Renaa Matbaren - a French bistro in the middle of Stavanger
I went to Renaa Matbaren on a Saturday night in November. It has been a while since I have been there, and it was great to see that they have used the corona lockdown period to refurbish the place a bit. Now even more stylish and more dedicated to being a French bistro. Next door is Lou-Lou – the wine bar that belongs to Renaa and that is also worth a visit. In Matbaren the setting is relaxed and informal – and the room is still dominated by the neon sign and the sculpture by Antony Gormley.
We got the menus and it was in French and Norwegian – just to emphasize on the French bistro setting I guess. There are a few small snack dishes to nibble on, some starters and a few mains. Most of it contains local fish and meats so there is not that much focus on vegans and vegetarians. We decided to share some starters, and some had fresh oysters, we shared some croquettes, some charcuterie and some cheese. The croquettes were fresh and was just a bit spiced up with chili and were great. And you can’t really go wrong with cold cuts! The wine list is not that extensive in Matbaren but if you ask, they bring out a more extensive list - which has a lot of focus on French wines of course.
My main was quail from the area and it was deep fried and topped with herb butter and French fries on the side. The butter melted on top of the quail and it was excellent and satisfying! There was a small salad on the side, but I would have loved to have a few baked vegetables on the side as well. I rounded on the meal with some espresso gelato topped with salted caramel and some sort of sabayon sauce. As you have seen from the blog, I like my gelato and I would have liked to see an even stronger coffee taste in the gelato. But apart from that it was delicious.
All in all, a great and informal dinner in a relaxed setting. I would like to go back soon as there are lots of things on the menu that I would like to try – and that is always a good sign. Remember to book a table as this place is quite popular!