Gloria – expensive but its nostalgic walk back in time. (Mike Jagger, Pope..etc..etc..have dined here)…
Le Bonaparte – for chocolates and coffee
Baltaskir – Garlic restaurant…just have their house favourite mix grill – awesome !
Three Sisters – Lunch on the terrace with a NZ sauvignon blanc.(if hotel reads this, a few more selections NZ SB would be the marvelous to add to your collection).
As usual, one of the first things I researched when planning my trip to Tallinn was the restaurants. I put Gloria on my list because it is consistently rated as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world, and I simply had to check it out for myself.
Interestingly, I came across it on my walk through the old town on the first day, and so enticing did it look from the outisde that I would have wanted to go there with or without its spectacular reputation.
The outside of the building is of the ancient stone that is so eveident throughout the Old Town of Tallinn. As one walks up the steps and through the impressive doors, one finds oneself in an equally commanding grand hall. Bedecked with heavy red velvet drapes, crystal chandeliers, and antiques, the hall leads to a grand staircase which leads to a room which exceeds even the impressiveness of the entrance. The ambience is redolent of the Belle Epoque and as we were lead to our private curtained dining booth I found myself drifting into a private fantasy set somewhere in a rich and glorious era. The restaurant is glorious both in name and in nature.
Service is exceptional and discrete. I thought that if I were with my favourite man I could ask for those heavy curtains to be drawn and dine in romantic isolated splendour. As I was with a female friend, however, we left the drapes open and I happily surveyed the staff and other guests through the mirrors that line the walls. I glanced towards the ceiling of my booth, only to discover that it, too, is partly mirrorred.
Favorite Dish: Sometimes in such a spectacular setting a restaurant is let down by mediocre food. Gloria is NOT one of those places. The food still has me dreaming of flavours and each dish brought its own surprises.
To start I ordered smoked salmon blinis. I expected something like what I've had before - a giant toasted half muffin. Instead I was presented with three coin sized melt in the mouth pan fried pancakes, a small but decent piece of perfectly marinated salmon, two types of caviar, quails egg, sliced cucumber, minced red onion, and salad leaves. I can still taste the golden globes of what I believe was salmon roe as it burst in my mouth. I've never been a great fan of caviar, now I am.
This was followed by tournedos rossini. The beef was again a small portion but was so perfectly rare that I relished each morsel and so it filled me with flavour and satisfied my hunger. This was topped with a very tasty portion of foie gras. Excellent!
The dessert was the piece de resistance, and I didn't think it was possible to top the starter. I had a Baba, which was a small round sponge cake or pudding flavoured with lemon or orange. This was served with cream, strawberry, and a glass of golden rum. One pours the rum over the cake and the ensuing melt in the mouth delicacy can only be described as a complete cullinary experience in itself.