How the best restaurants were chosen
The best restaurants were chosen almost in the same way as in the previous two years. With one difference. The five restaurants that scored the largest number of votes in the category of Fine dining category went through an additional round.
Another jury composed of foreign top specialists came to assess them. The aim of the additional assessment round was to compare our opinions with foreign ones. Do they match or are they completely different?
The sum of the domestic and foreign ratings determined the final ranking. Before the round of foreign assessment, all the restaurants that had advanced to this round had at least a mathematical chance to win.
The ratings of the foreign jury turned out to be absolutely unanimous and were, with one exception, exactly the same as the ratings given by the locals.
Alessandro Porcelli is an Italian who actually feels especially close to Nordic cuisine. He is currently conducting a series of events Cook It Raw that is a hot topic in the world of gastronomy. A man with a very cosmopolitan mentality and experience.
Restaurant Horizont impressed him, first and foremost, with the enchanting panoramic views to every direction and with the smooth service. He would have liked to see more local food in the menu. Scallops (pictured) can be had anywhere, why would one eat them in Tallinn.
Restaurant Horizont was unanimously rated worthy of the fourth place. But the points awarded by the foreigners were not enough to change the decision of the Estonian jury and, all in all, Horizont was deservedly ranked fifth.
Andrea Petrini is also an Italian, whose business has taken him away from his native land. It is no secret that the practice of choosing the best 50 restaurants in Estonia is not a local invention. The best 50 restaurants in the world have already been chosen for eight years. Andrea’s job is to organize the voting process of this competition in France.
He likes the dinner at restaurant Tchaikovsky very much. Sauerkraut consommé with pickerel pie (pictured) is Russian, French and local, all at the same time. That means unique!
The people who are always in the middle of superfine flavours are really able to appreciate simple well-prepared dishes. When Andrea spotted a club sandwich on the tray of one of the waiters, he immediately felt like tasting it. Had it been the jury for choosing the best club sandwich in the world, Tchaikovsky’s sandwich would have been certain to be awarded the first place by Andrea Petrini.
In the unanimous opinion of both domestic and local members of the jury, Tchaikovsky earned the third place in the ranking of the best restaurants!
Kenneth Nars is also involved in choosing the best 50 restaurants in the world. He organizes the voting in the region of the Baltic States, Finland, Iceland and Greenland. He is the foreign member in the jury who knows Estonian restaurants best.
We are used to thinking that all the best in Estonia has to be located in Tallinn. Elsewhere in the world the best can be located anywhere. Even in the places that are quite difficult to find. Among our best, this tendency is represented by restaurant Alexander of Pädaste manor in Muhumaa.
Represented worthily. The smoked elk fillet (pictured) is only the second course in the menu. Two of the restaurants had not even been visited yet, but the expressions of Kenneth and other members of the jury suggest that the winner has probably been found. This impression was not deceptive. The opinion of the Estonian members of the jury was the same.
Amy Serafin is an American living in Paris. She is a versatile journalist whose opinions concerning food, travelling and design are influential. She has, among other things, been the co-editor of the compilation of Zagat’s selection of the best restaurants in Paris.
She is pictured with probably the best known gourmet dish in Estonia, eel marinated in Põltsamaa’s apple wine. She too only had words of praise for this dish. Amy was also grateful to restaurant Ö for becoming closer acquainted with the Estonian products that were new to her, such as sea-buckthorn, whitefish and eel.
While Ö’s food bravely competed with that of Alexander’s, there was a clearer gap concerning drinks and service. However, the final deciding factor for the foreign jury might have even been the background music at Ö!?
When it comes to restaurants, no detail is of minor importance. The second place. This is the unanimous opinion of all the members of the jury.
Eeropekka Rislakki is the editor-in-chief of the publication Viisi Tähteä targeted to food professionals in Finland. The best informed food editor in Finland, he also tries to keep posted about what is going on in our country as much as he can.
According to Eeropekka (as well as other members of the jury), the quail in the picture was the best dish in the menu served at Egoist. The classic French cuisine is not necessarily what foreigners want to taste in Estonia. This is why Egoist had no chance to be chosen the best this time around.
Though voted fifth by the foreign members of the jury, they did not manage to shake the assessment given by the Estonians. Thus, Egoist earned the fourth place in the ranking of 2010.