Tuesday, 27 June 2017

A strong restaurant recommendation in Tallinn: Restoran Cru



* * * 

Central location, stylish ambiance, great food, professional service and excellent value for money? Restoran Cru in Tallinn ticks all the boxes!


* * * 


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_1



While we might have only spent two days in Tallinn, you think we settled for "just" Noa Chef's Hall and Salt

Oh, no.

We also manage to fit Restaurant Cru into our schedule - I mean, we didn't come all this way to diet, now did we?


(For the stat-oriented among you: the most recent White Guide lists Cru as the 7th best restaurant in Tallinn; a position it shares with Ribe).


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_2



The chef at Cru is Dmitri Haljukov, Estonia's representative at Bocuse d'Or competition, though advertizing it on a blackboard parked next to the entrance does seem a bit... well, cheap.

Another thing that only adds to that is the way the menu features photos of the dishes. Gimmicks like that make (at least) me think of Turkish tourist traps - not a particularly attractive association as far as I'm concerned. 


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_3



However, the serenely stylish ambiance of the restaurant, combined with the welcoming and knowledgeable staff impresses immediately.



Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_4
Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_5


We kicked our leisurely lunch off with Cosmopolitans (à €7), which I've recently re-discovered after having finally recovered from completely OD'ing on them in the late 90's (just admit it - you know exactly what I'm talking about, right?) 

And you know what? It's a classic for a reason. 


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_6
Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_7



Luckily my taste was very compatible with that of my date (the fellow blogger who charmed me already over our lunch at Salt) which meant filling the table with all the goodies we wanted. 

I started with wild boar aspic accompanied by quail egg and pickled mushrooms (€12). 

A very strong performance, though it was definitely a rillette, not an aspic. Rather surprisingly our waitress recommended pairing it with Champagne (Ernest Rapenau Brut, €9) and let's face it - when have I ever said no to Champagne? 


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_8


Champagne turned out to be a great pairing for my other starter, too (well, I'm not going to pass on pulpo, am I?); a wonderfully summery octopus carpaccio (€14). 

The dish would have benefited from a component to lend it acidity and as such, more complexity though (in the form of a dressing, perhaps?), as octopus carpaccio in itself doesn't really have a taste and all the greens on the plate just tasted... well, green.

My just-in-case-Chablis (€10) was also a very good match for the dish. 



Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_9


My companion started her feast with quite possibly the most enchanting of all the dishes: Estonian feta cheese salad beautifully assembled as a cake (€11), which, with the accompanying tomato compote, was intriquingly sweet to a point of being almost dessert-like. 

Oh and oh.


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_10


The mains didn't fail to deliver, either. 

As my date feels every bit as passionately about offal as I do, I was thrilled when she picked the liver dish on the menu. As a result I decided to go for the roasted Icelandic scallops with Hokkaido pumpkin and aromatic apple (€21).

I must say, though, I'm still a little intrigued as to what the "Old Cow" (€19) would have entailed? 

An awkward error in translation... or a bitter bovine finally killed by lonely decades as a sad spinster?


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_11




The scallop dish was such a delight with its soothingly gentle flavours and beautiful combination of textures.

Airy, yet earthy. 

What a treat. 


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_12


Flambéed deer liver, served with roasted onion confit and cherry and Kriek sauce (€15) was a tad too raw for our taste (our bad though - we didn't realize the liver would be sliced that thinly).

The flavours of the dish were wonderfully deep, dark and comforting - more than spot on. 



Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_13


It only took me a nano second to settle on the dessert. Just seeing the name on the menu made hearts flutter out of my eyes.

Créme brûlée with smoked bacon meringue (€6). Man, oh, man. 

The only thing that stopped me from ordering the dessert for 3 more times was a vague notion of common decency that I felt obliged to uphold considering it was only noon. 

(And yes, I still regret it).


Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_14



And in case you doubt my objectiveness in the matter, just take a look at my date's expressions. 

Told you so. 

Exactly that divine. 



Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_15



One thing Estonians seem to love even more than choir singing is the local black bread. They love it to a point they put it in everything they can get away with. Including ice cream. I really wish they didn't.

Black bread ice cream with cherries and hazel nut cream (€6) was far too malty for me, but she liked it. 

Hey, ho. 



Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_16


But pretty it was - like everything here. The lengths they go to ensure the presentation is every bit as impeccable as the execution of all the other aspects of each dish... beautiful.

Our dessert wines (Pedro Ximénes for her, a Sauternes for me; both à €7)  were spot on as well - thank you for our waitress for this, too. 



Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_17


My lunch (a cocktail, 2 starters, main and a dessert; each 4 dishes with wine pairings) came to €88.50. So, while Cru is definitely not the cheapest option for a foodie traveller in Tallinn, it is far from the most expensive one either. 

Then again - in case you were looking for recommendations for a grotesque Medieval theme restaurants, Chinese all-you-can-eats or €1 burgers, you'd probably be reading someone else's blog right now, wouldn't you?

With its central location in Tallinn Old Town, excellent value for money and stylish overall experience, Restoran Cru really ticks all the boxes. 

Definitely worth a visit!

Any of you familiar with restaurant Cru? What are your favourites in Tallinn's vibrant restaurant scene?



Restaurant Restoran Cru_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_18


* * * 

Restoran Cru
Viru 8
Tallinna

tel. +372 614 0085

info@crurestoran.eu

www.crurestoran.eu

* * * 

___________________


ANYONE FOR SECONDS?


10 fascinating facts about Estonia_10 things you did not know about Estonia_Under the Andalusian Sun_travel blog_1    Restoran Salt_resturant Salt_best restaurants in Tallinn_Under the Andalusian Sun_food blog_travel blog_1   


SHARING IS CARING!

Sharing is caring Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email This Pin This