Lysverket is the foremost proponent of the budding counterbalance to the constant fight for neo-Nordic excellence so prevalent in the Nordic capitals. The result of a partnership between of Chef Christopher Haatuft (previously of Per Se and Alinea,) and co-owner and musical mastermind Fredrik Samoa, as well as a host of well-respected coffee and bar alchemists. The place is refined, yet quietly hipster with an outspoken goal of making everything groovier for everyone.
Occupying a large room in the old electric company headquarters, Lysverket forms part of Bergen Art Museum. Located near a picturesque city-center pond with its fountain and surrounding tree-lined walkways visible from most of the restaurants large windows. The dining room itself is a well-balanced mix of handmade Danish wooden furniture and exposed concrete. It is all meticulously random in its simplicity.
At its heart a local seafood restaurant, Lysverket takes advantage of the glorious cold-water bounties found nearby. Dinner consists of a daily changing five-course tasting menu with carefully selected ingredients that, in some instances, are foraged by the chefs themselves. The kitchen takes every opportunity to highlight the stunning seafood in elegant presentations. This often includes perfectly cooked, fist-sized, scallops in any number of interpretations, as well as succulent local lobster when in season. But, also innovative and daring plates like a small bowl of local sea-snail in a vibrantly green herbal sauce.
The kitchen creates beautifully presented and delectable meals that require passion, long nights and a tremendous amount of craftsmanship from the chefs. Dishes have more sustenance than we have come to expect from the current wave of Nordic restaurants with their near comical lack of protein. Chef Haatuft champions a new culinary movement that offers plenty of punch and richness yet maintains elegance in a gentle balance. It is over the top and decadent while at the same time managing to have one foot firmly planted in rustic Norwegian food traditions.
Rasmus Meyers Allé