One of Norway’s most talked-about fine dining destinations is Kvitnes Gård – a farm restaurant with a tasting menu in the middle of nowhere in Vesterålen, Norway. (It’s about a two-hour drive from Svolvær in Lofoten.) Chef Halvar Ellingsen is originally from this part of northern Norway; in fact, the farmhouse that houses the restaurant was built by his great-great-grandfather back in the 1800s. A few years ago, Ellingsen got the opportunity to carry out his family legacy, and open his dream farm-to-table restaurant. People are already calling Kvitnes Gård the “Fäviken of Norway.” Those are big shoes to fill! Watch our video below to see the full meal at Kvitnes Gård.
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KVITNES GÅRD Address & Contact Information Møysalveien 2659, Kvitnes, Norway Website Instagram Facebook
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Halvar Ellingsen honed his cooking skills in Oslo; he lived in Norway’s capital for ten years and worked at the likes of Arakataka, Bagatelle, and Palace Grill. Ellingsen moved back to his hometown of Kvitnes some years ago and got the opportunity to renovate his great grandfather’s old farmhouse. He decided to turn it into a culinary destination for Norwegians and food travelers alike. The bottom floor of the old farmhouse houses the dining room, while the top floor has bedrooms for guests. All dinner guests are required to spend the night at the farm – but this is ideal since you’re far from any city and you don’t want to be driving on those rough, bumpy roads in the dark. Besides, the farm breakfast is delicious!
Ellingsen and his team grow all their own vegetables on the farm. They also have sheep, pigs, cows, ducks, hens, quail, and lots of other animals that produce food for the restaurant – they use whole animals as much as possible. Other animals are just used to help run the farm; for example, the ducks eat snails that would eat the vegetables. The rest of the ingredients on the menu are local as well – Kvitnes Gård is surrounded by water, so they get fresh fish (halibut, urchins, etc.) from the fjord. In fact, all of the produce comes exclusively from Vesterålen, Lofoten, and Senja.
One of our favorite dishes was a serving of whale with smoked cream cheese and a sauce of fermented roses. We also loved the bread made from a traditional Sami recipe – barley, rye, buttermilk, and honey, topped with truffle seaweed, served with single cow butter. The only dish that was challenging for us was their signature dish, a take on Norwegian “blood pancakes.” This dessert (yes, dessert) mixes blood, salted lamb leg meat, black currants, and goat cheese ice cream wrapped in marshmallow. Definitely an unusual combination!
Overall, the food was really good, and with a really nice philosophy behind it, championing local ingredients, and not producing any waste. The restaurant and hotel only opened last year (just a few weeks before the pandemic), so it will be interesting to watch the concept continue to develop and improve with time. Kvitnes Gård might not be at Fäviken-level yet, but we do think it’s a culinary address deserving of one Michelin star.
Have you been to Kvitnes Gård yet? Let us know how your experience was in a comment below.