Villa Paradiso – Pizza and Panna Cotta

I’ve been eyeing this pizza place in Grünerløkka since vacationing in Oslo last winter. The line is always so long and it can be difficult to get a table.  But recently, we were successful – without a reservation – to get a table at Villa Paradiso on a Thursday night.  In celebration, the first thing we did was order a carafe of the house Chianti wine.  It was easy to drink without a strong bite.  I typically prefer something stronger but on a hot day in Oslo, this tasted great!

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Of course, my husband and I both agreed that we should order pizzas at Villa Paradiso. I ordered the Indiavolata which has tomato, mozzarella, salami, olives, red onion, pecorino cheese and oregano.  The pizza is thin crust and with all of these delicious toppings, you definitely need a knife and fork.  It’s far to heavy to pickup with your hands, but the outer crust is nicely oven crisp.  This pizza, in particular, has a nice mild spice and smokey flavor to it. In addition, the olives provide a nice tang in the midst of the savory sauce and toppings.

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My husband ordered the  “La Risacca” pizza which features tomato, mozzarella, pancetta, gorgonzola and a pesto sauce made with pine nuts and arugula.  This pizza was a bit milder and sweet (in comparison to the Indiavolata) but still with all the outer crust yumminess.  The gorgonzola cheese is very mild and hardly noticeable.  I love a strong gorgonzola flavor but I imagine that sentiment is not shared amongst the masses.  The pesto was deliciously nutty.  Both pizzas sang beautifully with the fresh sauce and toppings.  The food is a true and honest nod to Italian pizza.

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Finally, we decided to share a dessert and were not disappointed.  We ordered the pistachio panna cotta with strawberries in a lemoncello sauce.  First of all, Norwegian strawberries are amazing.  In the United States, you’d really have to search in stores for strawberries equally as sweet, ruby red and perfectly ripe.  This dessert is a lovely twist on a classic and pairs wonderfully together.

IMG_8201With a laid back atmosphere and delicious, fresh ingredients, this is one of my new favorite restaurants in Oslo.

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