July 13-15, 2013
Grande Fjord Hotel
With great views but otherwise rather ordinary the Grand Fjord Hotel is located 2 kilometers outside the main town, just below the road that leads to a scenic viewpoint at Ornevegen. Rooms are clean and comfortable with not much more than the view for adornment. But what a view, absolutely worth the extra cost. We were upgraded to the dormer room, 702, with the best views in the hotel.
A delightful place to watch the changing weather and light on the cliffs. Cruise ships roll in most mornings and “park” in front of the hotel.
We found it fascinating to watch the activity on the large ships, but some might find them a nuisance.
A buffet breakfast and dinner are served on the sixth floor. It’s fine if you like buffet food and completely ordinary if you don’t. With windows that run the length of the dining room, again it’s the views that make the room. The hotel has free parking and a decent internet connection.
The Olebuda restaurant located in town above the Ole café has an elegant and charming dining room – painted white walls, white table cloths and dark contemporary chairs. They serve small plates they call Norwegian tapas categorized on the menu as salads, fish, meat and desserts. Priced at about 60-100 kroner per plate they suggest 2-3 dishes per person.
The dishes, cooked to order, came out of the kitchen when ready, meaning piping hot when appropriate but in a random order, i.e., the meat came out with the fish and before the salad. Overall the dishes were inventive and tasty although some needed a little more work to really nail the flavor profile.
Our favorites were the salt cod fish cake served with a garlic stem aioli,
scallops served with black pudding topped with goat cheese and braised goat with caramelized onion.
The quinoa, apple, fennel, radish and pomegranate salad lacked flavor and was in dire need of some acidity. The fresh peas in a pepper cream with parmesan served over angel hair pasta also lacked flavor – too little hint of pepper or parmesan.
For dessert, an incredibly intense chocolate and brown cheese tart served with caramel sauce and caramel ice cream (they were out of vanilla). An indulgent treat if you like rich desserts (it was my birthday after all). It might be too much for some.