Best Meal, Estonia

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know how I feel about food.  Food is one of my very favorite things.  You may have also picked up on my love for Estonia.  So I wanted to write a quick blurb about a great meal that I had at a great restaurant in Tallinn.  That it was my going away meal, is poignant.

Rataskaevu 16 is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Tallinn.  (It’s number one on trip advisor for a reason!)  Couple their phenomenal food with reasonable prices, and it’s no wonder that it is often fully booked. Finally they decided to open a second restaurant, just down the street from the first.  This place, Väike Rataskaevu (Little Rataskaevu) is just as wonderful, with a slightly smaller menu- and a lot of charm.

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Walking into the restaurant it feels very welcoming and cheerful.  Not like the usual feeling I get when I walk into a ‘fancy’ restaurant.  The staff seemed genuinely glad you were there.  We sat and ordered drinks, and received the first of many small surprises that made our experience go from good to great.

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Handwritten note under the latte cup.  It’s the little things folks! We had heard some good things about the goat cheese appetizer.  Goodness am I glad we took the suggestion.  It was delicious.

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Since we were at the little restaurant, it has a smaller menu featuring the same items as the other location.  Happily we realized that all the dishes we wanted to try were still available.

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My pork tenderloin came balanced on a potato cake tower, which made me think of one of my very favorite parts of David Sedaris’ book Me Talk Pretty One Day.  If you’ve read it, you remember the essay about eating in fancy restaurants.  I used it as a comedic monologue at one point.  If you haven’t read it, you should.

ANYWAY.

It was delicious.  As was the roast elk that my friend had:

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It’s just such a fun restaurant.  It’s really reasonably priced, and it’s in an easy to find location in Old Town.  I had recently tried another highly rated restaurant just outside the city center, and while the food was good- the feeling in the restaurant kept us from really enjoying our meal.  The dining room was really cramped.  Our table was positioned so that we had to move out of the way so the staff could access part of their wine storage.  And they just seemed to not want us to be there.

Dining at Väike Rataskaevu was so different than that experience.  I wish that I could have gone back, but we went on my last day in town.

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