Restaurant review: Presto – A mangiare!

29 03 2014

Aperol Spritz at Presto - reijosfood.com

Italian restaurant Presto was opened on the 19th February, 2014. Restaurant concept consists of trattoria, caffe bar, prosecco lounge and shop.

Location is excellent, next to the Espa (Park Esplanade) and in the same building as restaurant Savoy. Presto replaced at the same time restaurant Katsomo, which used to serve Savoy theatre customers.

You can find traditional Italian dishes from the a la carte list like bruschetta, pasta, risotto and pizza. One speciality are mozzarella starters, which are served on a wooden plate with side dishes like salami, bresaola or parma ham.

Best way to evaluate the level of Italian kitchen in Finnish restaurant is to try those traditional dishes.

Started the dinner with Aperol Spritz, glass of Prosecco and excellent Focaccia, which was served after placing the order. First restaurant in Helsinki in which I have seen serving Aperol Spritz as aperitif and it is on the drinks menu. Unfortunately it was too dry, not enough Aperol.

Foccacia at Presto - reijosfoo.comAperol Spritz at Presto - reijosfood.com

Continued with Italian trattoria dishes and ordered for starters Bruschette with Bresaola and from Mozzarella bar Mozzarella di Bufala with artichokes and olives. We did not choose any cold meats with Mozzarella, as we had Bresaola with traditional bread.

Bruschettas were excellent and pieces of Bresaola tender. Could not be better in Italy. Also Mozzarella with side dishes was enjoyable. Soft and moist cheese comes from Italy; therefore difficult to screw up. Some restaurants use mozzarella made from cow milk and that is inexcusable.

Mozzarella at Presto - reijosfood.comBruschette at Presto - reijosfood.com

For main courses chose Pasta Orecchiette all’arrabiata Pasta with spicy tomato sauce and Salsiccia sausage and Melanzane alla Parmigiana Eggplant casserole.

As pasta’s and one risotto are not listed as “Primi Piatti”, expectation was that they would be enough big to be main courses. Pasta was enough big, but unfortunately it did not meet Italian pasta requirements. Tomato sauce was not enough spicy and it lacked sweetness. Or at least sausages should have been spicy, if sauce was not. Eggplant casserole was luckily delicious which compensated dissappointment is pasta.

Pasta at Presto - reijosfood.comEggplant casserole at Presto - reijosfood.com

Had to try desserts and selected from the list Torta alla Presto Pie of the day and Gelato Self-made ice-creams.

Both were mouth-watering! Lemon pie was really delicous and Peanut ice-cream and Cherry ice-cream one of the best ever tasted. It is possible just to drop by for espresso and dessert, which we shall certainly do.

Lemon Pie at Presto - reijosfood.comIce-cream at Presto - reijosfood.com

Presto claims to be trattoria, not ristorante, which is true. Recommend to ask table downstairs or from the small plateau between ground and second floor. You can see Park Esplanade plus downstairs is anyway more lively. Trattoria is on the second floor. Choose that if you want to eat at more restful dining room.

Prosecco Lounge in the 3rd floor has special hours between 16.00 – 18.00 on work days, but is is mainly reserved for theatre visitors. It was empty when we checked it at about 22.00 on Friday evening. The decor is the same as it was in restaurant Katsomo, not Italian type. If you take a closer look at the figures in the pictures on the wall, you might found some interesting.

Presto - reijosfood.comPresto bar - reijosfood.comProsecco Lounge at Presto - reijosfood.comDecor at Presto Prosecco Lounge - reijosfood.com

If pasta would have been better, Presto would have got 4 for food grade.  Higher overall grade 4+ comes because of nice concept which has not actually existed in Helsinki before, when it comes to Italian kitchen. Reasonably priced fresh and delicious food (most of them) in an relaxed athmosphere.

Wine list is short but again prices for wine glasses are reasonable. Some local, so called Italian restaurants, serve wine from barrels with low prices but the quality of wines is lousy. Presto serves proper Italian wines, no reason not to choose house wines.

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

http://www.ravintolapresto.fi/

https://www.facebook.com/prestohelsinki





Restaurant review: Pirate Helsinki

21 04 2013

PiratePirate

Restaurant Pirate Helsinki is located in Southern Helsinki, Lauttasaari. First Pirate restaurant was established in Hanko and it serves also pizzas which Helsinki restaurant does not. You have to order food from the bar because there is no table service.  Pirate is a summer restaurant but it is open in December providing ambitious Christmas lunch with famous chefs.

Visited Pirate just when it has just opened also for weekends for the summer time.

For starters ordered Tomato Mozzarella and Parma Ham Rucola Bruschettas with Country French fries. Both bruschettas were nice and french fries really well made. Portion were quite big so they might even be enough for lunch but as we were having early dinner had decided to eat also main courses.

BruschettaMozarella bruschettaParma ham bruschetta

For main courses ordered Grilled king prawns, octopus with french fries, marinated vegetables and hollandaise sauce and Pirate smoked salmon with morel mushroom sauce and warm potato-vegetables salad. Prawns were OK but octopus was chewy; would also have prefered sauce in separate scoop. We had asked that for morel mushroom sauce…. Fish was well prepared as it was not smoked too long. Both portions included same looking side dishes; only difference was potatoes with salmon. Maybe too much oil used in vegetables.

Shrimps and octopusSmoked salmon

Restaurant Pirate is laid-back bistro and especially in the summer terrace is pleasant place to have a beer or two. Because restaurant was just opened we were the only diners at 0530PM. Because spring is so late all boats were still on the ground and surrounded restaurant.

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

If you visit Hanko some day, try Pirate because it is quite popular in the summer.

http://www.pirate.fi/?pinc=1&lng=helsinki

Pirate





Restaurant review: Persilja

17 02 2013

Restaurant Persilja (engl. Parsley) was opened 2006 is same location where restaurant Basilica operated before. Suburban restaurant menu consists of food from Mediterranean countries, mainly Greek and Italy. Pizzas and pastas are large part of the menu. In the summer big terrace serves diners and if sun shines it is very popular. Wine list is short and missing riesling, our favourite. But wines are affordable compared to many other restaurants in the downtown of Helsinki.

Have enjoyed sevaral times Meze -lautanen Meze plate Parma ham, mozzarella, artichoke, sun dried tomatoes, aubergine , dolmades, bahar salad and bread for starter and can recommend. Portion for two is quite big and almost is enough to take your hunger away.

If you order a la carte portion you always get greetings from kitchen to start with. Foccacia, olives and tsatsiki.

Persilja antipasti

This time started late lunch with Dolmades & tsatsiki -dippi Grape leafs filled with rice and tsatsiki dip and Bruschetta Roasted pesto bread with aubergine, artichoke, tomatoes and mozzarella. Both were OK. Would have prefered warm dolmades because then spices emerge better. Bruschettas (2 pieces) were perfect, crusty and soft at the same time.

DolmadesBruschetta

For main courses had Kananlihasouvlaki Chicken breast skewers, rice, pomodor-demuglas sauce and Antonella Chicken breast filled with parma ham and mozzarella cheese, pesto potatoes and avocado sauce. Meat in skewers was too salty, otherwise good combination. Antonella (maybe name of the cook or owner?) is also our favourite at home. Salty parma ham and soft mozzarella stuffed in the chicken pocket form delicious combination. Maybe this time chicken was a little bit dry.

Chicken skewerChicken

Portions at restaurant Persilja are always large. Small problem is the amount of salt used in the chicken.

Service is attentive, one example: You can order also take away food from the restaurant. Waiter helped to carry portions to a car for a man with babe in arms. Outside temperature 0C degrees and waiter did not even put a jacket on.

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

http://www.ravintolapersilja.fi/etusivu

Restaurant Persilja





Restaurant review: Tony’s deli

18 02 2012

Tony’s deli was founded out of love for the Italian kitchen. The cozy restaurant offers everything you will need to enjoy an Italian dinner. It was originally found by Sikke Sumari, nowadays famous TV chef and cookbook writer.

When you enter Tony’s deli you can see Lounge diVino on the right, which is a pleasant winebar with affordable prices and a wide sortiment. To accompany the wines restaurants recommed Antipasti. Antipasti plays an important and obvious role in the italian coulinary. There was interesting offer for by-passers; antipastotable and a glass of sparkling wine for 10 euro. Many customers used that offer during the evening we dined at Tony’s. Maybe antipasto table should be better sheltered?

Restaurant offers also different ways to enjoy food and wine, e.g. antipasto table and wine tasting Selezione di antipasti alla Tony’s deli e degustazione di vini for 22.90€. There were also Blini’s (Bliniweeks) available which is not so typical for Italian restaurant. However, blini’s are offered in many restaurants in the beginning of the year, which might attract tourists which we noticed as they were ordered next to our table.

Back to real life……

We arrived half an hour earlier before table reservation time and decided to taste sparkling wine offered at Lounge diVino. Glass of sparkling wine in flute glass was only 2,50€ but service was fumpling. You should stand in one spot with all other other customers in order to be able to buy drinks although there was plenty of room beside the bar. So we waited to see customers ordering at that spot…..before us although we were 2 meters from that spot.

It seems that  couches should be renewed as they were quite dirty. After ordering in the table our waiter told that this was his first day as he was not able to answer to all our questions. However he asked from kitchen if he did not know right away. Later after ordering Ripasso red wine for duck we were told that it was out of stock although order was accepted; odd for Italian restaurant tolet Ripasso run out.

For Antipasti we chose:

CREMOLATA CHICKEN, TOMATO AND ROCKET which is Pollo, pomodori e rucola conditi con cremolata, FRITTATA WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATO i.e. Frittata condita con pomodori essiccati, BUFFALO MOZZARELLA, TOMATO AND BALSAMIC so called Insalata caprese and WARM GARLIC BREAD which is Bruschetta all’aglio. Best starters were of course basic garlic bread and mozzarella. Chicken was tasteless and omelette (frittata) quite modest. Most used ingredients in all portions were rocket and cherry tomatoes. They are tasty but if you eat them also with main courses….

For main courses we chose:

SALAD WITH FRIED SALMON, VEGETABLES AND RED PESTO SAUCE  i.e Insalata di salmone fritto e verdure con salsa al pesto rosso and DUCK CONFIT WITH WARM COUSCOUS-VEGETABLE SALAD AND ROSEMARY SAUCE  i.e Confit di cosce di anatra, insalata calda di cous-cous e verdure, salsa di rosmarino. Duck was great, very tasty and crisp but otherwise the portion was not so attractive; a messy to be honest. Maybe the sauce should be in separate jar. Salmon in salad was overcooked; vegetables quite wet due to sauce.

Tony’s deli has changed from the times we visited there last time,  nowadays it is like a bistro without tablecloths on the tables. And wines are quite expensive compared to food.

It would been nice to have some spices in the table, especially black pepper and salt. One special observation from mens toilet, there was picture of Sophia Loren on the wall….

Noticed afterwards that payment was directed to Visa although asked for bank card payment.

REVIEW: Food 2/5 – Service 2,5/5 – Overall grade 2/5

http://www.tonysdeli.fi/en/index.php?pageId=1

After visiting Sasso and Tony’s deli we recommend to try Ristorante Gastone, which is private owned cozy Italian fine dining restaurant or Villetta, genuine Italian bistro.








%d bloggers like this: