Sunday, February 10, 2008

Santino's Spaghetteria - Oslo

The first time I had a meal at Santinos, I found the food extraordinary good. I still do. I have eaten there several times, without taking my camera. As my friend Ketil invited for a late night dinner I grabbed my camera in order to write a review on this Italian restaurant. As I summed up my experiences I found Santino's to be good, not great!

Location: BBBB

There are three Santino's restaurants in Oslo. One is located by the city hall, another at Skøyen, the third is located in a sidestreet to Storgata, Oslo's second shopping street. The latter is very easy to find. This is not the location for the romantic dinner. It is one of several restaurants in a gray city street.

Interior and decor: BBBB+

The restaurant is on the ground floor on a new office building. It was built on the location of the city's "Tukthus" - the workhouse. The old wall was taken down, stone by stone and built up into the new house. The wall goes through the restaurant, and divides it into two separate rooms. It is a charming feature.

The decor is modern, walls in bright and light colours, coloured lamps, comfortable red chairs, tables in light wood. A smart inventive interior.

Price: BBBB+

We had one starter, one main course and shared a bottle of red wine. Paying NOK 350 (€45) is decent. It is not a rip-off, but it does not feel like a bargain.

Service: BBBBB

The service is excellent, swift without delay.

Food: BBBB+

We ordered a bruschetta al crudo e gorgonzola - a toast with parma ham and gorgonzola cheese. Personally I would have chosen another type of bread for my toast, as this one was a little fine for my taste.

However - the combination of ham and gorgonzola is unbeatable, and it tasted great with a crispy salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Then I ordered DELIZIE ROMAGNOLE as a main course - fresh rolls of pasta, filled with spinach, ham and mushrooms. Topped with tomato and bechamel sauce.

It was served in a sizzling hot oven-proof dish. The cheese on top had melted, but not turned crisp. This meant that it was stringy, and a little hard to eat. The taste was delicious. The mild bechamel partly mixed with the tomato sauce. Delicious spinach, ham and mushroom filling.

We enjoyed a merlot from Veneto, bottled for Santino's. Prices at a little over €35, it was value for money. Wines made from the merlot grape are the real thing, and this wine did not disappoint us.

All in all - a good meal!

Rating the Santino's experience: BBBB+ (4,48 points)

Decent food and wine at a reasonable price. Recommendable!!

Santino's Youngstorget
Hammersborggata 12
N-0181 Oslo
+47 23 10 07 40
See website of Santino's Youngstorget

More restaurants?

See other restaurants visited in 2008 here

See restaurant ratings on Enjoy Food & Travel from 2006-2007 here

See unrated restaurants on Enjoy Food & Travel from 2006-2007 here

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