Bagatelle (Oslo; tel. 22-44-63-97)
Owner-chef Eyvind Hellstrøm has made a grand cuisine a great cuisine with his expertise in market-fresh ingredients. He still focuses on seafood, insisting on the best and freshest catch of the day. Anticipate a light, modern French and Continental cuisine, served with flair.
Oro (Oslo; tel. 23-01-02-40)
A hyperstylish restaurant, Oro is as good as it gets in Norway's capital, ranking right up there with anything else Norway has to offer. The Continental cuisine at this first-class dining citadel evokes the best of Paris's restaurants.
Statholderens Krostue (Oslo; tel. 22-41-88-00)
Gourmets from all over Norway have flocked here to sample Chef Bent Stiansen's interpretation of modern Norwegian cooking. Stiansen is almost fanatically tuned to what's best in any season, and he serves some of the capital's finest dishes. He uses great imagination and widely varied ingredients -- everything from arctic char to a rare vanilla bean imported from Thailand.
Restaurant Julius Fritzner (Oslo; tel. 23-21-20-00)
One of the most impressive dining establishments to make its debut in Norway in the mid-1990s, this restaurant in the Grand Hotel is still getting rave reviews. The chef uses only the finest Scandinavian ingredients in contemporary and traditional dishes; the emphasis is on enhancing and balancing flavors rather than creating surprises.
Bilbao (Stavanger; tel. 51-53-33-00)
A fine international and Spanish cuisine lures the oil barons of this rich city to this converted 1860 building. A product of a Norwegian and Basque partnership, the downstairs is an informal bodega, like a tavern in the Pyrenees, and upstairs is the more formal dining venue, featuring a cuisine that is both upscale and savory.
Finnegaardstuene (Bergen; tel. 55-55-03-00)
In a converted Hanseatic League warehouse, this Norwegian-French restaurant is one of the finest in western Norway. The cuisine revolves around only the freshest ingredients, especially fish. The kitchen uses classical French preparation methods to create such delectable items as lime-marinated turbot in caviar sauce or breast of duck in lime-and-fig sauce.
Lucullus (Bergen; tel. 55-30-68-00)
Quiet luxury and refinement mark this deluxe gourmet choice, serving an artful Continental cuisine in the Neptun Hotel. Dishes are prepared with such top-quality ingredients and with such flair that we wouldn't dream of criticizing them. Savor the latest offerings, including the namesake filet of beef Lucullus, our favorite.
Emma's Drømmekjøkken (Tromsø; tel. 77-63-77-30)
Anne Brit, called "Emma," operates this dream kitchen and is the best-known culinary personality in the north of Norway. Although she uses mainly ingredients from the north, often fish from Arctic waters, she wanders the globe for her flavors, which might include everything from chili to wasabi.
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