Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer in Estonia - eating in Hiiumaa

This is vol. 2 of our attempt to eat ourselves around the country during S's vacation. There are two larger islands in Estonia, Saaremaa, where we went to last year and which was fully booked this time anyway, because of an opera festival, and then Hiiumaa. So this is where we went, via the beautiful manor of Vihula near Rakvere and the pretty, pretty beaches and blueberry forests of Noa-Rootsi.

The cakes of Muurivahe cafe and Kuursaal in Haapsalu.

Being an island that consist in a large part of juniper bushes and stony seasides fish and lamb are obvious culinary staples.
Plaice (flatfish) is super popular, even though all mainlanders are appallingly clumsy at eating it. We had panfried plaice in Pihla talu, it came with a cold, sour-cream based sauce and boiled new potatoes. The fish was small but oh so delicious. We ended up ordering a plateful of fish with no sides in the evening to go with our beers.

Smoked plaice and smoked garfish (my favorite) were also enjoyed.

There is a very aptly named restaurant called Lest ja Lammas in Kassari (a peninsula on Hiiumaa with lovely nature, a cool straw roofed church and a beach), where we went for a well earned lunch after almost perishing in the scary juniper jungle of Saaretirp
(a thin strand of land that goes about 2 km into the sea).

Mini-me got a lamb soup he refused to eat. And a cheesecake that was less cheese and more whipped cream with gelatin, but he devoured it before I had a chance to take a picture.

I had boiled new potatoes with lightly salted whitefish. It was delicious in terms of taste, but badly filleted.

S had pork neck and loved it. He and his mom also had smoked Baltic herring for starters.

All in all it seemed like a place that'd mostly cater to foreign tourists, it felt a little 'chainish' to me. In a nice straw roofed way.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer in Estonia - Parnu

Parnu is probably the most famous and loved resort-towns in Estonia. I usually avoid it like the plague, the last time I was here (for a hen night)
it seemed like the over tanned, screaming, neon colored and stupor-drunk equivalent of Jersey Shore. Despite all this we decided to come and celebrate our wedding anniversary here, give Parnu another chance. Last year we went to Paris. At least the both start with a P right? *laughs*
And - cue drumroll - it really wasn't that bad. The beach was not scary - elderly Finns rather than the Jersey Shore generation of locals. The water was nice, there is a cool exhibition on at the New Art Museum and we had good food! Not once either, but twice, or actually three times!

There are two relatively new eateries open in Parnu - Supelsaksad and Mahedik, this one's focussed on using organic and local produce in their dishes. The service was really good in both of them, very friendly, charming, helpful girls.

It took a LONG time to get our food in Supelsaksad, but luckily we weren't that hungry and it's a nice place to hang out in. I had a really good onion soup with toasted cheese.

S had a mozzarella and tomato salad with oven baked salmon. Nom.

In Mahedik they were kind of out of half of the things on the menu, but I guess that was to be expected as we arrived about 20 minutes before their official closing time, yet they still served us without complaint. I had the daily special - pan-fried baby lamb's liver with potato and leek mash.

The mash was good, the sauce was splendid, but the liver had spent too much time on the pan. S had freshly caught pike-fish and it was very good.

My dark chocolate and mint cake was absolutely inspired.

And just before leaving we went for pizza in Steffani's, it used to be the only place where anyone not from Parnu ever went to eat while there. Gladly it's still quite good as far as pizzas go, I didn't particularly like my mozzarella salad, I find it sinful to serve dried oregano and basil dead in the middle of the summer and there was too much of emphasis on Balsamico and not enough on olive oil.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Random observation of a lazy food blogger

I was planning to upload pictures from a (relatively) new restaurant we went to on the weekend, but just realized the food was so good that I only managed to take pictures of the starters, and had completely zoned out into food-related bliss by the time my grilled haddock arrived. So yeah, I need to go back *cough* *cough* to take more pictures of course *cough*.

So instead I looked through the few and far between food pics I've snapped and decided to post this under 'Random observation of the day'.

Chopped pine-apple vinaigrette is a perfect companion for a simple green-leaf and tuna salad. Honest to god. Olive oil, chopped pine apple, freshly ground black pepper and should you be so inclined a drop of good Balsamico.