Bucket List item #747 – eat @ Kohvik Fellin
If you’ve ever asked me what my favorite country to visit would be, the answer is always Estonia for a myriad of reasons. The people are friendly, the cities are pristine, the art scene is thriving, the countryside is beautiful, there aren’t many tourists and the culinary scene is inspired. I can’t say that I’ve experienced many food scenes like Estonia. When you visit France or Italy you have a similar experience in that the food seems to be delicious no matter where you go. You don’t need to plan a meal; you just know the food will be good regardless of the restaurant. Estonia is similar, but more exciting because of the diversity in cuisine. I feel like when I tell people this no one believes me, but the culinary world in Estonia is unlike any other. There are so many creative menus doing very innovation things, and even when the menu isn’t creative, the attention to detail Estonians put into their food will bring tears to your eyes. Seriously.
Before Dave and I went to Estonia for the first time, I purchased numerous books about traveling the country. I also did a ton of Googling. I seemed to have this endless list of restaurants I wanted to try, which was unexpected. We spent two weeks in Estonia. We stayed in Tallinn and rented a car for day adventures. In retrospect I wish we had just moved around the country the whole time instead of commuting back and forth for day trips, but I honestly didn’t know what to expect. You live you learn. Someday I will go back and do it properly.
Anyway, I decided we would take a day trip to Viljandi just so we could go to Fellin. This restaurant kept popping up and I wanted to go so badly. Dave was looking at me like a crazy person because I wanted to drive two hours just to eat. Of course, we could explore along the way, but it was the destination I had in mind. I mean, the reviews for this place were amazing and the restaurant itself looked so cozy and inviting. So, Dave acquiesced, begrudgingly. To this day he is so glad he did because we still tell people about this restaurant. We eat at so many different restaurants in NYC and our travels, so when one leaves a lasting impression like Fellin, you know you’ve met something special.
I remember entering Viljandi thinking their old town was worth the visit in and of itself. It’s a charming city and seemingly perfect for a day trip. After lunch, we meandered through the city, stopping for a bit at some local ruins and admiring the general splendor of the town. I wish we had stayed there for a night or two. I’m sure there are some lovely ways to spend a weekend there.
Back to Fellin. I still dream about this place. The restaurant itself is as cozy as the pictures paint it: comfy couches, floral wallpaper, blue and white painted tile, flowers on all the tables and a staff with nothing but smiles. We were greeted with enthusiasm when our waitress learned we were American. I guess we’d come a long way?
I don’t remember every detail of the menu. We only took a few photos of the food, so it helps jog my memory a bit, but the things I do remember are like a beacon in my mind. We started our meal with a chef’s welcome that was some sort of celery dish. I can’t recall the exact dish, but Dave and I always say that this dish was the most exemplary celery there ever was. I remember thinking that I didn’t know celery could be a dish I would write home about. Then there was the amazing crème brûlée with some of the most flavorful strawberries I’ve ever had. And the coffee! Oh my god, the coffee! That’s still one of the best lattes I’ve ever had. I could cry thinking about how much love was put into the food there. I remember thinking that the staff put so much care into ever little detail and taste. It’s something we experienced again and again with Estonian cuisine, but Kohvik Fellin was one of the best dining experiences we’ve ever had. It was a perfectly packaged day.
Tell me in the comments a restaurant you’ve experienced that you could taste the love and care in every bite! And if you’re loving my little day trip outfit, I’ve put together a little wish list of similar items. It’s been a long while since this trip, so the exact pieces are no longer available, but I found some similar pieces. Please remember this is just a wish list and have not bought these specific items.
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