Restaurant review: Tony’s deli

9 05 2015

Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Tony’s deli was re-opened in April 2015 after an extensive renovation. Italian cuisine continues to be the main attraction, but restaurant includes now more space due to the new spot at street level.

Main restaurant, Tony’s deli, serves more sophisticated portions like it did in the past.

Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Lounge diVino with shop has a antipasti buffet and new in restaurant concept, Italian Street bar, is most relaxed, when it comes to athmosphere. There you can order antipasti trays and even listen modern music.

Lounge diVino - reijosfood.com

Antipasti Buffet - reijosfood.com

Tony’s deli (restaurant name) was founded already in 2005, but after some changes in restaurant location and ownership, Ravintolakolmio http://www.ravintolakolmio.fi/ operates it.

First hiccup came when asked recommendation for aperitif and if restaurant has Aperol Spritz. Waitress had to go ask if they have it….. Decided to order Campari soda and glass of house champagne, which was Mumm.

Campari soda - reijosfood.com

Started dinner with Antipasti as in Italian restaurant you should do. Depending on the amount and size of these small Italian snacks, you soon know if you have to skip Primi Piatti, pastas, which are also on menu.

For antipasti had Tony’s delis beef carpaccio with raspberry vinegar, Olives with basil and rocket and Grilled gem lettuce with parmesan and pine nuts.

Beef was tender but taste was covered under sweet vinegar, salt and parmesan. With less of those, this dish would have been excellent. Olives are good example of basic Italian antipasti and Tony’s deli managed well. Gem lettuce could have been more grilled, but it must be difficult to avoid burning of soft lettuce leave.

With starters restaurant serves delicious foccaccia and even gluten-free bread if needed.

Beef Carpaccio - reijosfood.com

Olives at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Salad at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered Braised entrecote of beef with thyme and red wine sauce and Pan-fried white fish with white wine sauce. For main courses you have to choose side dish from 8 different alternatives. Part of them are the same as starters.

Entrecote was braised well so that grease had almost gone. Only problem was that lettuce was softening in sauce. Suggest to serve it in separate bowl as potatoes for whitefish. Fish was well prepared but maybe side dish suggestion, potatoes, is not the perfect match.

Braised entrecote - reijosfood.com

Whitefish at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Wine list is modest consisting mainly from Italian wines. Chose for red wine Chianti which paired well with meat starter and main course. Montiggl riesling instead was dissappointment. Tasted almost like sauvignon blanc and it was served too early. Had to ask ice for it.

Noticed that restaurant offers wine tastings, but if 4 glasses are filled with 16cl at once, what happens to temperature of white wines?

Chianti at Tony's deli - reijosfood.com

Tony’s deli antipasti buffet is the one you must choose, if you visit restaurant. It is most popular among diners. Main courses are of course most difficult to prepare.

As restaurant has been opened month ago, waitering needs still some guidance.

Italian pizzeria music in the background might attract most and main dining room is quite impressive due to glass roof. There are many paintings on the wall’s and Sophia Loren is still on men’s room wall.

Sophia Loren - reijosfood.com

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

Restaurant Tony’s Deli – Italian restaurant, Helsinki

 





Restaurant review: La Bottega (Tallinn, Estonia)

16 07 2014

Trattoria La Bottega offers a cross-section of the Italian cuisine, with a special emphasis on Italian food and wines consistency. Sardinian origin chef Nicolo Tanda favorites, fish and seafood are represented in restaurants menu.

La Bottega is part of Sparkling Group which owns several fine dining restaurants in Tallinn.

In Italian restaurant you must start the dinner with aperitivo. As Aperol Spritz was not available, we enjoyed Campari Soda’s.

Campari Soda's at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

For starters we ordered Antipasti and Prawn tails in spicy fresh tomato sauce and grilled focaccia.

Antipasti plate was generous including salami, Parma ham, eggplant, bruschetta,…..one of the biggest antipasti portions seen for a while. Tomato sauce with prawn tails was really scrumptious. It could have been used as pasta sauce, on top of a pizza or even to be eaten as such. Best flavor kitchen servedduring our visit.

Antipasti at La Bottega - reijosfood.comPrawn tails at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

Primi Piatti, or actually pasta, Spaghetti with garlic oil and chilli and Tomato salad with mozzarella buffalo cheese.

Had to order pasta in order to try how kitchen manages. And it managed well; spaghetti was al dente and garlic and chilli tasted nicely. As restaurant does not serve gluten-free pasta ordered caprese salad (tomato and mozzarella) for another Primi Piatti. Genuine Italian mozzarella di bufala beats cheeses made of cow milk.

Spaghetti at La Bottega - reijosfood.comMozzarella and tomato at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

Main courses this time were Herb marinated quail with oven baked eggplant and Braised rabbit in white wine and olive sauce, potato-spinach puree.

As La Bottega had quite challenging and rare meats on it’s a la carte list, had to try couple of them.

Two small quial legs made us mention to waitress that portion should be starter. The answer was separate side dishes are because of that. You have to choose them with certain portions. We had ordered two side dishes; Baked aubergine with garlic and parsley and Rucola and tomato salad. Unfortunately quail legs were also a little bit dry and should have been starters, with or without side dish.

Rabbit included side dish but rucola salad paired nicely with it. Meat was overdone, otherwise it tasted like rabbit should be.

Quail at La Bottega - reijosfood.comRabbit at La Bottega - reijosfood.comSide dishes at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

Wine list consists only of Italian wines. We chose Gavi di Gavi Fossili which paired well with all dishes. The dinner was finalized with Italian digestives, Grappa and Limoncello, of course. Taste of lemon was quite thin in Limencello and the color was not so deep yellow as it should be.

Espresso and grappa at La Bottega - reijosfood.comGreen tee and Limocello at La Bottega - reijosfood.com

Dining rooms are cozy and first one behind entrance is really high in old historic building. We arrived so early that dinner time had not yet started.

La Bottega dining room - reijosfood.com

If weather allows you can also have lunch at the terrace; why not even dinner if evening is warm. Terrace is also perfect place to observe by-passers and other terraces close to La Bottega‘s one.

La Bottega terrace - reijosfood.com

La Bottega is good Italian restaurant with ambitious menu. No pizza’s which of course prune customer base. But you get a chance to eat in more peaceful athmosphere than in many pizzeria/trattoria type of restaurants in Old Town. When it comes to food, would classify La Bottega as ristorante but based on decor more trattoria type.

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

http://labottega.ee/





Wine review: Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut

2 03 2014

Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut - reijosfood.com
House of Moët’s iconic champagne, Moët Impérial.

Moët has been associated with the sparkle of success and glamour ever since the House was founded in 1743 by Claude Moët.

Moët Impérial is the House’s iconic champagne. Created in 1869, it embodies Moët & Chandon’s unique style, a style distinguished by its bright fruitiness, its seductive palate and its elegant maturity. Wine is made of Pinot Noir 30-40%, Pinot Meunier 30-40% and Chardonnay 20-30% grapes. Chardonnay completes the freshness and stability of this wine.

THE LOOK

The look of wine is golden straw yellow with green highlights, plenty of small bubbles.

Moet Imperial - reijosfood.com

THE NOSE

Green apple and citrus fruit, the freshness of mineral nuances and white flowers, the elegance of blond  notes. Second glass brought up interesting bouquet…

THE TASTE

White-fleshed fruits (peach, apple), the alluring caress of fine bubbles, the soft palate of citrus fruit

Facts & Figures:

Alcohol: 12,00 %
Extract: 25 g/l
Acidity: 5,9 g/l
Sugar: 9 g/l
Energy: 80 kcal / 100 ml (320 kJ / 100 ml)
Closure: natural cork

Moët Impérial can be served throughout the meal, from aperitif to dessert and pairs perfectly with: shell fish, white fish, white meats (such as chicken) and dessert fruits.

We paired it with scallops, antipasti and chicken skrewer with rucola salad. Best match was with scallops but as mentioned earlier, wine really can be served with all dishes during lunch or dinner.

Scallops and Moet Imperial - reijosfood.com

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

PS. Moet Ice Imperial reviewed 15-09-2013 at reijosfood.com

http://www.moet.com//





Restaurant review: Ristorante Como

13 09 2013

Como - reijosfood.com

Ristorante Como, spacious promising Italian restaurant located on the 2nd floor between shopping centers Forum and Kamppi.

Ristorante Como was established 9 months ago in the same location where there used to be theater restaurant which did not gain on popularity. Therefore dining room is spacious, maybe even too big in order to achieve Italian type athmosphere. On the other hand it is sometimes convenient to be able dine in privacy because in most cases you have to listen what other diners shout because of background noise. Como is owned by same the Tampere based company as Stefan’s Steakhouse (review can be found at reijosfood.com by using search). First Como restaurant was also established in Tampere.

Ordered for starters 6 Antipasti from 9 different alternatives which were grouped in Verdura, Carni and Pesce. Our choises were Pan fried zuccini rolls, Artichoke and mascarpone, Pan fried scallops and water cress, Lemon marinated white fish, fennel, peas and carrots, Prawn tails and endive salad and Prosciutto with melon. 

All antipasti were delicious except artichoke stuff because articchoke did not taste at all, main flavor was mascarpone. Each starter costs 7€ each which would be too much but as you get volume discount by ordering 2 or 3, it makes sense to try them.

Bread basket was brought after antipasti plate which was a mistake. If basket includes Grissinis which should be eaten with aperitif not with starter, it is served too late. In this case waiter forgot to bring bread basket in time. Foccacia was great and olive oil complemented wholeness.

Starter in Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Main courses were Pike-Perch pan fried in olive oil, lemon and rocket and Como’s raw sausage and tomato salad. For side dishes (one included in the price) we chose Green salad with olive oil and Potatoes.

Fish was well prepared but too salty. Otherwise it would have earned high scores. Sausage was perfect and even better end result would have been achieved if one side dish would have been Potato, zucchini and spring onion which was on the restaurant web site. Boiled potato did not match so well as for instance potato salad would have.

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Because portions were not so huge there was room for desserts. Tried Rhubarb with sorbet and Limoncello pie. Desserts should be prepared at the restaurant, but think they were not in this case.

Sorbet was icy, full of “hailstones”. Limoncelle pie was tasty and dessert was well placed on the plate. Something seemed missing, maybe flavor of limoncello should have been stronger.

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

Restaurant Como competes toe to toe with best Italian restaurants in Helsinki, would say mostly with Sasso and Gastone. With some improvements in portions Como might be leading restaurant when it comes to Italian food.

When paying the bill we were given gift card which offered one main course for free when purchasing two by end of 2013. Lack of customers or attempt to grow loyal customer base? We might go again to try pizzas because they seemed to be polular and looked promising.

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

Como - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.comComo - reijosfood.com

You can not find this restaurant on English pages http://www.ravintola.fi/en

http://www.ravintola.fi/como_helsinki





Restaurant review: Martina

7 03 2013

Restaurant or Ristorante Martina has 16 restaurants in Finland (two in Helsinki). One of the Helsinki restaurants is situated in Ruoholahti shopping center which was reconstructed recently. Decor and menu is Italian style as well as music played background. Dining room is really high, must have been in industrial use before. Interesting detail of interior; “laundry” was hanging from the strings near the roof.

MartinaMartina laundry

You can start with simple appetizer table which is in the middle of the dining room. This buffet is available for diners ordering main courses. Unfortunately cucumber and bread had dried; we ate late afternoon couple of hours after regular lunch time.

Appetizer at Martina

We also ordered for starter Antipasti for two citrus marinated shrimps, salsiccia sausage, roasted sweet pepper, half dried tomatoes, cantaloupe melon, salad, provolone and ricotta cheese and roasted foccacia.

Antipasti plate consisted mainly tinned and pre-packaded food. Best part was provolone cheese, warm and salty, partly smelted tidbit.

Antipasti plate

For main courses had Martina’s Lasagne and Arrabiata Chicken Chicken breast, arrabiata sauce, grilled vegetables and cipollata.

Lasagne was scrumptious and serving in iron pot made enjoyment even better. Absolutely best part of dinner, can recommend! Only if you do not like greasy cheese you might hesitate because on top of lasagne there was quite a thick layer of cheese. Arrabiata Chicken was too salty. Unfortunately grilled vegetables were cooked in too much oil which made whole side dish quite fatty. But waitress did a good job as we requsted to leave onions away because this really had been done in the kitchen before portion arrived to the table.

LasagneChicken

After quite “heavy” portions decided to stick to basics; Chocolate ice cream and Rasberry sorbet with suitable drinks.

Ice creamSorbet

Restaurant has modest wine list; house white and red (not drinkable) wines + 3 other choises for both. Decided to drink Lumina Pinot Grigio which was 5 euros cheaper than price at the restaurant web page. However, still overpriced.

You might want to order pizza when you decide to dine at Martina. Have heard positive feedback about them. Athmosphere is cozy and informal, easy to drop by.

REVIEW: FOOD 2+/5 – SERVICE 3,5/5 – OVERALL GRADE 3/5

http://www.martina.fi/ (pity that there is no english version of site)





Taste of Italy

22 01 2013

As being fans of Italian food like to prepare basic Antipastis on monthly basis. This time these included Prosciutto Crudo, Salami Picante, Mozzarella di Buffala, Rucola and grilled Zucchini.

Antipastis were complemented with Chianti Baroncini in an old fashioned bottle which is available at Alko’s.

DSC03325DSC03327

Had noticed earlier in our favourite supermarket Piadina flatbreads and decided to prepare them. Piadinas stuffed with mozzarella, prosciutto crudo and rucola are excellent snacks. Unfortunately flatbreads were glutein free and therefore did not work so well because they crumbled and were too thick. However, after warming very tasty reminder of holidays spent in Italy.

DSC03329DSC03330

Grapes of Chianti were SANGIOVESE (85 %), CANAIOLO (10 %), MALVASIA (5 %). Suitable red wine for antipastis and piadina and even for pastas. Would not recommend for red or game meats.

DSC03328

Buon Appetito!





Restaurant review: Piccolo Mondo

19 08 2012

Restaurant Piccolo Mondo, located at Aleksi’s coutyard, is a family owned restaurant which has been operating in the same place since 1991. Inside dining hall has room for about 80 people and during the summer season terrace holds about 100 additional seating. Piccolo’s kitchen combines Mediterranean influences with Finnish traditional cuisine. You can order pasta, risotto, pizza, salad and seafood dishes as well as desserts. Restaurant has had same tables at the terrace quite long, suggest to replace them.

There are also two other restaurants at Aleksi’s coutyard (Aleksin Piha), Santa Fe and Grande Grill. Santa Fe serves tex mex food like fajitas and from June to August from Monday to Thursday you can enjoy live music performed by local artists. Piccolo Mondo customers can also hear and watch music. Grande Grill serves meat and sandwiches nad have same tables at the terrace as Santa Fe. Would say that Santa Fe is most popular restaurant of the three at Aleksi’s coutyard.

Started dinner with large Antipasto (8 pieces) including Mozzarella, gorgonzola, cold smoked salmon, prosciutto, marinated champignon mushrooms, olives, marinated artichoke and melon. Mozzarella was Buffala which was bonus, mushrooms tasted best, artichokes shoud have been grilled but now tasted too much for vinegar. In overall appearance of antipasto plate looked too much tinned food. Also ordered Bread Basket fresh bread and tapenade spread, maybe the most expensive bread in the restaurants but good.

Restaurant suggested to order Pike perch in August which we did. Fish came with steamed vegetables, potato cakes and shrimp remoulade. Wondered if chef had used white pepper instead of salt. Had to also add salt which is really rare for us. Also ordered Surf & Turf  Fried chicken breast fillet, jumbo shrimp skewer, coconut-citrus sauce and creamy white wine risotto. Chicken and shrimps were ok but risotto was more or less like porridge. For side dish ordered Mixed salad which balanced main courses well.

The terrace of Piccolo Mondo is casual and perfect place to eat pizza in the summer. It is more quiet (no own music and less noise) than other two restaurants at the Aleksi’s coutyard which makes conversation easier. If you decide to dine at coutyard and all tables are occupied, wait for a while close to the tables and run to released table right away because you are not the only one trying to do the same.

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

http://www.piccolomondo.fi/piccolomondo/english








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