Dinner at Orso, Anchorage, AK

This was hands-down the best place we ate at during the entire trip. Of course, sometimes we were on a slight budget so our restaurant choices weren’t always the greatest, but compared to the other big ticket meal (Lavelle’s Bistro), this was much better.

We started with the seafood deviled eggs – where the yolks are mixed with a crab salad and real king crab chunks. It was really good! Perhaps we should have gotten two portions of this. More places should devil other things into the yolk instead of just mayonnaise.

The oyster mushroom and italian sausage flat bread was beautifully charred, and I never thought oyster mushroom and italian sausage would go together but it does! It was topped with really melty mozzarella and sweet red peppers, and the whole combination was perfect and not too carby.

Our last appetizer was a plate of these crispy ravioli filled with cheese and topped with parmesan. They were served with a salsa and pesto dip on the side (which ran out really quick). Actually I think ravioli can be fried if fresh without needing to be breaded, but these were not too bad. The appetizers were all the perfect size to pique our appetite instead of making us full (unlike many other appetizers on the trip :P)

One of our three entrees was a flat-iron steak “salad” served with a hunk of grilled romaine. The romaine was arguably larger than the steak, and it was covered with bleu cheese crumbles, pine nuts, and drizzled with balsamic reduction. We all loved the romaine (except our resident meatarian who doesn’t eat fresh vegetables -.-), it had such a nice charred taste. The flat iron steak was done medium and really tender.

I ordered the crab mac & cheese in a lobster cream sauce. It had little prawns in it and a king crab leg on top that you have to deshell yourself. Actually I think the crab mac & cheese at Mamma Melina is quite comparable and definitely more value for money, but this one featured tight fusilli curls covered in a creamy lobstery sauce that everybody loved. I think this dish has to be shared though, it’s so heavy.

Here’s the afore-raved-about grilled romaine that came with the flat iron steak.

We also ordered a crab stuffed alaskan rockfish which sat on some cauliflower puree drizzled with extremely green EVOO. It was served with these beautiful baby carrots that everybody loved (including the meatarian). Personally I liked the mac & cheese the best, and followed by the flat iron steak and then the rockfish, but everybody else liked the rockfish best.

Their creme brulee is a little unconventional in that the custard is filled with spiced currants and crispy risotto pieces. Isn’t that strange? I didn’t really fancy it (would have preferred a normal creme brulee) but it was interesting. We ordered it because the other desserts sounded so normal (chocolate lava cake, cheese cake, etc.)

Our second novel dessert was a chocolate cream (think chocolate pot de creme, or chocolate mousse) with espresso and raspberry puree. I liked this, but you had to work a little hard to dip your spoon through all 3 layers of the dessert so you’d get a little of something. The espresso layer was my favourite, and the raspberry puree was just tart enough to cut through the heaviness of the pudding. Loved it.

This restaurant wasn’t really crowded on the weekday night we went. It gives opentable dining points though if you make a reservation via opentable :) The interior has a slight oriental touch (look up and see the lanterns) and is really quite cosy. If you’re ever in Anchorage this restaurant is definitely worth checking out.


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