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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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