Restaurant review: Gluto – the taste of wellness

30 12 2014

Gluto - reijosfood.com

Gluto Street Food was opened in Kamppi Shopping Centre in August 2014. Street Food bar prepares gluten-free fresh pasta to be eaten at small dining area or as take-away. The range includes gluten-free pasta of the day with changing sauce options like bolognese and basil. “Restaurant” also offers gluten-free and milk-free stuffed sandwiches and focaccias.

Gluto - reijosfood.com

There was some delay in the opening as some authorities were not sure, if Gluto was restaurant or street food bar

We decided to try pastas of the day which were Lasagne Bolognese and Vegetarian pasta.

Portions were quite small, which might be the case, if you choose pasta of the day.

Lasagne was delicious and could have eaten double portion. There was lot’s of smelted cheese on pasta which added some flavour to dish.

Vegetarian pasta included olives, zucchini and tomato. Would have preferred some more vegetables, because of the name of the pasta. However, nice portion and what is most important, gluten-free.

Lasagne at Gluto - reijosfood.com

Vege pasta at Gluto - reijosfood.com

Gluto is perfect place for people, who like pasta, but can not eat wheat. Location is perfect, which means that tables are occupied almost all the time.

With a little bit larger portions and more spiced portions, grade for food would be over 4. As you order dishes from the counter, service is not reviewed.

Because there is demand for gluten-free dining spot, overall grade is over 4.

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

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gluto-Street-Food/692387817506674





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: Kiila Food and Bar

9 12 2012

Food and Bar Kiila was opened on 2nd March 2012. Restaurant is open from morning until night offering breakfast, brunch on Sundays and public holidays, lunch, dinner and bar services.

Visited second time Kiila Food and bar just before Christmas. Major change had been made concerning a la carte list because serious affordable fine dining was not anymore main target. It does not mean that food would be worse but portions were not so ambitious they seemed to be in the beginning. More Finnish dishes than earlier, like fried vendace.

For starter ordered “Carnival plate by Kiila” for two including fried mozzarella sticks, chicken skewer, cherry tomatoes, carrot-, cucumber- and sweet pepper sticks, fried halloumi, mini bratwurst, bbq-, chili-mayonnese- and dill-sour cream- sauces. Tomatoes were missing but not so huge dissappointment. Chicken with bbq sauce was great as well as mozzarella. Otherwise quite simple portion because of ordinar vegetable sticks. But all sauces were delicious.

Starter

For main courses had Grilled Chicken Breast with roasted vegetables and sweet chili sauce and Giant Shrimps Pasta with chili-coriander sauce. Chicken was OK. Pasta was raw or it had dried after cooking. Seemed that base of the sauce was similar for both dishes. Have to say that pasta sauce was one of the most spicy in Finland.

ChickenPasta

For desserts ordered one sorbet because no other choise for lactose free dish and chocolate cake with mascarpone foam and blackberry syrup. Sorbet was OK and cake really delicious, maybe best part of dinner. Some black currant and red currant berries, very typical Finnish berries.

SorbetChocklate cake

Kiila seemed to be quite popular, no wonder. Prices are affordable and location perfect, you can watch Stockmann Christmas lights just opposite. Laid-back athmosphere makes it easy to come to the restaurant.

Stockmann

Some trouble with service again. White wine was warm when it was brought to the table, big tablespoons for dessert and had to pay at the cash desk, because no waiter/waitress was available.

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

Kiila

https://reijosfood.com/2012/04/08/restaurant-review-food-and-bar-kiila/

http://www.ravintolakiila.fi/





Restaurant review: Virgin Oil Co.

2 09 2012

From nice dining to stage diving!

This is how restaurant Virgin Oil Co. describes briefly itself – http://www.virginoil.fi/

In real life Virgin Oil Co. is american italian restaurant which serves maybe the best pizzas in Helsinki. Have several times ordered delicious pizzas which are prepared in wood oven and they have always been excellent. Restaurant and bar are in the first floor and terrace in the summer front of the entrance. In the 2nd floor there is a popular Club where you can enjoy live music and performances. Decor tries to imitate taverna or trattoria style with few peculiarities like painting/picture on the wall and roof lamps.

Imagine that at the end of August restaurant already sells Christmas Party events!

At 5PM on Friday evening restaurant is still quite empty, but could not make table reservation two days earlier. Usually you get table right away or in half a hour if they said it is full. At 7PM it actually was full.

For Primi Piatti or Antipasti ordered this time Gamberetti con Barbaforte Crayfish tails marinated with horseradish, Carciofi Marinated and grilled artichokes and Salsiccia Piccante Hot and spicy salsiccia-type sausage, grilled. Crayfish was OK but one could not taste horseradish. Artichokes were also OK but should have been longer in the grill. Salsiciccia sausage was as it should have been, salty and greasy.

For Primi Secondi had Chevre Chicken Grilled breast of chicken, potatoes à la Virgin, grilled goat cheese, blackcurrant sauce and vegetables and Chicken Fulmini
Grilled breast of chicken, linguine (pasta) in a creamy sauce with chilli, oil with herbs, parmesan and pine kernels. Grilled chicken breast
was a little bit dry but chevre well grilled and smooth. Linguine was also a little bit over cooked but chili sauce tasted perfect. Sauce reminded carbonara but without egg.

For wine ordered wines from barrels which usually are simple but drinkable. Maybe wine had stayed too long in the barrel because it was a little bit stale. All bottle wines come from Italy and USA; for american italian restaurant an obvious choice!

Virgin Oil Co. is perfect place to eat pizza with friends because of central location (near Stockmann on the Mannerheim Street) and relaxed athmosphere. For pizza would have given at least 4 for food, if comparing to many other pizzerias.

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

http://www.virginoil.fi/in-english/menu/





Restaurant review: Gastone

1 07 2012

Note! Kitchen under construction until Christmas 2012!

Restaurant Gastone represents Italian kitchen with style. It is privately owned one of the best Italian restaurants in Helsinki. In the summer one can dine at the small terrace. Inside tables are quite close to each other and at busiest time it might be quite noisy.

Home made bread with olive oil is always served as soon one has placed the order. Wide selecion of Italian wines to choose from the wine list.

For starters ordered Carpaccio organic beef carpaccio with parmesan cheese and aioli and Capesante marinate al lime e gamberi tigre Lime marinated Scallop, Grilled Tiger Prawn and Aioli. Carpaccio was tender and but not frozen as it might sometime be. Would have changed aioli to plain olive oil. Scallops are better when they are fried, prawns were a little bit too salty.

For main courses Pasta del pescatore Fresh Linguine Pasta with Tiger Prawns, Octopussy, Garlic and Herbs and Arrosto di Salmerino con sughetto di zafferano Roasted Arctic Char, saffron Broth and Fennel. For the fish ordered one of the four available side dishes Patate novelle alla Gastone Gastone Summer Potatoes.
Pasta
was delicious though it was a little bit over cooked. Fish portion included also onion which was not listed and neither waitress mentioned about it when asked. Archtic Char was also a little bit over roasted.

Ristorante Gastone has proven to be genuine Italian fine dining restaurant. Would have given 4 for food in several earlier visits.

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

http://www.gastone.fi/eng/index.html

On the other side of the street locates Grill Glöd https://reijosfood.com/2012/04/01/dinner-at-grill-glod/





Restaurant review: Casa Mare

27 05 2012


Restaurant Casa Mare is most popular all year round bistro in the suburb. 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.

Restaurant is owned by Ravintolakolmio which owns also Tony’s deli where we dined few months ago. Review available.

For starters ordered Halloum cheese and tomato (grilled halloum, tomatoes, olives and rucola) and Salad buffet. Cheese with add on’s was tasty and not too salty. Salad buffet is simple; few basic salads and home made bread.

For main course ate Chorizo-Mozzarella pasta (spicy red pepper-tomato sauce, chorizo sausage, mozzarella de buffala, rucola and penne pasta) and Catch of the day (this time White fish with vegetables and potato mash). Pasta was great, too easy to over cook pennes, but now they were perfect. Sauce was enough spicy and mozzarella softened it suitably. But then started problems.

Catch of th day was ordered without potato mash, but it came with it. Kitchen decided to move pieces of fish to another plate and due to long waiting time, fish skin was already a little bit “soft” (see picture). For dessert ordered Crepes with strawberries; regarding to waiter there should have not been cream on it,  but there was. Had to ask to replace portion. On top of this, espresso had to be sent back because it was cold. Restaurant noticed these mistakes and we did not have to pay for dessert and coffees; well done!

Casa Mare has every summer special offer, two pizzas for price of one. Gonna utilize that in July as many other people will too.

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

http://www.ravintolacasamare.com/page.php?language=1








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