Bucket listen item #148 – eat at Tchaikovsky
If you’re a friend of mine you probably already know that Tallinn is literally my favorite city in the world for a multitude of reasons, one of which being the food scene. I could name an endless list of restaurants I loved there, not to mention some of the brilliant and experimental things I ate. Tchaikovsky was one of my favorites there, albeit it’s more of a classic dining experience. I mean, insanely fancy, French Michelin star style dining, but actually affordable thanks to the fact that it’s in Estonia. I’m not saying it’s cheap, but we spent about $100 per person for a tasting menu with wine pairing and you do spend even less if you went a la carte.
Let me set the scene for you. You enter a beautiful room that looks like a palace. It’s classic and romantic, yet also modern. The walls are adorned with beautiful paintings with ornate gilded frames, built in book shelves filled with leatherback books and gold lettering, white chairs with damask fabrics, silver plates and cutlery with napkins folded into swans, crystal chandeliers and bow-tied waiters rushing around the room. Then you notice it’s also also quite modern! The ceiling is glass with bowed arches and the far end of the room is basically a garden wall. And the best part? The quartet playing Tchaikovsky because duh!
But what about the food? Divine! Subtle changes on modern cuisine cooked to perfection. Nothing overdone, but some interesting plating here and there. A little dry ice with the pavlova, an architectural cracker, one tiny sprig for garnish, etc. I really appreciate that last part. There is nothing more desperate than covering a dish with garbage garnish. (Try saying that ten times fast). This place was perfection and I guarantee it would have a star if Michelin ever decided to get off its ass and head to the Baltics.
It was just amazing. So amazing! And it will forever hold a special place in my heart as this was the first place Dave and I went on our honeymoon. It was just so romantic!
On a probably irrelevant not, our waitress spoke five languages! You heard me right! We me a lot of Estonians who spoke many languages. I think it’s common because they’re been occupied so much over the years by such a diverse set of countries. Everyone spoke English and Estonia, but a lot also spoke Finnish because of the language similarities and Russian because of the proximity and the volume of Russians in the country still there after the Soviet occupation. Estonians are an exemplary peoples.