No3: Arctic Circle cuisine
In the town of Mo i Rana, just south of the Arctic Circle – where the summer sun never sets, but merely sweeps the horizon, before dipping back up for another day – sits No3 restaurant and cocktail bar.
The restaurant is situated in a wooden house dating from 1907, which has the tradition of good food as part of its very foundation – the very first lady of the house, Levie Trønsdal, was alleged to be such a good cook, that the neighbours regularly left their Sunday roasts to come over and taste hers. Nowadays, people pilgrimage from further afield to get a taste of the locally sourced, Nordic based, down-to-earth menu at No3.
Whether you are visiting Mo i Rana itself, are on your way to Lofoton or the coast of Helgeland – Lofoten’s less-heard-of pearl of a little brother – or perhaps on your way up to the North Cape, No3 is the ideal place to stop for a meal and a drink. “Our focus is on quality, locally-sourced produce and a great atmosphere,” says manager Vegar Bergli, who wants just one thing for the guests – for them to have a good time. With a menu that offers the ultimate combination of tradition and innovation, beers from microbreweries from across the country and, if you book a weekend table, live entertainment, they do just that.
Let us linger with the drinks for a moment. Yes, you did read correctly earlier – it is a cocktail bar. Nestled just below the polar circle sits a little piece of New York and London, in a heavenly position beneath the midnight sun. Even better, you can sip away at the mixologists’ creations without the Shoreditch hipsters and the yummy Harlem mummies. Simply come as you are, with walking boots or without, and you will be served. And if the hike, the boat trip, the dog-sleigh trek or the grotto expedition have worn you out, worry not! Order an Aquavit-infused cocktail
and recharge your batteries.
A seasonal menu
The north of Norway is ever-changing, becoming two completely different countries in winter and summer. And, just as the season changes, so must the menu. Three times a year, something new happens in the kitchen, depending on whatever nature is providing at that time. Crayfish are at their best during the coldest months, and in autumn, the potatoes are fresh out of the ground. And if you are travelling in a group, why not try ‘the plank’ – a big piece of wood carrying a selection of different meats, sauces, potatoes and bread. No3 has built its kitchen on a strong Nordic culinary tradition. “We want to make honest food at good value. There are no shortcuts here,” says Bergli’s business partner, manager Robin Myren. Together, they have created a place where it is not just about enjoying a meal, but about sitting back and enjoying life.
111 years later
There is history in this place. Lots of history. The very first thing that meets your eye when you step into this 111-year-old house is Levie Trønsdal herself, the very first cook of the house. Someone has captured her in a photograph, sitting on the stairs of her newly built home together with her husband. It is a baffling thought, that they made this place over a century ago, and it is still here. As you step further into the house, you embark on a journey through time. The house is full of photographs and old objects and, by the time you get to the last table, you will find yourself
in Mo i Rana in the 1960s.
In short, it is not only a culinary journey this restaurant takes you on, but a historicalone. And maybe even one from the heart – to the heart of someone with passion for food and for their guests. This house has held its doors open to travellers since 1907. So go on, invite yourself over for a Sunday roast.
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