noir from Burgundy, a great Riesling, a great Chianti and so on. The food was served at a good pace, but the waiters seemed a bit stressed and pointed out (a couple of times) that it was a hectic night for them.
All in all: a good meal where focus seems to be on local produce. I think there is some room for improvement on the food and it would have been great if there was one dish that came out as the “star of the show”. It is only a couple of weeks since they opened and maybe this is just some start up issue. I will probably go back to re-visit Matkontoret as I like the concept and place. If you are looking for similar places in Stavanger I guess I would compare Matkontoret to Restaurant SÖL or K2.