Majorstuen is an area of Oslo I visit too seldom. Not for the lack of good dining options, though – places like Fyr Bistronomi, À L’aise, Restaurant Cru, and Publiko are all worth a visit. Yet, I’m rarely in the hood. A new natural wine bar, coffee shop, and eatery might just change that. Pedro’s tiny wine bar soft-opened last week, but has its official grand opening party tomorrow (Sunday, May 13th, 2018)! This kind of place is exactly what Oslo needs more of, in my opinion. Unpretentious and easy to drop by at any point of the day, whether it’s for your morning caffeine fix (from 9 AM), a glass of wine and a bite in the afternoon (from 5 PM), or late night snacks and bottles upon bottles of natural juice (until midnight).
Note: This restaurant has closed permanently.
Pedro’s is run by chef and owner Pedro Caiado (25), from Lisbon in Portugal. The first time I tasted his food was at a Brygg Oslo‘s pop-up last year, where he also revealed his future plans to me. Since then, I’ve had his place listed on my restaurant rumors page. On Monday this week, my friend Linn Johnsen (Vinstudinen) and I decided to stroll the half hour walk from Grünerløkka to the crossroads where Hegdehaugsveien turns into Bogstadveien, and check out Caiado’s new project. We immediately felt at home when Pedro welcomed us with open arms and a big smile. Inside, you find two small white marble tables and one larger one in wood, as well as a beautiful bar clad in pink tiles, with a green marble countertop. There’s also an outdoor seating area.
Realizing that a tiny wine bar truly is tiny, we grabbed a seat at two of the four bar stools. On the shelves behind the bar, I could see a lot of my favorite wine producers lined up – Patrick Sullivan, Ismael Gozalo, Frank Cornelissen, Arianna Occhipinti, and Jean-Pierre Robinot to name a few. Pedro offered us a glass of kombucha to start. It was perhaps the best of its kind that I have tasted, dry and citrusy, almost like a good sparkling wine. Trusting Caiado, we asked him to make us some bar snacks. Shortly after, the bar in front of us filled up with plates of small nibbles. It was just like being back in Lisbon again, where small tapas-style snacks like these are called petiscos. In fact, Pedro’s reminds me of a mix between the natural wine bar Bar Lardo in Oslo, and a classic Portuguese taberna like Taberna da Rua das Flores in Lisbon.
Thinly shaved pork loin from Indre Oslo Matforedling on a plate together with some damn good olive oil from the Italian winemaker Frank Cornelissen near Mount Etna on Sicily. I knew the Portuguese were obsessed with olive oil as a side to bread, but I didn’t know it could be this delicious together with ham as well. Another plate with toasted bread from Ille Brød in Oslo came with grilled cabbage and burnt beach leek, plus a smoked sour cream on the side to dip the bread – just lovely. Finally, the Portuguese classic bacalhau. Salted, dried, cod that was rehydrated and baked to flaky perfection. A simple condiment made from sweet caramelized onions on the side was just what the dish needed to off-balance the saltiness.
I badly wanted to order a bottle of Patrick Sullivan, Jumpin Juice, Half Full, Rosé Edition, which I recently enjoyed for the first time at Pjoltergeist in Oslo. It’s so damn good that I think it will be my celebration wine on the 17th of May (the Norwegian Constitution Day and national day of Norway) this year. However, Pedro had us convinced to try some Portuguese wines instead. I guess, I’ll just have to save Mr. Sullivan for the opening party. A rosé from the producer Quinta do Perdigão in the Dão region of Portugal had a tropical fruit aroma, and tasted of redcurrants, with a refreshing mouthfeel. We also tried a light and juicy red wine, Boina, from the newly started small-scale producer Portugal Boutique Winery in the Douro valley. Without a doubt the best red wine I have tasted from Portugal.
This sunny afternoon, we witnessed a lot of curious people poking their heads inside for a peek at Pedro’s wine bar. A group of young girls ordered a bottle and some snacks to enjoy outside, while an elderly man and woman had a glass of sparkling wine each at a table inside. Pedro treated them all with the same respect, in his humble and relaxed approach. I think this place could get really popular, very quickly.
Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in the Norwegian capital? Check out my foodie map of Oslo.
Check out what Vinstudinen wrote about Pedro’s (text in Norwegian).
What’s your favorite wine bar in Oslo? Please leave a comment below.