Restaurant review: Pastis – French bistro

26 01 2014

Mussels at Pastis - reijosfood.com

Pastis is an anis-flavored liqueur and aperitif from France, but it is also French style “fine dining” bistro in Helsinki.

Pastis was opened in April 2013 by restaurant Muru celebrity chef owners. Similar concept but focus in French kitchen. Always available a la carte dishes in changing list are mussels, snails, sausages, fish and meat from France. On Fridays and Saturdays you can also enjoy fresh oysters for 5€ each or 12€, if you take 3.

Tables are located on two levels in small dining rooms but you could also try to pop in for a look if there is room by the bar counter. Reservations are for 2 1/2 hours which is just enough to eat three couse dinner. This is nowadays typical custome for popular “gourmet” bistros.

Started the dinner with Pastis, of course, Ricard. First hesitated a little bit to order ice cold aperitif, because if was freezing outside, around -13C degrees.

Ricard at Pastis - reijosfood.com

For starters we ordered Roquefort gratinated Bourgogne snails in pastis butter and Smoked mackerel, cucumber and fennel salad, marinated red onion.

Usually you get snails in snail pan where all snails are in small cups but Pastis served them in small open pan. Taste of Roquefort was perfect because if it would had dominated, starter would have been to salty. Mackarel was served with toast instead of brioche, as we asked it too be without lactose.

Snails at Pastis - reijosfood.comMackarel at Pastis - reijosfood.com

For main courses ordered only available fish portion Catch of the day Antiboise. Fish, “Cliff sole” was accompanied by tomato-based sauce/stew and by one of the 3 side dishes, Mixed salad with sherry vinegar, which had to be ordered separately. Also ordered large portion of Mussels á la Pastis with curry and Truffle salted french fries for side dish.

Fish was fried in oil and the level of maturity was perfect. It was a pity that it was over-salted. Mussels were smaller than you usually see, which was good as the big ones are chewy. About 10 had already came loose from the shells. Salt in fish and mussels under the broth were minor grievances, but took one quarter point out of the Food scores.

Fish at Pastis - reijosfood.comMussels and fries at Pastis - reijosfood.com

Dinner had to be ended with Calvados Domfrontains which is mix of apple and at least 30% pear. Had only tasted apple Calvados earlier and noticed that pear makes the flavor softer. Also ordered one House chocolate, which was truffle.

Calvados at Pastis - reijosfood.com

Restaurant or bistro Pastis is refreshing piece of French kitchen in Helsinki. Concept, which might by expanded to another locations, is French from decor to music. Chansons sang by Edith Piaf and check in a nice tin were the frosting for the French dinner.

Wines come mainly from France, of course, but it would be convenient to list also those which are available in glasses. Asked recommendations for wines for dishes ordered. Pinot Noir for snails was good choice but white wine for salty macarel not so felicitous. Riesling Vignoble d’E, Domaine Ostertag  from Alsace for both main courses was excellent choice.

Extra + for overall grade comes from the well planned and implemented French concept.

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

Pastis - reijosfood.comCheck at Pastis - reijosfood.com

http://www.pastis.fi/

https://fi-fi.facebook.com/pages/Ravintola-Pastis/249978811804861





Restaurant review: Origo

18 07 2012

Restaurant Origo is located in the old ware house from 1893 in the Eastern Harbour of Hanko. The first owner of the building was a businessman and customs worker Martin Lignell. The house was used as a storage room for import and export goods in the early years and was turned in to the restaurant in 1989 after beeing empty for years before. Today the restaurant is owned by a local couple Joanna and Jan Westerling and it is open all the year round. One can usually see Finnish celebrities dining in the restaurant as it it the most famous fine dining place.

Origo with the atmosphere and décor is a unique dining restaurant which with its candles offers memorable moments. Wonder who lights all the candles and when??

When one enters to the restaurant one can see archipelago buffet that is located right in the center of the a la carte room. Have had buffet for starter two times before and can recommend it. One can order it also as main course.

The music bar in the second floor offers dancing hits in the unique clubbing environment. One can also enjoy drinks or dine at terraces.

From the à la carte menu one can find game, lamb and fresh fish from the local estates. First time experienced that tablet PC had replaced printed menu!

This time ordered for starters Scampis Provencale with House bread and Snails with Peltola Blue garlic au gratin and House bread. Scampis were delecious as well as snails. Maybe a little bit stronger taste of blue cheese would have crowned the snail starter.

For main courses had Roasted lavaret with Asparagus, sauce hollandaise, new potatoes pan fried in butter and Roasted Arctic Charr with fried new potatoes, goat cheese and red wine sauce. Lavaret (whitefish) tasted excellent and was roasted with talent, maybe best lavaret this year. Skin was crisp and soft at the same time.

For dessert had Philippe Fontaine Champagne sorbet with strawberries and chocolate. Not too sweet for dessert which is sometimes good. Also enjoyed Hand made small delicacies which have been made in Fiskars by famous chocolate designer Petri.

Two times before Origo has been able to provide steady quality with good service as it did also this time.

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

http://www.restaurant-origo.com/






Restaurant review: Strindberg

29 01 2012

Part of the modern Kämp Gallery, Restaurant Strindberg is located alongside and offers a fascinating view of the beautiful and historic Esplanade Park.

At street level, in the heart of Strindberg is internationally fashioned café where many delicacies are prepared. Just sit down and wait to be served, there is table service available. Mari cafe was opened at the same time after restaurant complex moved 50 meters from its original location.

On the second floor is Strindberg à la carte, where we had dinner, a restaurant which combines the ever-popular Nordic home cooking -“husmanskost”- with contemporary international flavours. The atmosphere at this high quality restaurant is urban, but at the same time pleasantly peaceful. From the Caesar’s salad to the crispy, yet juicy Rydberg steak, and from fresh domestic fish to the dish of the day – there is always plenty to choose from at Strindberg. Remember to ask for window table when making reservation!

The spacious Library bar, with its soft couches, has become a popular rendez-vous spot for many. Worth a visit!

For starters we had 1 x Goat cheese with pine kernels, salad and figs; 1 x Garlic snails;  2 x Shrimps with watercress and parsnip pyre

Kitchen had added sun-dried tomatoes in goat cheese starter and lavaret which we asked to serve without milk products. As tomatoes were quite bitter we would rather had seen portions without them. On the other hand Strindberg can really take into consideration possible food allergies. One example of that is suprise dessert from the kitchen. Shrimps were delicious but portion itself was quite small.

For main courses we ordered 1 x Duck with two ways and 3 x Lavaret with vegetables.

Unfortunately duck is not anymore on the menu because is was delicios. This was the second time eating same portion and again it was bulls’s eye. Duck drumstick and stew were so tender you would not have to bite. Lavaret was maybe a little bit too roasted.

For dessert we had 1 x French toast; 1 x Oatmeal apple pie with ice cream; 1 x Sorbet; 1 x Surprise from the kitchen.  French toast does not literally describe the dessert. Exact translation is “poor knights” but that might not encourage to order if you are not familiar with this dessert. French toast as so generous that it would have enough for two. Worth a try!  Apple pie was warm and tasty; ice cream completed enjoyment. Suprise from the kitchen was close to Pavlova including fresh berries, meringue and something very tasty we could not identify. Dessert was warmly welcomed as it proved kitchens know-how to comply customers wishes.

Our waitress did a great job but when her shift ended it was quite difficult to pay the restaurant bill.

Menu changed just after we visited restaurant.

REVIEW: Food 4/5 – Service 4/5 – Overall grade 4/5

http://www.strindberg.fi/en/restaurant





Restaurant review: Blue Peter

27 01 2012

Blue Peter, established in 1976, is situated on the island of Lauttasaari in Helsinki, in the Helsingfors Segelklubb HSK yacht club area. The complete renovation of the restaurant was finished by the beginning of 2007.  Today, Blue Peter is more spacious than before, and it feels as if the sea has come closer to the premises. Vertti Kivi has designed the decor which makes Blue Peter one ot the most modern restaurants in Finland.
You’ll find the popular terraces of Blue Peter a wonderful place to enjoy the sun and the sea atmosphere, only a short hop from the city centre. Sun shines almost the whole day to terrace as it is in three sides of the building. You can get with bus number 21v close to restaurant; only 400 meters to walk down by the sea.

Regular visitors in the summer but now had dinner in the winter as Blue Peter is also open around the year.

For starters we had Garlic snails 9.5 € and Toast Skagen 10.5 € in the pictures above. Both were excellent; enough garlic with snails and on top of toast skagen whitefish roe which made the portion more or less gourmet. For main course we had Warm goat cheese salad 18 € and Fried perch with leek-butter sauce 24 € (in the picture). Salad was generous with two slices of grilled goat cheese. Fried perch was ok, but there was too much leek-butter sauce. For dessert we had our all time favourite Crepe, old time vanilla ice cream and jam in the picture.  If you have not ever tasted crepes taste it in Blue Peter. Wine list is enough wide for the food alternatives.

Blue Peter is quite quiet in the winter if there are no private parties like weddings, but in the summer it is one of the most sophisticated restaurants with luxorious terrace.

REVIEW: Food 4/5 – Service 4/5 – Overall grade 4/5

http://www.bluepeter.fi/articles/891/








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