EAT: Amerigo Bar & Grill

Amerigo Bar & Grill has been on my radar since February soon after their January-opening, so I was excited to finally get a chance to visit last week. My fellow-American pal Carolyn agreed to try it with me, so we met up for an early 5 o’clock dinner. Taking up a lovely corner space on Solli Plass in the Frogner neighborhood, the interior and styling of this restaurant is so beautiful, it would be easy to settle in and spend several slow hours in the course of an evening. Billing itself as Pan-American, Amerigo’s food and decor are inspired by “the culinary variations that the elongated continent of America has to offer.”  Walking in to tiled floors, wooden shutters, cozy leather booths, and retro lightbulbs fitted into vintage fans, Carolyn described it best when she said it was like being in Ernest Hemingway’s Havana living room.

Amerigo

While the feel of the place was top-notch, you can’t eat the light fixtures, so how was the food you ask? It was pretty great! I started with their tomato salad, then had the swordfish for my main. The tomato salad was super-fresh and full of flavor. Two different types of tomatoes, goat cheese and ruccola were stacked on a compote, topped with delicious smoky-flavored shavings of shallots. My main course of Grilled Swordfish was interesting and tasty in all the right places. I had never eaten swordfish before, so it was a great experience to have it a place that did it so well. Thick and tender, it was served alongside heavenly blue potatoes, grilled spring onions and fennel, and salsa huancaina (a spicy cheese sauce). Carolyn and I both indulged in the key lime pie for dessert. Tangy and sweet as it should be, it also included a light dusting of matcha powder on top which kind of confused me. I understand the Pan-American reference, but for me it was just an odd flavor with the tang of the pie. I gobbled it all up anyway (a dessert hasn’t gone un-eaten in my presence since, um, ever).

Amerigo scored high on my list of Oslo restaurants that I’ve tried since moving here. The beautiful space combined with friendly service, excellent food and pretty ok prices (if you live in Oslo you know what I mean. If you don’t, it will seem really expensive, but you should go anyway!) make me want to return soon. Whether you’re meeting a friend after work for a drink and some chicharrónes, or looking for a new spot for your date night, give Amerigo a go-go!

 

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

Summer is wonderful in Norway, not only because of the mild temperatures (I’ll take a Norwegian heat wave over a Texan one any day!) but because of the abundance of berries spilling out from everywhere. Grocery stores, sidewalk stands and even the walking trail in the forest near my work have more berries than can be eaten in a week or month. Freezing berries is an easy option for enjoying your sweet bounty in the upcoming sunny-less days, but I also like to put the almost-over-ripe berries to work immediately.

strawberries 1

Norwegians love to pair their fresh strawberries with fløte (heavy cream), but I decided to take a slightly healthier route this time by making strawberry popsicles with yogurt. I didn’t find these strawberries in the forest, but they grew up on some sunny farm not too far away, and I was happy to let their tart sweetness shine in this recipe.

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

(adapted from The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz, but found on Orangette)

makes 6 popsicles (with a little leftover to drink immediately)

  •  500 grams fresh strawberries, rinsed
  •  130 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
  •  2 teaspoons vodka (optional)
  •  240 grams (1 cup) plain whole-milk yogurt
  •  1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Trim the green caps from the strawberries and discard. Cut the strawberries in half. Toss them in a bowl with the sugar and vodka (if using), stirring until the sugar starts to dissolve. Set aside at room temperature for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Scrape the strawberries and remaining liquid into a blender, add the yogurt and lemon juice, and process until smooth. You can remove the seeds through a strainer if they’ll bother you, but I didn’t go to the extra trouble. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze until hard. And most importantly, enjoy!

popsicles 2