Wine review: Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013

29 03 2015

What, again riesling….?! Yes, because at the moment think it is THE best white wine grape.

The Austrian winery Leindl is a young company from Zöbing in Kamptal. The main focus is on grapes Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, Muscat, Burgundy and Zweigelt and Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and St. Laurent.

Tasted wine, Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013, has been maturated 9 months in stainless steel tanks, and on top of that 3 months in bottles. Most of riesling wines get some flavor from oak barrels, which usually improves the taste. I have tasted really “hard” steel tank rieslings like Gun Metal, which was not so pleasant experience. However, Leindl’s Irrbling, at least the reserve one, exceeded expectations.

Leindl riesling reserve - reijosfood.com

THE LOOK

Pale yellow with some light green apple, no visible acidity.

THE NOSE

Pleasant balanced aroma, nothing disturbed sniffing, not even possible steel metal tank bouquet

THE TASTE

Dry, some minerals but not so much as usually in Austian rieslings. No metal flavor, not too much petrol or acidity. Some might thing, that this is too light for riesling, but I do not.

Riesling - reijosfood.com

Facts:

Alcohol: 13,5 by volume
Extract: 25 g/l
Acidity: 6,6 g/l
Energy: 90 kcal/100 ml (360 kJ/100 ml)
Sugar: 5 g/l

This wine is suitable with white fishes and white meats but also good choice for aperitif.

Tasted the wine first as aperitif and then with spicy salad thai style and grilled giant shrimps. For main course had blue halibut with noodles again asian style. Leindl Irrbling Riesling Reserve 2013 paired nicely with both dishes.

Bang for the buck is two plus because wine costs a little bit over 20€ in Alko. Cut few euros and this wine would be bull’s eye.

REVIEW: OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5 – BANG FOR THE BUCK ++ / +++

Weingut Leindl | Wir verbinden Tradition & Innovation.





Restaurant review: Copas y Tapas – revisit

24 03 2015
Cava at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Cupatge d’honor from Pere Ventura

Copas y Tapas is an independent family-owned business which serves Spanish food and wines with Finnish flavor. Restaurant is located at Fabianinkatu, close to Senate Square. Dining rooms are on two levels and both areas were booked-up on Saturday evening.
Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas downstairs

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

Copas y Tapas upper dining room

 

Have visited Copas y Tapas several times before; earlier reviews can be found by using search. Previous visits have been successful, therefore expectations were again high.

Three course dinner costs 46€ including “tapas” plate as starter, main course which can be chosen from 4 alternatives and dessert. 5€ additional payment for meat dishes.

Recommend to choose Menu of the Day because if you choose dishes separately, you pay as much for starter and main course.

But of course you might need some time to make a decision and best way to speed up decision process is to taste some cava for aperitif. Chose Cupatge d’Honor from Pere Ventura. Wine is produced from xarel.lo and chardonnay (30%) grapes. Chardonnay gives some smoothnes and balance to this cava, which I can recommend, if you have chance to taste it.

This time restaurant served for starters Soup, Filled capsicum and Smoked pork.

Soup was warm and tasty, enjoyed it first. Then finished capsicum, which had some delicious shrimp filling. And last smoked pork, which was with add-on’s great experience.

Tapas plate at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

You can choose from four different main courses, which differ almost every day depending on fresh ingredients available. Today alternatives were Duck, Marbled beef (5€ extra), Whitefish and Vegetarian. Chose meat, which was cooked on charcoal grill and whitefish.

With meat was served grilled scrumptious portobello mushrooms and some other enjoyable side dishes. And as you can see from the picture below, ripeness is perfect.

Whitefish was also superb with roots and swamps. And fish was enough big, which is not the fact in all restaurants.

Beef at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Decided to share 5 pieces of cheese instead of sweet dessert. Only way to remember all tasted cheeses was to ask waiter to write the names down, which he did really quickly, see the list below. Best one was blue cheese type of piece on the right side of plate.

Delicious home-made crispbread should be available in supermarkets, because it was so tasty.

Cheese plate at Copas y Tapas

Cheese list at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

For wine ordered bottle of Torres Vina Sol, which is neutral and easy to drink.

But of course wine lovers must enjoy wines, which pair with food eaten and therefore had glass of Propiedad from Palacios Remondo with the meat. Excellent wine produced from garnacha grapes in the Rioja region.

And with cheeses waiter, or could even say sommelier, chose Nectaria riesling wine from Torres. Not too sweet wine is produced in Chile at Valle de Curico.

Torres Vina Sol - reijosfood.com

Red wine at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.comorres sweet wines at Copas y Tapas - reijosfood.com

Copas y Tapas is excellent affordable fine dining bistro in Helsinki restaurant scene, especially if you want to have serious discussion about Spanish wines. Bottles are always brought to the table and usually you can choose from two alternatives, which waiter have pre-selected for you matching to the food.

Fusion cuisine blends brilliantly best parts of Spanish and Finnish food cultures. Michelin guys should check it for Bib Gourmand label.

Service, really important part of experience, was excellent again. Owner of the restaurant came to shake hands with us after recognizing us, which added extra feeling of being welcomed.

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE 5-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4,5/5

Ruoka | Ravintola Copas y Tapas





Restaurant review: Teatterin Grilli – what has happened?

19 03 2015

Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Teatterin Grilli is situated in Esplanade Park (Espa) behind Swedish theatre. It has been the front runner in compaining dining and social interaction with bar, which once was popular. Same concept has been operative at least for 10 years, which is a long life-cycle for restaurant/bar.

This time ordered from downgraded a la carte list Lime marinated whitefish, avocado and grilled gem lettuce and Grilled king prawns and country bread. Why downgraded? You could buy bread with tomato for 4,50€ as a starter.

Small portion of small whitefish pieces was tasty. If starter pays close to 14€, the size should be bigger. Whitefish is not the cheapest fish but would call this dish as snack.

Starter at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

For main courses had Grilled salmon, roasted eggplant, spinach and bell pepper sauce and TG Burger with chili flavoured shrimp mayonnaise and pommes frites.

Asked one salmon portion without spinach and waiter wrote that down. However, original portion included it and restaurant offered to change it. Now the fish was bigger and cooking was better, first salmon was overcooked and therefore dry.

TG burger was what it should have been. Delicious and spicy shrimp sauce makes this burger worth of over 20€. Unfortunately french fries were already softened, maybe to portion stayed too long under heat lamp.

Salmon 1 at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Salmon 2 at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

TG burger - reijosfood.com

First ordered for wine also as aperitif Peter Lehman Art & Soul riesling. Due to taste of petrol and acidity, ordered glasses of Arthur Metz riesling, which is more suitable for pre-dinner wine. Art & Soul paired well with fish dishes, but with burger red wine, of course.

Riesling at Teatterin Grilli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Teatterin Grilli is not any more what it used to be. Customers have dissappeared, only about 16 diners at 8PM. Although head waitress said that dining room was full before we arrived. Did we scare all other customer away?

Small starters and re-prepared salmon did not convice. Compared to food served last time and several other times, something had happened in the kitchen.

And serving, it went wrong from the start. We asked for another table in empty dining room, as we were first seated close to the kitchen and service door, which was open all the time. We got another table from not so convenient space where serving was difficult due to pillar. And we really felt, that we were not welcomed by main waitress after asking new table.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 3-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3+/5

http://www.teatteri.fi/teatterin-grilli





Restaurant review: Ragu – revisit

15 03 2015

Restaurant Ragu opened its doors April 15, 2014, respecting the history of renovated Neo-Renaissance house in the 1890s. Restaurant has dining rooms and all year-round open terrace, where we dined this time. Chefs Antti Antti Asujamaa and Erno Kemi have created a menu from Italian food traditions and Scandinavian ingredients.

Ragu used to have wine bar when we visited first time, but success in restaurant side required more space and bar was partly changed to dining room.

Started the dinner with Aperol Spritz and bland de blanc Champagne. Ragu makes the best Spritzs in Helsinki, because the amount of Aperol is just the right, so that you can identify the flavor.

Aperol Spritz at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Champagne at Ragu - reijosfood.com

You can choose separate portions from a la carte list or pick, for instance, one of the menus. We chose again menu Ludari with 4 courses, which partly are surprises. The name of the menu comes from the street restaurant is located, Ludviginkatu.

Kitchen is skilled to take into account customers constraints of some food ingredients and other wishes especially with this menu. Menu should change on weekly basis.

After placing the order freshly baked 4 different breads and 4 different spreads were brought to the table. Restaurant also served self made glutein-free bread (in the picture) and must say that the baker really can her job. You can also order home that bread, if you ask it day before.

Glutein-free bread at Ragu - reijosfood.com

For starters we were served Broiled trout, which was delicious. You really enjoy the taste of fish when it is broiled, but not too much because part of the trout was medium cooked.

Quail egg and pecorino cheese on salad leaves complemented the enjoyment of eating first course.

Broiled trout at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Second course was Crab soup which was served with style.

Pieces of crab were in glass jar, which was poured half full with crab stock.

You could also order this dish from a la carte list, which I can warmly recommend. That tasty and mouth-watering crab soup was!

Crab soup at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Crab soup in Ragu - reijosfood.com

For 3rd and main courses restaurant served Braised Iberico pork with risotto and Halibut with dark fish soup.

Pork was crisp due to long cooking time. Dish itself was prepared with professional way. Cauliflower lightened otherwise quite luscious dish.

Propably halibut was meant to be second dish as it was so small. Also salinity disturbed a little bit. Maybe the weakest link of all dishes.

Iberico pork at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Halibut at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Before dessert restaurant served Blue cheese in a glass jar. Jars are typical for Ragu as I was served veal similar way when visited first time restaurant.

Blue cheese at Ragu - reijosfood.com

And for desserts we got two different portions due to special requests concerning some of the food ingredients.

Pannacotta cake, Ice-cream and other goodies made the dessert like heaven.

Special dessert was prepared from Meringue and Sorbet, again tour de force from the kitchen.

Great way to end the dinner.

Dessert and wine at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Dessert at Ragu - reijosfood.com

For wines we trusted restaurant’s recommendations for each portion. All served wines came from Italy, of course.

Maybe the best of all 4 different wines was the only red wine with pork. From barbera grapes produced Giulia Negri from Piemonte paired brilliantly with meat.

Sweet white wine with dessert was not too sweet and matched with dish nicely.

Red wine at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Ragu has also Italian vintage wines from Angelo Baja, Piemonte. So, you can spend almost 500€ for white wine bottle of vintage 1999, if you like to.

Restaurant, as it is in elegantly renovated building and it’s dining rooms are classic yet chic, enjoys still of success. You can eat in privacy as tables are not too close to each other. Music is not too loud, again more customer-centric approach. As you can see from the glasses on the tables, every detail has been taken into account.

There are many paintings on the walls. We were sitting at the covered terrace where picture below was taken. Remember seeing at least 6 art works in that space.

Ragu dining room - reijosfood.com

Painting at Ragu - reijosfood.com

Food at Ragu is well prepared, elegantly set and delicious. Finnish-Italian fusion cuisine works well by combining best parts of both. If fish main course would not have been so salty, Ragu would have earned close to 5 points for food.

Waitresses take orders and serve drinks but you can meet chef’s, bakers and confectioners as they bring most of the portions to the tables. The contents of each portion was explained well and it is needed, if you choose surprise menu as we did.

Our revisit was successfull and can thefore recommend Ragu, if you are looking for sophisticated and modern dinner setting with excellent food.

REVIEW: FOOD 4,5/5 – SERVICE – 4,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE – 4,5/5





Restaurant review: Casa Mare – cozy bistro

9 03 2015

Zenato rose at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Casa Mare is most popular all year round bistro in Lauttasaari. Especially families with small children come to eat pizza with salad buffet, which includes to all main courses. Sometimes place is close to kindergarten; actually there is also playgroud for children.

In the summer time terrace surrounds restaurant building, cozy place to dine if weather allows. There is also bar if you just want to have a beer or drink.

You do not actually need to order starters, if you settle for salad buffet. It is simple, few basic salads and home made bread, but always enjoyable. Also self made spread is a must with the bread.

Salad from Buffet at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

For starters ordered Snacks Tiger shrimp marinated with garlic and chili, Pesto marinated shrimps and toasted bread as well as Parma ham and melon.

You get only one tiger shrimp, if you order that snack. A little bit difficult to share. On the other hand another snack included bunch of basic shrimps. Parma ham with melon is usually safe choice as it was at Casa Mare.

Snacks at Casa Mare - reijosfood.com

For main course had Chicken with goat cheese Chicken fillet, grilled goat cheese and Casa Mare pesto.

Basic portion with basic flavors but always enjoyable bistro dish.

With most of the main courses you have to choose side dish. Chose Honey seasoned root vegetables, which has always been delicious. Asked to leave onions from one portion away which succeeded easily.

Chicken and goat cheese at Blue Peter - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Casa Mare has one rose wine on their list and ordered that. Zenato Bardolino from Veneto, Italy is basic fruity rose wine and it pairs well with bistro type of food.

Service is always polite and quick although restaurant was full of customers. You can not make table reservation for small groups but usually you are able to get table. Have been lucky as we always dine by the window.

REVIEW: FOOD 4-/5 – SERVICE 4/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4/5

Restaurant Casa Mare lauttasaari, Helsinki – Place





Restaurant review: Santa Fe – Mexican style

4 03 2015

Red wine at Santa Fe - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Santa Fe serves Mexican food in the central of Helsinki city. Texmex, Cajun and international foods are in main role in the restaurants relaxed atmosphere. During summertime a decked court yard terrace is popular for dining and it also offers live music from Monday to Thursday starting at 21.00.

Santa Fe is located at Aleksin Piha where there are two other restaurants. All three dining spots are owned by same company and share terrace area. But at the end of February you definately want to dine inside.

Always start the dinner with Nachos, this time with Chips and Dips hot chili tomato and avocado dips and nachos.

Portion is small compared to, for instance Hard Rock Cafe but it costs half of it. So, is you are really hungry you might want to order also something else. Unless you fill your stomach with beer…..

Nachos at Santa Fe

For main course, of course, Chicken Fajitas!

Basic portion includes pieces of chicken breast, sweet pepper, onion, guacamole, hot chili tomato sauce, creme fraiche, jalopenos and two tortillas.

You can ask to replace onion with pepper, if you do not like onions. You also can ask for more sauces and extra tortillas if you like. Sauces you might want to ask, but 2 big tortillas are enough to be filled with chicken and other stuff.

Chicken Fajitss at Santa Fe - reijosfood.com

Fajitas at Santa Fe - reijosfood.com

Restaurant has wine offers, you can get either bottle of red or white wine at a price of 19.90€.

Wine offer at Santa Fe - reijosfood.com

Propably most of the diners order beer, but wine lovers choose wine even in Mexican restaurant. Utilized offer and ordered bottle of Canapi Shiraz, which was chosen as “cheap wine” of the year 2013 and costs only 6.99€ in Alko. So restaurant takes nice margin anyway….

Tried also rose wine Barefoot Rose which is too sweet even for Mexican food.

Aleksin Piha - reijosfood.com

Santa Fe is most popular Mexican food restaurant in Helsinki. In the summer time it is more thatn restaurant because of the terrace. Dining room is dark, therefore pictures are quite “dizzy”.

If you visit Helsinki in the summer time, you might want to stop by Aleksin Piha and eat something at oneof the 3 restaurants. Santa Fe is obvious choise, if you like spicy and especially Mexican food.

REVIEW: FOOD 3/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3,5/5 (winter time)

Santa Fé front page | In English | Santa Fe | Rafla.fi.





Restaurant review: Minos – Greek cuisine

1 03 2015

Restaurant Minos is over 25 years old restaurant, which serves traditional Greek food.  Clear proof of authenticity is language used by waiters/waiteresses; they talk to each other in Greek. Minos has pleasant covered terrace, which can be used also in the winter time, as it is heated.

Always choose to dine at the terrace, because you can observe by-passers at the same time. In the summer Minos has it’s own spot in popular Kamppi shopping center terrace area serving Greek wines and for instance Mythos beer.

Minos - reijosfood.com

Minos

For starters chose of course again Tzatziki yoghurt and cucumber salad and Dolmades vine leaves stuffed with rise and herbs.

Greek starters are always delicious, still miss taramosalata from holidays, but unfortunately it is not available at Minos. Tzatziki was made from genuine Greek yoghurt, not from Finnish or German and therefore really enjoyable. You can purchase similar dolmades from supermarkets in tins but so what, they were excellent.

Dolmades at Minos - reijosfood.com

Dolmades

Tzatziki at Minos - reijosfood.com

Tzatziki

For main courses we had Grilled chicken breast and halloumi cheese salad and Seafood salad with prawns, octopus, tuna and artichokes.

Chicken salad was excellent. Chicken itself was grilled as well as halloumi which makes the taste always better than fried or cooked. Seafood salad was slight dissappointment because there was only one artichoke (look the plural in the name) and somehow portion was a little bit wet. Maybe too much water from tuna fish can?

image

Salad of Chicken Breast and Halloumi Cheese

Seafood salad at Minos - reijosfood.com

Salad of Seafood

For wine had glasses of Greek white and red wine. OK with food, but not so enjoyable without it.

Minos is one of my favourite restaurants in Helsinki for meny reasons. I like Greek food and Minos prepares it well. And dining at the terrace, either under glass roof our outside is always pleasure. Therefore overall grade is high.

Note that restaurant is not open on Sundays.

Another, a little bit more sophisticated Greek restaurant El Greco, is also worth to visit. Review can be found by using search.

REVIEW: FOOD 3,5/5 – SERVICE 4-/5 – OVERALL GRADE 4+/5

Restaurant Minos.








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