Georg Ots Spa hotel restaurant

The Georg Ots Spa Hotel (GOSPA) is located a stone’s throw away from the Kuressaare castle. The restaurant serves spa cuisine with fresh and locally grown ingredients in a spacious contemporary setting overlooking the harbor and castle.

The menu at GOSPA is simple yet delicious. The dishes are characteristic of the island. Vegan and vegetarian dishes are available, including gluten-free.

I ordered vegan vegetable soup and a lamb pasta. I was served fresh bread with Saaremaa butter while I was waiting for the food. I love the big glass windows. It was a beautiful day, and I was mesmerized by the view outside.

The pasta was beautifully cooked in a rich and smooth sauce. The soup was a brightly colored delight with different hues of red, yellow, green, white, and brown. It was not only a healthy and hearty but also delicious with bright acidity.

 

Vegan Ramen: Seasonal vegetables in vegetable broth  €9
(carrots, roasted bell pepper and zucchini, parsley, snap pea, champignon, marinated red and yellow pepper, sprouts)

Lamb bolognese €12
(Casarecca pasta, Muhu minced lamb, Saaremaa smoked bacon, Rautsi Farm’s carrots, onion, garlic, basil, tomato sauce, parmesan)
Georg Ots Spa hotel
Opening hours:
Sun-Thu 12:00 p.m. – 22:00 p.m.
Fri – Sat 12:00 p.m.  – 23.00 p.m.
Breakfast
Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Sat-Sun 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Telephone: + 372 45 50 000
Address: Georg Ots Spa hotel ,Tori 2, Kuressaare, 93810, Saaremaa

Rataskaevu 16

Rataskaevu 16 (named after the street) is a restaurant housed in a historic building. I love the rustic feel of the interior. The historical tavern brick wall and wooden floor and furniture yet with a modern touch.

As I was waiting for my food, there was a constant flow of people entering the restaurant. Many had to be turned away, but the waitress recommended similar restaurants nearby; some even made reservations for that evening when they couldn’t get a table for lunch. I highly recommend making a reservation.

The waiters are young, friendly, and bubbly, especially the guy that served me. I ordered a strawberry raspberry lemonade, elk mushroom soup, and buckwheat noodles.

The bread was warm and soft, with a slight crust on the outer edges, not sour like the traditional dark rye bread but mildly sweet. It was the softest dark rye bread I’ve had, and I dare say the best restaurant served rye bread in the Baltics. I could just have bread for lunch.

The strawberry raspberry lemonade was like a fruity virgin mojito.

The Elk mushroom soup was rich and packed with umami. Absolutely divine! The texture of the elk meat is grainy and the taste of the meat is a cross between pork and beef.

Buckwheat noodles was a refreshing dish with fresh salad greens and a light pumpkin puree with rye shavings.

After I paid, I told the waiter that the food was delicious and that I understand why the restaurant is so popular not only amongst locals but also tourists. I don’t usually have the habit of giving tips, but I was so pleased with the entire dining experience, I had to tip!

I recommend this restaurant not just for the warm and friendly service but also for the excellent quality food.

 

Rataskaevu 16

Website: http://rataskaevu16.ee/en/

Opening hours:

  • Mon-Thu 12.00-23.00, Fri-Sat 12.00-24.00, Sun 12.00-23.00

Telephone: +372 642 4025

Address: Rataskaevu 16, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia

Coffee bar at the Nordic Design Home

 

This coffee bar is located within the Nordic Design Home furniture shop. It is about a 15-minute walk from the old town. Both indoor and outdoor seatings are available, however, there are only four tables inside. It was raining when I visited the cafe and all four tables were occupied. Luckily, one customer left a few minutes after my arrival. I love the contemporary setting and dark color tones of the cafe. The floor to ceiling windows was aesthetically pleasing.

The cafe offers a variety of specialty coffee, hot sandwiches, and pastries. They also use Rocket Bean Roastery’s coffee beans which is the biggest specialty coffee roaster in Latvia.

The cappuccino was bold and full-bodied. The Reuben sandwich was divine! Sourdough bread paired with delicious melted cheese accompanied by creamy sweet dressing, sauerkraut, and corned beef. The outer crust had an amazing crunch. It’s like a grilled cheese sandwich with a punch.

The Nordic Design home coffee bar is definitely worth a trip!

Cappuccino €3

Reuben sandwich €6

 

Nordic Design Home

Website: https://nordicdesignhome.ee/pages/kohvibaar?lang=en

Opening hours: 

Tuesday – Friday
9:00 a.m. – 19:00 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday
10:00 a.m. – 18:00 p.m.

Telephone: +372 511 7313

Address: Maakri 25, 10144, Tallinn

Valgomasis

Valgomasis is a small family restaurant. The facade of the restaurant is not attractive, but the interior is cozy and homey. The restaurant only serves lunch, Sunday brunch, and caters private events. There was a good selection of 70s/80s music playing in the background.

I made a reservation by email. On the day of my visit, they sent an English menu in advanced to check to see If I had any dietary restrictions.

The restaurant offers a very simple menu. The daily menu is listed on the wall but only in Lithuanian. The waitress was sweet and approachable.

For lunch, I ordered a cabbage soup and a pearl couscous porridge with a minced beef patty and cucumber tomato bean salad.

While I was waiting for my food, I was served a sweet, dense bread with hummus, which was nice as it was different from the usual butter.

The cabbage soup was hearty with a hint of sweet, creamy note.

The vibrant colors of the pearl couscous porridge were very appetizing. The beef patty was well done, accompanied by a lovely light peppery cream sauce, which balances out the overall flavors of the dish.

What I loved about this restaurant is the different uses of ingredients and flavors. The service and quality of the food exceed the price. The restaurant is a distance away from the old town but totally worth the trip!

Cabbage soup with sour cream €2

Pearl couscous porridge, minced beef patty with black pepper sauce and cucumber tomato bean salad € 5.50

Raspberry tart €2

 

Valgomasis

Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/valgomasis

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 14:00 p.m

Telephone: +37061092124

Address: Muitinės g. 43, Vilnius 03109, Lithuania

Vanaema Juures – grandmother’s cooking

Vanaema Juures is strategically located in the old town along Rataskaevu street with many other popular restaurants. The restaurant is located in the basement with a cozy ambiance accompanied by old-fashioned decor with antique furniture, reminiscent of a grandmother’s home.

There was just one waitress along with an older lady, whom I assumed is the owner or manager. The waitress was friendly and spoke good English.

The bread tasted homemade. It was soft and light with a hint of sweetness.

I ordered a smoked meat soup. The soup was hearty and heartwarming. It was perfectly seasoned. The kind of soup that grandmothers would make on a cold winter day.

For the main course, I had the honey-flavored chicken fillet in parsley sauce, garlic potatoes, wild mushroom sauce, and marinated onion. The pickled onions were appetizing and refreshing for the palate. The chicken was cooked perfectly, very tender, and juicy. The mushroom sauce was light and creamy.

This is one of my eating highlights in Tallinn – simple and delicious traditional Estonian cuisine.

Smoked meat soup with potatoes 4.5€

Chicken  14€

 

Vanaema Juures

Website: https://www.vonkrahl.ee/

Opening hours: Monday -Sunday  12:00 p.m. -22:00 p.m.

Telephone: +372 6269080

Address: Rataskaevu 10/12

The Yacht Club

In contrast to the Alexander restaurant, the Yacht Club restaurant offers a more casual dining experience with a laid back ambiance, with stunning views of the manor and the bay.

The atmosphere was very peaceful, with the occasional gentle breeze and chirping of the birds. The menu had a simple selection of snacks, starters, soups, main courses, and desserts.

I visited the restaurant for lunch. I ordered fish soup and a lamb burger. The fish soup was light and delicious, with a hint of lemony brightness from the fresh dill. The overall flavor of the burger was good, but the patty and bread were a little dry.

Unfortunately for me, this restaurant feels like every other restaurant. The service was average. The food was good, but nothing outstanding. The decor could use a makeover. After a memorable and amazing meal at Alexander, I was somewhat let down with the Yacht Club. I feel it should uphold a higher standard of furnishing, decor, and food.

Fish soup € 9

Burger with Muhu lamb with smoked cheese and fried onion €19

Pot of Earl Grey tea € 5

 

The Yacht club

Website: http://www.padaste.ee/cuisine/padaste-yacht-club/

Opening hours:

  • 20 May until 31 May – Friday, Saturday & Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 18:00 p.m.
  • 1 June until 1 September – Monday to Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 18:00 p.m.

Telephone: +372 454 8800

Address: Pädaste Manor, Muhu Island, 94716 Estonia

 

Nordic island cuisine at Alexander

As the only five-star hotel outside of Tallinn, Pädaste Manor is an epitome of luxury and tranquility, with its origins dating back to the 14th century. Located at the Pädaste bay on Muhu island, this idyllic hotel is surrounded by lush forests and nature reserves, with a picturesque view of the bay from the sundeck. One highlight for me is the seawater hot tub located next to the sundeck. Is there anything more perfect than soaking in a tub out in nature with a gorgeous view of the bay.

When I entered the room, the first thing that caught my attention was the beautiful piano music playing in the background. I felt like I was transported to another world. It was welcoming and relaxing.

The rooms are fully equipped (including an iPad and PlayStation) along with a wireless Sonos audio controller connected to a Bose acoustimass speaker system and furnished with tasteful furniture and opulent fabrics. The bathroom is elegantly decorated, with black and white diamond mosaic marble flooring.

I was impressed with the hotel’s thoughtful gestures for guests such as when I returned to my room after dinner, there were two chocolate chip cookies on each of the nightstands and the bed was made ready for the evening, with the flat sheet was folded nicely and the throw pillows placed at the end of the bed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The kitchen has its own vegetable and herb garden, which is used in the dishes they serve. Other ingredients such as mushrooms and berries are picked from the forests on the island; meat and seafood are sourced from local farmers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dinner at Alexander

The main entrance of Alexander welcomes guests to the Chef’s Table, which is a communal table serving the Islands’ Degustation menu to large groups. Attached to this room is the winter garden, which a glass-enclosed patio overlooking the manor’s park.

During the summer, from June to August, Alexander is open only for dinner. The restaurant offers a prix-fixe menu of a 3-course Table d’Hôte menu for €74 or the 7-course Islands’ Degustation menu for €131. I opted for the 3-course menu.

I was served three types of crisps (rye, poppy seed, leek ash) with a chive dip along with sourdough bread, homemade crisps, and salted Saaremaa butter as an appetizer. I ordered a homemade apple juice soda, which was refreshing and delicious. It tastes like an apple juice virgin mojito.

The dinner began with an amuse-bouche (fried quail egg, mustard seeds with spinach dip), followed by an entrée (pile perch and cucumber), then the main course (Lamb,  carrot, and chanterelles). Finally, culminating with 3 courses of desserts – sunflower seed moose, oat ice cream, and 4 assorted bite-size sweets and cake.

Amuse-bouche 

The quail egg was cooked perfectly with a runny yolk. The spinach was savory and the mustard seed gave each bite a nice crunch at the end.

Entrée (Pile perch, kaffir garlic sauce, lovage ice cream, goats cheese, cucumber)

The Pile perch and cucumber was an exciting dish. I have never seen fish served with ice cream. The taste of the lovage ice cream reminds me of a herby matcha ice cream. It was smooth, with a hint of bitterness and mild sweetness. The pairing works. It was refreshing with subtle, delicious flavors. Unfortunately, I did not like the kaffir sauce. It was quite a strong, unique, and acquired taste,  which overpowers the natural flavors of the fish.

Main course (no picture)

The lamb is accompanied with chanterelles picked from the nearby forest, carrots cooked three ways (puree, pickled, stir fry), and beef sauce. The lamb was tender, smokey and flavorful. The beef sauce was loaded with umami and paired with the sweetness of the carrots, accentuated the flavors of the lamb.

Desserts

Sunflower seed mousse, white chocolate sauce, and sunflower seed dust. 

Oat ice cream, gooseberry from the forest, whipped cream, kama cookie, berry sauce covered in a white chocolate dome, and dark chocolate crumble.

Buckthorn praline, cranberry nougat, financier, and elderflower candy. 

The desserts were delicious with a delicate taste. They were not overpoweringly sweet, which I like.  Alexander’s Chef de Cuisine- Stefan Berwanger personally served the last dessert to a few tables. I was fortunate to be one of them. He thanked the guests for coming. I told him that the food was amazing and that I had a great dining experience.

The whole dining experience took around 2 hours. It was a total seduction of courses after courses. There were a lot of exciting pairings and tastes, and each dish incorporated distinctive and local elements typical in Estonia. The staff was exceptional! They were welcoming, attentive, and knowledgeable about the menu. The waiter in charge of my table was polite and humorous. He ensured that my dining experience was a smooth one from start to end. One of the best waiters I have encountered.

 

Breakfast

 

Breakfast is served at the table, British high tea style. You are served with a selection of bread and pastries, fruit salad with vinaigrette, and a three-tier serving plate with an assortment of cheeses, salted fish, and cold cuts. On the top tier, you have the Juniper and gouda cheese, followed by salted Salted Saarema trout, fish salad, and baltic herring. The bottom tier is the roast beef, pork neck, and chicken liver pate. In addition to that, there is an a la carte menu with a selection of beverages, from the stove and healthy dishes. I like that the hot dishes are cooked to order.

The scrambled egg was cooked the way I like it – fluffy, moist, and evenly cooked. The pancake was perfect. It was fluffy, soft, and had absorbed all the syrup goodness.

Overall, I absolutely loved my stay and dining experience at the manor. A seamless blend of luxury and history. I could not have asked for better!

 

Alexander

Website: http://www.padaste.ee/cuisine/alexander/

Opening hours: September – May: 13:00p.m. – 15:00p.m. , 19:00p.m. – 21:30p.m.

June – August : 19:00 p.m. – 21:30 p.m.

Telephone: +372 454 8800

Address: Pädaste Manor, Muhu Island, 94716 Estonia

Rukis cafe

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Rukis is a cozy cafe with a rustic country decor serving delectable desserts, pastries, and freshly baked bread. I love the color contrast of the purple table cloths against the wooden furnishing. Rukis is located in Tallinn Old Town, a stone’s throw away from the historical landmark – Viru Gate.

When you enter the cafe, the aroma of freshly baked bread wafts in the air. There are two display cases filled with mouthwatering desserts, cakes, and homemade chocolates. As I had made a table reservation in advance, I got a table by the window.

 

 

I was excited about my first meal experience at Rukis, especially after browsing through the dessert menu on the cafe’s website. The breakfast menu had a good variety. There were porridges, different kinds of egg dishes such as eggs benedict and omelets; assorted homemade jams, thin pancakes, open sandwiches, and etc.

I got me a Cappuccino, thin pancakes with honey, and a Marzipan Panna Cotta. I don’t usually have dessert for breakfast, but they look too good to resist. I looked around the cafe, and almost every table had desserts.

The thin pancakes were light, delicate, and buttery with crispy edges. Yum! The Panna Cotta came with a lingonberry sauce, topped with chopped pistachios and lingonberries. The colors were enticing. The creaminess and sweetness of the Panna Cotta balance out the sourness of the lingonberry sauce.

I revisited the cafe on another day for afternoon tea. It was a beautiful day to sit outside, have a cup of tea and a slice of cake. I wanted to try something that is more Estonian-ish, so I asked the waitress to recommend a dessert that is popular among the locals. She was helpful and friendly. We headed inside to the display case, and she suggested a few of her favorites, with the cream cheese rhubarb cake being her favorite. She commented that the ingredients used were typical in Estonia. I have never had a rhubarb cheesecake before, so I decided on that cake. I also ordered hibiscus tea to go with my cake. (I would have loved Earl grey or English tea, but it was too late in the afternoon for me to drink anything with caffeine, or I would be up all night.)

There were four layers to the rhubarb cheesecake. The first was a gelatin topping, followed by cream cheese, then rhubarb, and lastly the crumbly cookie crust. The cheesecake was stunning! The sweet and the sour flavors were well balanced. It was a delicious and memorable cheesecake.

In my opinion, this is one of the best places for breakfast, cakes, and pastries in Tallinn.

Cappuccino €3.50

Classic thin pancakes with honey €5.20 

Marzipan panna cotta €3.90

Cream cheese rhubarb cake €4.50

Hibiscus tea € 2.00

 

Rukis

Website: https://rukis.ee/?lang=en

Opening hours:

Sunday -Tuesday 8:00 a.m.-20:00p.m.

Wednesday -Saturday  8:00 a.m.- 21:00p.m.

Telephone: +372 517 3261

Address: Viru 11, Tallinn

kalambuur – A humble seafood eatery

Hidden in Hirvepark in a charming cottage is a family-run seafood restaurant serving fresh local fish dishes. The restaurant is owned by Estonia’s famous fisherman and chef – Vladislav. The surrounding is quiet and green. On a chilly day, the restaurant offers blankets for customers dining outside. An unexpected but gorgeous location for a restaurant.

The interior is cozy and warm and decorated with various fish pictures on the wall, fish handing lamps along with decorative sea elements, invoking a strong sense of the sea.

The staff was friendly and welcoming. The menu is a simple menu with various appetizers, main courses, and desserts. All ingredients used are local and fresh.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Soup with salmon and pike quenelles € 5.50

The soup had a beautiful delicious light broth. The fish quenelles were lightly seasoned, allowing the natural flavors of the fish to stand out. The lovage adds a sharp lemon aroma to the soup.

Crusted cod with sun-dried tomato pesto €16

The cod, nestled on a bed of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, was cooked beautifully with a crispy sun-dried tomato pesto topping. The topping had a good balance of flavor – savory, herby, nutty, with a hint of acidity.

 

 

Kalambuur

Website: http://kalambuur.ee/en/

Opening hours: Opening hours differ, check the restaurant’s website for exact time.

Telephone: +372 56694194

Address: Toompuiestee 8, Tallinn

Resto Hafen

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Resto Hafen is a charming harbor restaurant located by the Kuressaare yacht harbor. The restaurant has two floors and a summer deck with stunning views of the sea and the Kuressaare castle. The restaurant’s interior is bright and inviting. The white wood wall paneling gives the restaurant warmth and coziness. 

The restaurant was located next to the hotel I was staying at, so I decided to head over there for lunch. The menu offered was limited but had an interesting mix of local, Mediterranean, and Asian inspired dishes.  I ordered soup and pork ribs. 

Seasonal puree soup (leek, cauliflower and potato puree soup with Saaremaa chives and vegetable crisps) €6

I love the bright colors of the soup. Unfortunately, the taste left much to be desired. It tasted pungent and raw, like a detox vegetable soup. I felt nauseous halfway through the soup.

 

Pork ribs with roasted potatoes, colorful coleslaw, salted cucumber and homemade BBQ sauce €12

The pork ribs were dry, and the flavors were flat and dull. The only food on the plate that was enjoyable was the coleslaw. 

I was disappointed that the food did not match up with the beautiful environment. 

 

Restaurant Hafen

Websitehttps://www.hafen.ee

Opening hours: 

Monday: closed
Tuesday to Thursday: 12:00 – 21:00
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 – 23:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 20.00

Telephone: +372 59 104 045

Address: Tori 4, Kuressaare Sadam, 93810, Kuressaare