“No swimwear is required for your evening with us, but neither is formal wear,” reads a line from the FAQ portion of the website for the restaurant Under, which opened in Norway this week.
Yes, indeed. That’s because Under is no run-of-the-mill, land-locked eatery. As the name suggests, it’s a fine dining establishment with decidedly more subaquatic aspirations. According to its website, the new restaurant is “semi-submerged beneath the icy waters of the North Atlantic in Lindesnes”—a municipality located in Norway—where “guests are invited to dine five and a half meters below the surface, the panoramic view of the ocean floor providing the dramatic backdrop.”
Here, amid darting fish, floating seaweed, and other subaqueous beings, head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard will be preparing a seasonal menu that makes heavy use of the very aquatic flora and fauna that envelop the restaurant, prepared with Scandinavian flavors and flair. “Just on the other side of our iconic window—the ocean is bursting with fresh delicacies from the sea, so the journey from the kitchen to the plate is minimal,” he says. (Here’s hoping you don’t mind looking out the window and seeing the cousin to your entree swimming about.)
And if you’re expecting some roasted salmon, think again. “Fresh ingredients and pure, naked flavors are of utmost importance to us,” Ellitsgaard said. “At the same time, we want to provide a unique dining experience that ushers our guests beyond their current comfort zone.”
That experience begins with the structure itself. The restaurant appears to be half-sunken into the sea, giving it an otherworldly feel, and the design elements, both ethereal and stark, mirror that. Oak, concrete, and raw steel all come together to create a feeling of a ship’s hull that’s landed on the ocean floor. And while the food is no doubt the star here, the restaurant’s design is also an undeniable highlight.
The Immersion menu costs around $266, but with the recommended wine pairings it can cost more than $400 (there’s also a non-alcoholic juice pairing available). And the restaurant, despite its far-flung location, is already booked out for more than six months in advance.