Restaurant review: Grotesk – across from Ragu

10 08 2014

Have visited restaurant Grotesk couple of times but last visit was to Grotesk Winebar. Winebar has unfortunately closed it’s doors and so called Meatbar, where we dined this time, had changed a little bit it’s exterior and menu. Grotesk locates by the same street as Ragu where we dined a week ago.

Picture is taken from Grotesk window table. Ludviginkatu is nowadays “restaurant street” as Greek restaurant El Greco locates next to Ragu.

Ragu and Grotesk - reijosfood,com

Menu is short and waiter asked, if we would like to try Chef’s menu with 3-6 courses with matching wines. But kitchen was not able make changes to portions, for instance use something else instead of peas and onions. We should have made the requests beforehand. Terrace menu is even shorter consisting of same portions.

Menu at Grotesk - reijosfood.com

So we decided to choose something from the menu. While thinking what to order, we had glasses of Pol Roger Brut champagne.

Dry and balanced taste as Pol Roger Brut usually has.

Pol Roger Champagne - reijosfood.com

For starters we both had Pan seared scallops with dill and fennel salad (3 pc).

Scallops were small and pan searing was made perfectly. Somehow fennel did not taste so much, maybe the salinity covered it. Can recommend this as a starter.

Scallops at Grotesk - reijosfood.com

For main courses we ordered Smoked arctic char and creamed chanterelles with Spring potatoes and Grilled chop and secretto of Iberico pork with Caesar salad à la Grotesk.

Skin of arctic char had been removed before serving which made the fish quite pale. For side dish potatoes, because all other side dishes included ingredients which were not suitable. All side dishes, by the way, have same prices.

Grilled chop was excellent but secretto a little bit too salty. For side dish had caesar salad, which matched well with both pork dishes.

Arctic char at Grotesk - reijosfood.comPork at Grotesk - reijosfood.com

This time no desserts due to same problem with side dishes. Asked for basic sorbet, but that was not available.

Grotesk was the first restaurant to lower wine prices and it got some publicity after announcing it. They add 20€ fixed margin for each wine bottle, but price reduction did not seemed to apply glass prices. Glass of house red wine cost 9,60€.

Anyway, for wine we had Spieleberg Riesling trocken 2011 from Pfaltz, Germany. Producer is Karl Schaefer. This wine was excellent choise recommended by waiter considering the price 42€. Balanced minerality and acidity with some citrus and lime.

Riesling at Grotesk - reijosfood.com

The interior of Grotesk is not so red as it used to be, but lighting was as dim as it has always been. Most of the diners and drinkers were at outside terrace, but notice that you can not reserve table at the terrace after 8PM, if you want to dine there. And it is wise because terrace will be crowded and noisy.

Grotesk dining room - reijosfood.comGrotesk terrace - reijosfood.com

Grotesk used to be Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant a couple years ago but not any more. It is understandable as concept has changed more relaxed and rough. Maybe main focus is the terrace, which is really popular in the summer time. If you visit Helsinki in the summer time, it is one of the restaurant terraces worth to visit.

Food review is partly based on price/quality ratio. By decreasing for instance side dish prices (5€ for potatoes is too much), grade for food would be better.

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

 





Restaurant review: Grotesk Winebar – but not grotesque at all

11 10 2013

Foie gras - reijosfood.com

Name Grotesk for restaurant may sound odd especially in Swedish, but regarding reader’s votes in local wine magazine, Viinilehti, it has the best wine bar in Helsinki and 2nd best in Finland.
After this review we also have new reijosfood.com leader in Helsinki, rankings can be found on page “Restaurant reviews – rankings”.

Restaurant Grotesk is fine dining restaurant with affordable prices and relaxed athmosphere located in Ludviginkatu 10. Guide Michelin has granted Bib Gourmand -rating to Grotesk Meatbar as a proof of good value for money and it is partly owned by same the chef’s as Michelin star restaurant Demo.

Instead of Meatbar we visited Grotesk Winebar, which has 3 small dining rooms and enjoyed 8 tapas dishes with wines chosen by sommelier Pekka Koiranen. And what a fireworks; you seldom see so many rare prestige delights one after the other.

Grotesk Winebar - reijosfood.com

First two portions were served with semi-dry Chenin Blanc 2007 from Loire. Was a little bit skeptic about semi-dry white wine but it did not differ much from dry. Perfect choice for both two first portions.

Dinner started with Oyster with tapioca and pomegranate. Oyster was easy to eat and had enough citrus acidity. Then we were served Foie gras with briosse, beetroot pyre and mustard ice cream. If you happen to like foie gras (it is not everyones favourite for many reasons) you would like this combination. Mustard ice cream was excellent realization.

Oyster - reijosfood.comFoie gras - reijosfood.com

Next two portions were served with dry Riesling from Austria. Totally different sense of taste due to minerals and acidity but well chosen white wine for next dishes.

Smoked scallop with quinoa plate was brought in covered by smoking glass vase which was upside down. When the vase was lifted enjoyable smell of smoke surrounded plate. Pity that I was not prepared to take a photo. Whitefish with red pepper crumb smelted in mouth, it was like mince as it was so soft. Both portions were superb!

Scallop - reijosfood.comWhitefish - reijosfood.com

First red wine served was Pinot Noir; medium-bodied with light red color.

Next delicacy with Pinot Noir was Sweetbread with black trumpet mushroom and shiitake. Sweetbread was perfectly cooked and fungus paired nicely with it. After that came Pork belly with cabbage. Some at the restaurant really did eat the pork lard but we did not, otherwise portion was excellent.

Sweetbread - reijosfood.comPork belly - reijosfood.com

Forth wine and second red wine was full-bodied andwell balanced Garnache from Spain. Again perfect choise to complement the taste of pleasure.

Quail legs were eaten with fingers. It would have been impossible to remove delicious and crisp meat with fork and knife. Tapas dinner was ended with Chicken liver which was yammy and well prepared. 8 tapas is not too much and they cost 44 €, affordable compared to quality and layout of portions.

Quail - reijosfood.comChicken liver - reijosfood.com

Grotesk Winebar earns 5- for overall grade because of ambitious set of voluptuous portions with affordable prices. Portions are really small but give you a chance to taste eats which usually are available in Michelin star restaurants but at much more higher prices. Our dinner took 3,5 hours, so restaurant is not fast food place. You really have time to enjoy the food and the wines or the wines and the food depending how you want to stress your dinner.

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

http://www.grotesk.fi/en/winebar-2/








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