The first edition of the MICHELIN Guide Estonia celebrates 31 restaurants
Wednesday, 25 May 2022, Press Release
Michelin is pleased to present the first restaurant selection of the MICHELIN Guide Estonia, the first country to have a guide in the Baltic region. Thirty-one restaurants have been recommended by the MICHELIN Guide inspectors for the excellence of their culinary offerings. Among them, two restaurants stand out for the outstanding quality of their cooking and have been awarded a MICHELIN Star. Five restaurants have been honoured with a Bib Gourmand for their good value offerings and two restaurants have been recognised with a MICHELIN Green Star for their commitment to sustainable gastronomy.
Two restaurants awarded a MICHELIN Star:
Of the 31 restaurants recommended by the MICHELIN Guide inspectors in this first Estonian selection, two have been awarded the prestigious MICHELIN Star for their outstanding cuisine.
NOA Chef’s Hall, Tallinn – Set within the same striking modern building as restaurant NOA is the stylish NOA Chef’s Hall. Here, guests are invited to start their evening with an aperitif served in a romantic lounge with a splendid view of Tallinn Bay and the Gulf of Finland.
The on-view kitchen is the heart of the restaurant and the open fire is used to great effect. Luxury ingredients are to the fore and are sourced from around the world, depending on what’s best, be it scallops from Norway or lobster from Canada, but locally foraged and preserved produce also plays its part. The creative 7-course menu, designed by chefs Roman Sidorov and Tõnis Siigur, keeps clients engaged from start to finish, with complex, highly original dishes full of complementary flavors and texture layers. There’s some theatre at play too, with dishes delivered to the tables by the chefs, who describe them in detail.
180° by Matthias Diether, Tallinn – Sitting within a modern harbour development a couple of miles outside the city centre is this stylish restaurant named after the 180° view from its U-shaped open kitchen.
After drinks and snacks in the restaurant’s futuristic bar, guests can choose whether to have the 4-course tasting menu ‘Flavours of 180 Degrees’ or the 6-course tasting menu ‘Matthias’ Inspiration’. Ambitious, showy dishes are experienced German chef Matthias Diether’s hallmark, and his modern creations show an array of both flavour and texture contrasts, as well as paying great attention to detail. Service is warm and engaging and helps to create a relaxed atmosphere.
5 restaurants awarded a Bib Gourmand Award:
The Bib Gourmand is a particularly popular award among gourmets, indicating restaurants in the MICHELIN Guide’s selections that offer good cooking at reasonable prices. Five restaurants have been chosen for offering excellent value for money:
NOA, Tallinn – In this restaurant, which offers a magnificent view of the city and the sea, exceptionally fresh fish takes centre stage. The cosy room is furnished with natural materials and the full-length windows flood it with light. Seasonal modern menus provide plenty of choice.
Härg, Tallinn – This busy, buzzy, all-day brasserie comes with stone walls, exposed ducting and striking copper chandeliers. Well-priced modern dishes come with a focus on the chargrill, with steaks taking centre stage; the ‘Dirty Steak’, a ribeye, is cooked directly on the charcoal. The courtyard is a popular spot.
Fellin, Viljandi – Expect a warm welcome at this café-cum-bistro set within a red brick building on the edge of the Old Town. It has something of a bohemian air, courtesy of a tiled bar, a mix of artwork and a laid-back vibe. Carefully prepared, traditional European dishes burst with freshness and flavour.
Lore Bistroo, Tallinn – This modern bistro sits in a cavernous warehouse overlooking the harbour at Port Noblessner. Steel girders, hoists and concrete pillars provide the backdrop and an open kitchen adds to the buzz. Assured dishes are designed for sharing and are inspired by the owners’ travels
Mantel ja Korsten, Tallinn – This clapboard house, whose name means ‘mantle and chimney’, has a real picture postcard look. A green-tiled fireplace and mantel take centre stage in a room furnished with bright, bold designs. Mediterranean-inspired dishes are accompanied by well-chosen wines with an organic and biodynamic bias.
Two restaurants awarded a MICHELIN Green Star for their sustainable commitments
The MICHELIN Green Star was awarded to two restaurants that are at the forefront of a sustainable approach to gastronomy: Põhjaka Manor in Mäeküla (near Paide, just off the Tallinn-Tartu Road) and Fotografiska in Tallinn. Whether through their locavore approach, their efforts to reduce the restaurant’s ecological footprint, their initiatives to recycle food waste, grow their own vegetables and herbs or educate their guests about a more eco-responsible vision of gastronomy, these restaurants are a true source of inspiration for gourmets and restaurateurs alike.
Three MICHELIN Special Awards to celebrate talented professionals
The MICHELIN Guide has awarded three special prizes to talented professionals in order to highlight the diversity of skills and talents that contribute to great dining experiences.
The MICHELIN Young Chef Award goes to Janno Lepik, chef of the Bib Gourmand restaurant Lore Bistroo. A true talent on the Tallinn gastronomic scene, Janno Lepik first came to prominence at Leib restaurant (now Lee restaurant) before opening Lore Bistroo. This chef focuses on local producers as he prepares classic recipes and flavours from the Estonian culinary repertoire.
Our inspectors were impressed by the skill and professional qualities of Robert Põld, the attentive and passionate sommelier at the Michelin-starred NOA Chef’s Hall. The food and wine pairings were cleverly designed and the friendliness, sense of humour and simplicity of this great professional help to put the guests at ease. He received the MICHELIN Sommelier Award.
Finally, the MICHELIN Service Award goes to the team at Lahepere Villa restaurant in Kloogaranna, orchestrated by the friendly owner Helen Vihtol. Here, hidden in a wooded area near the beach, everything is done to offer guests an exceptional level of comfort and hospitality. The first thing that catches the eye is the crackling fire in the garden next to the fleece-covered chairs. From the terrace built by her husband, Helen Vithol graciously welcomes each guest, while her daughter helps with the service, her son with the washing up, and her husband with the maintenance of the exterior and the fire. Chef Silver Get is also involved, passionately explaining each dish on the menu, which changes every two weeks. All guests leave with a little gift: a homemade granola for breakfast the next morning to prolong the experience.
Michelin Plate Restaurants in Estonia
Twenty-four restaurants in Estonia were awarded the Michelin Plate – recognising restaurants that “simply serve good food”: 38 (Tallinn), CRU (Tallinn), Gianni (Tallinn), Fii (Tartu), Fotografiska (Tallinn), Hõlm (Tartu), Joyce (Tartu), Horisont (Tallinn), Lahepere Villa (Kloogarand), Lee (Tallinn), Mere 38 (Võsu), Mon Repos (Tallinn), Moon (Tallinn), Paju Villa (Tallinn), Põhjaka Manor (near Paide, just off Tallinn-Tartu Road), Pull (Tallinn), Puri (Tallinn), R14 (Tallinn), Rado (Tallinn), Ruhe (30 min out of Tallinn, by the seaside), Smak (Tallinn), Tchaikovsky (Tallinn), Tuljak (Tallinn) and Wicca (Laulasmaa, 30 minutes out of Tallinn).
Culinary and geographical diversity
In addition to the restaurants awarded a MICHELIN Star or Bib Gourmand, the other restaurants in the MICHELIN Guide Estonia selection celebrate a wide variety of culinary styles spread throughout the country.
Ruhe in Neeme, for example, offers fine seafood dishes, while Lee in Tallinn features Asian flavours and Gianni takes diners to Italy. Fii in Tartu won over the MICHELIN Guide inspectors, as did Wicca in Laulasmaa and Mere 38 in Võsu.
All the recommendations and establishments selected by the inspectors for the MICHELIN Guide Estonia can be found exclusively online, on the MICHELIN Guide website and mobile apps.
The MICHELIN Guide Estonia 2022 at a glance:
31 restaurants selected, including:
– 2 restaurants with a MICHELIN Star
– 5 Bib Gourmand restaurants
– 2 MICHELIN Green Star restaurants
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