Do you ever find a restaurant so special that you want to tell the world? Yet at the same time keep it a secret all to yourself? That’s what I have found at Luihn’s.
Located in Kristiansand Norway, chef Roy Parker is someone I wish I could pack in my suitcase and take up residence in my kitchen forever.
His wife, Lisbeth. is wine connoisseur extraordinaire. She also comes home in my suitcase, not just because of her wine expertise but because she’s a wonderfully interesting and fun woman to talk with.
As I sit down for a “last night of an international trip” reward for myself, I had just two criteria which I asked of Lisbeth: (1) a robust red wine and (2) a healthy dinner. Notice how the wine is my #1 priority! Since I have visited this restaurant on prior trips to Kristiansand, I know this dinner will be an experience.
After my langostino starter, suggested by Lisbeth and paired with a glass of white wine, I opened my laptop to prepare a status report.
After awhile, I begin to wonder if she is going to bring me a menu for dinner. As I catch her eye, I ask Lisbeth “What’s for dinner?” thinking she will be bringing me a menu for the main course. Instead, she says that they have something special being prepared for me – something that will exactly match with my wine and healthy meal requirements.
Now this can make some people uncomfortable but I’m excited for the unknown. “Oh, I love surprises,” I tell Lisbeth. We talk about the pleasure in experiencing new foods around the world by just being open to it. We talk about local customs and her new grandbaby.
I eagerly await my dinner, sipping an amazing Bordeaux. And yes, still working on the status report 🙁
Lisbeth then presents my dinner. A healthy-looking, beautifully presented plate of Angus beef. A bowl of grilled vegetables and a side dish of an amazing sauce all look perfect. Roy comes out of the kitchen to see how my dinner is. Don’t you love when a chef really cares if you are enjoying your meal?
I ask Roy for the ingredients of the side dish. Red wine, mushrooms, tarragon … he makes it sound so simple and yet I know I won’t be able to replicate this in my own kitchen. I love every bite of my dinner and know I will be comparing every other restaurant to this experience.
I close my laptop and give up on work. The status report can wait. The wine needs to be enjoyed and experienced, not sipped while trying to write a coherent report. I lean back and breathe in the experience and am grateful for the opportunity to be here.
I know you may never visit Kristiansand, Norway, though I hope you will visit many cities away from your hometown. Look for the opportunity to feel the experience of the local culture, the local people and the local foods. It will make all the difference in the world between “just a business trip” versus “A great experience.” And do let me know if you get to Luihn’s — I am sure you’ll enjoy Roy and Lisbeth’s creations just as much as me.