Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Dinner at Fiskars Wärdshus

The talent of the local craftsmen, showcased everywhere at Fiskars Wärdshus hotel, is also proudly on display at their restaurant.

The overall look at the dining hall continues the peacefully simple and elegant atmosphere of the hotel.

Menu; both food and wine is short and thought-through. Emphasis (here, too) is on seasonal and local produce. Bread (this time with dill and basil) is hand-made on the premises.

Luckily there were two of us so we got to try all the goodies I'd been drooling over. In my attempt (they're rather frequent though somewhat short-lived) to be less of a bulldozer I let my date to pick his meal first. Of course he just had to go and choose the duck liver I'd been dreaming of ever since we booked our stay. Already bracing myself for massive food envy I went for crayfish tails instead.

Trying to remember everything we've been learning about wines we tried to navigate our way through the wine list but couldn't really agree on the destination. Luckily the waitress suggested Champagne. Can't really go wrong with that one, can you? Pannier Brut Selection had dry acidity and gentle toastiness that we both liked. 

Already at this point the dinner had proved it pays off to leave the city every now and then and broaden one's horizons. I sure had not expected to encounter something like duck liver on the menu - let alone as beautifully presented as it was. 

It was cooked every bit as beautifully too. We didn't even think to ask about the origins of the duck! Cherry compote was a fantastic addition though I personally couldn't figure out what I ultimately felt about the pea crème addition. The Boy Next Door was sold, however.

And lo and behold - there was no sign of any type of envy as my portion was brought in. A truly spectacular dish. Chili gave the browned butter just the right amount of heat and the roe, dried chilli frillies (no, probably not a professionally used term) and toast crumble made for an interesting texture, too. Great saltiness too, as in all the dishes throughout the meal. 

As we were trying to decide on the wines for the mains we were offered a couple of them to try. Kudos for that! Our first two choices had unfortunately ran out so for fish we were torn between Portuguese Douro and Austrian Sylvaner. Owing to its richer aromas, Sylvaner was the one to make the cut, though surprisingly Douro did prove to be a better match for the actual dish. Live and learn. Drink and learn some more.

The choice for the red to go with date's steak was an easy one: next to the soft, round richness of Pian Scorrone's Barbera d'Asti Côtes du Rhône's dryness didn't stand a chance.

Seeing how the date had used his veto (again!) I was left with fish. That night it was fried whitefish with seasonal veggies and delightfully light yet wonderfully citrusy yogurt sauce. A beautifully summery dish indeed. The crunchy carrot flakes were every bit as tasty as they were pretty.

The date's steak was cooked to his liking and Bearnaise was billowy and elegant. I can't remember the last time I've eaten a proper steak. We're fans of sustainable meat-eating and favour offal and slowly braised, lesser used body parts so The Boy Next Door hasn't been treated to one either. And sure enough, there's time and place for that too. Like here. Tonight. Can't argue with that. 

Surprisingly enough, we both courageous carnivores felt that the sides put on the best performance. Truly cooked to perfection with buckets of flavour. 

For dessert wine we were recommended this intricate Italian. The bubbles made for a festive feel, complimented by the aromatic freshness. Molto bene with both our puddings. 

The Boy Next Door chose lemon posset. Another beautifully presented dish with taste and texture that were spot on. Seductively gentle and not too citrusy. Perfectly light, caressing consistency.

And for me... suffice to say that at this point of the intrepidly Instagram-documented evening I had to choice but to bring out the big guns: #foodporn hashtag. Just look at that!

That just might be the most beautiful thing I've ever been presented on a plate. White chocolate mousse wasn't too sweet and left room for the acidity of the red currant (coulis? Gelée? Sauce?), which wasn't tear-inducingly tart either. There were tears (well, almost), but for all the right reasons. 

The dinner was the crowning glory of our wonderful stay. Everything on our plates was like us - full of love. Oh Lord - now I'm making myself sick with all this gooeyness...

A big thanks to our hosts - we couldn't be happier!

*In collaboration with Fiskars Wärdshus*




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