There are many places to eat in Bergen, but one of my favorites is Enhjørningen. You might not notice the entrance, up a flight of stairs, in the Bryggen area – except for a wooden sign with a unicorn depicted on it (as “unicorn” is the name of the restaurant in Norwegian) and the restaurant’s name marked at the bottom. Many people come for the reputation earned by the chefs, which has stood strong for years in the area. Once up the flight of stairs of the 18th century building, you enter a world of traditional Norwegian cuisine that will make an impression and leave your palate wanting more.
The room is very cozy, original wood floors from the 1700s, coral-colored walls, antique furniture and oil paintings hanging on the walls. I was greeted by a lovely woman in a black skirt and white top – eager to seat me near the windows looking out over the harbor. A menu was presented, a candle lit and a glass of Bordeaux poured.
The menu here is heavily influenced by the sea, which makes sense as Bergen is located on a sea which provides the world with some of its best seafood. Peering over the choices, you’ll notice Norwegian salmon, halibut, crab, lobster, a mélange of other fish dishes and, a local specialty, whale meat. Although curious, I didn’t opt for the whale as I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept. Although, if there is any place you would be willing to try it, it’s Norway. Their laws and regulations are very strict and the whales they do hunt, the Minke whale, are done so responsibly.
Dinner was memorable. Each dish was simple and clean, made with fresh herbs, seasonal vegetables and a lot of love. You can feel that at Enhjørningen the staff are like family and want to provide their guests with good Norwegian cooking at its highest quality.
By the time my candle had burned down half way, I was finishing-up dessert. The sun was still out at 9:00 pm which made for beautiful views over the harbor. Enhjørningen must be experienced if you’re in Bergen. It’s an institution that shouldn’t be missed.