LE BENJAMIN BAR & BISTRO

Just a day after lovers’ day in February we celebrate our anniversary of being together. Usually we just go out for a dinner and a drink. Nothing special, but this is how Debeli widens his views regarding culinary industry, I have a blog theme, and together we still end up eating something. Which is essential for your life being, if you didn’t know 🙂

Since this year was our first Oslo’s anniversary, we decided to be extremely romantic. Not. The French restaurant that was on our list is very close where we live and had the best offering at the moment when we were discussing where to go. And that was right after extreme workout at miniature golf course 😀

Le Benjamin is a small French bar and a bistro with some fifty seating places. The restaurant is located in the hipster district Grünerløkka, right next to the Akerselva river and it’s very attractive both in the summer and during cold dark winter days. The audience is diverse; it ranges from families to business partners or friends who comes for a sip of champagne while chatting up.

We entered the restaurant minutes before people came after work. Everybody here eats after 17h so it was pure luck to get a free spot.

But … .let’s talk about food. The bistro offers a number of appetizers and main courses together with a daily menu that can be combined with other meals from the menu. Fantastic idea, btw! Debeli decided to go for the tarte flambée or a flammekuechle from the Alsace region with forest mushrooms, truffles and gruyere cheese. This specialty is made from a thinly sliced dough topped with sour cream, and sprinkled with bacon and onion. The name flammekuechle or flammkuchen in German was given due to the strong fire on which the bread is baked. One would say that tarte was nothing special, but it was very very delicious. And filling.

Tarte flambée à notre façon aux champignons sauvages et truffes

My gratinated onion soup was absolutely fantastic. Tasty, warm soup, with a ton of melted cheese and crunchy deep fried onion rings with watercress mayonnaise was enough to give a winning medal to the soupe à l’oignon.

Soupe à l’oignon, oignons frits et mayonnaise aux cresson

The onion soup is considered a classic of French cuisine, although such soups existed in the roman period. It has long been considered a food just for the poor because of the main ingredient which was cheep and affordable, but it gained great popularity in the 60’s because of the huge interest in French cuisine especially in the United States. I’m just going to say one name: Julia Child. The preparation of the soup is very simple, and you can find various recipes on the internet. It’s great for a hangover and the cold. Try it!

Debeli’s main dish was veal liver with veggies and potatoes in red wine sauce served from the daily menu. He was afraid that the meal would not be enough for him but in the end it turned out to be both fantastic and filling. Always a good combination especially when you don’t eat as much animal liver as we used to.

I have, unexpectedly, opted for a lamb that is never my first choice, but since I wasn’t craving poultry I decided to be wild and crazy 🙂 Aside from having surgically cut out the fat from two pieces of meat, the lamb was great. Soft, succulent without the characteristic lamb smell, and it was perfectly matched with mustard sauce, pieces of apple and some greens. The biggest surprise or better say shock were the sweetbreads. The word “sweet bread” doesn’t stand for pieces of sweet bread as my brain imagined it. Sweetbreads are bits of a thyroid gland, deep fried in this case?! Yes, that was my expression too 🙂 What surprised me though, was their taste; it’s quite okay, a bit like fattier pork rind.

Baron d’agneau grillé, ris croustillants et sauce moutarde
I had Muscadet Amphibolite nature 2015 by Domaines Landron wine while Debeli was drinking Chateau La Fleur Garderose 2013 red wine by Vignobles Pueyo

Hot madeleines for the dessert were my first choice when I was looking at the menu. I have a defect where I combine the whole menu according to my wanted dessert. Crazy but that’s me. Anyways, madeleines are traditional little cookies from the northeastern province of France, called Lorraine. They are made from eggs, flour, sugar, almonds or some other nuts, and they are usually baked in small shell mold. They can be served with marmalade, sweet cream or tea as in the Prust’s novel In search of lost time.

And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

Madeleines encore chaudes, crème chantilly et chocolat Valrhona

Our madeleines were served with whipped cream and melted Valhrona chocolate. Heavenly! Served in a small ”hospital” bowl on a common wooden tray, they were perfect ending of our festive dinner. Next year it’s gonna have to be bigger and better than this!

http://www.lebenjamin.no/

 


LE BENJAMIN BAR & BISTRO

Sredinom veljače Debeli i ja slavimo godišnjicu bivanja zajedno i to uglavnom obilježimo večerom u nekom od restorana. Ništa posebno, čisto onako službeno. Debeli proširi vidike, ja imam temu za blog, a skupa si gricnemo nešto. Vuk sit, a ovce na broju 🙂

Kako je ove godine naša prva godišnjica u Oslu, odlučili smo bit ekstremno romantični pa smo objedovali u francuskom restoranu. Ne, zapravo Le Benjamin je bio, u trenutku odluke, jedini od restorana s najprivlačnijom hranom (čitaj juha od luka 😀 ). I vrlo je blizu doma, što je plus kad se najedeš i samo bi prilegao negdje, a to još nitko ne nudi.

Le Benjamin je mali francuski bar i bistro s nekih pedesetak sjedećih mjesta, smješten u hipsterskom kvartu Grünerløkka, tik uz rijeku Akerselvu i vrlo je privlačan kako ljeti tako i zimi. Publika je raznolika; od obitelji do poslovnih partnera ili prijateljica koje dođu prigrist nešto na šank ispijajući usput čašu šampanjca. Norvežani se jako pale na to.

U restoran smo došli u zadnji čas prije nego što su nahrupili ljudi nakon posla. Tamo ionako svi jedu nakon 17h, a i mi smo se zaigrali. Na mini golfu, jel te?

Nego….hrana; bistro nudi desetak predjela i isto tako glavnih jela s tim da u ponudi imaju i dnevni meni koji se može kombinirati s ostalim jelima na jelovniku. Sjajna ideja! Debeli se tako odlučio za tarte flambée ili alzaški flammkuchen sa šumskim gljivama, tartufima i gruyere sirom. Inače, ovaj specijalitet se pravi od tanko razvaljanog dizanog ili običnog tijesta s premazom od kiselog vrhnja, a posipa se slaninom i lukom. Ime „flammkuchen“ dobio je zbog jake vatre na kojoj se peče. Čovjek bi rekao ništa posebno, ali bilo je vrlo fino. I zasitno.

Tarte flambée à notre façon aux champignons sauvages et truffes

Moja granatirana 🙂 juha od luka bila je apsolutno fantastična. Krepka, topla, s tonom topljenog sira i hrskavo pečenim lukom uz majonezu s potočarkom bila je dovoljna da joj odmah dodijelim pobjedničku medalju.

Juha od luka smatra se klasikom francuske kuhinje, iako su ovakve juhe postojale još u rimsko doma. Dugo se smatrala jelom isključivo za siromašne zbog glavne namirnice, no veliku popularnost doživjela je 60ih godina prošlog stoljeća zbog ogromnog interesa za francusku kuhinju posebice u Sjedinjenim Američkim Državama. Reći ću samo jedno ime; Julia Child. Priprema juhe je vrlo jednostavna, a brdo recepata imate na internetovima. Odlična je za mamurluk i prehladu. Probajte!

Soupe à l’oignon, oignons frits et mayonnaise aux cresson

Glavno jelo, teleće jetrice s povrćem i pire krumpirom u umaku od crnog vina, Debeli je izabrao s dnevnog menija i ostao oduševljen. Jetrice, inače, bar u Norveškoj, rijetko jedemo, pogotovo u restoranima, a ove su bile fantastično spravljene, vrlo jednostavno kombinirane s ostalim namirnicama i vrlo zasitne. Debeli se bojao da će siroti ostati gladan nakon predjela, ali debelo se prevario. Debeli, pa debelo 😀

Ja sam se, neočekivano, odlučila za janjetinu koja inače nikad nije moj prvi izbor, ali kako mi se nije jela nikakva perad, rekoh jednom se živi. I preživjela sam. I te kako! Bez obzira što sam kirurški isecirala ta dva komada mesa, jer se grozim svega što nije čisto meso, janjetina je bila sjajna. Mekana, sočna bez onog (meni) odbojnog mirisa, a fenomenalno se slagala s umakom od senfa, komadićima jabuke i neke zelenjave. Najveće iznenađenje ili bolje reći šok bili su sweetbreads. U prijevodu ”slatki kruh” nisu komadići slatkog kruha kako je moja inteligencija sebi to posložila već se radi o u ovom slučaju duboko prženoj, pazite sad – štitnoj žlijezdi?! Da, takvu facu sam i ja složila 🙂 Ono što me dodatno iznenadilo kako im je okus sasvim ok, kao malo deblji čvarci. I super je kak’ sam ja to tamanila dok mi Debeli nonšalantno nije rekao o čemu se radi. Tad sam prestala. Tamaniti sweetbreads 😀

Baron d’agneau grillé, ris croustillants et sauce moutarde

Ali sam zato nemilosrdno riješila desert. Topli madeleines su bili moj prvi izbor još kad sam gledala predjela. Imam tu neku manu, jer ne bih rekla da je vrlina, da si odmah na početku večere složim menu u skladu s desertom. Ako restoran tu fula s ponudom, džaba ti novci. I sve ostalo. Madeleines su tradicionalni mali kolačići iz sjevernoistočne francuske pokrajine Lorraine. Prave se od jaja, brašna, šećera, badema ili drugih orašastih plodova, a najčešće se peku u kalupima u obliku školjke ili, moja baka bi rekla: medvjeđe šape. Nakon pečenja, kolačići se mogu poslužiti s marmeladom, slatkim vrhnjem ili uz čaj kao u Prustovom romanu U traganju za izgubljenim vremenom.

Nama su madeleines poslužili s tučenim vrhnjem i Valhorna topljenom čokoladom. Ono, božanstvo. Servirane u maloj ”bolničkoj” zdjelici na najobičnijem drvenom menza pladnju, jer im više ni ne treba, bile su savršen završetak naše prazničke večere. Za desetu godišnjicu moramo smisliti nešto još brutalnije 😀

// I tad mi odjednom pred očima iskrsne uspomena. Taj okus pripada komadiću madelaine, koji mi je u Combrayu, u nedjelju ujutro (…) davala tetka Léonie, kad bih došao u njezinu sobu, da je pozdravim; namočila bi ga u običan ili lipov čaj, i tada mi ga dala // Marcel Proust, À la recherche du temps perdu

http://www.lebenjamin.no/

 

 

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