The Era of the Neighborhood Bistro

Someone just mentioned the other day, that most restaurants that pop up these days are the same: cozy and simple with a focus on local produce and/or vegetables. It’s the era of the neighborhood bistro. Small cafes and tobacco-shops are converted into trendy cafes and wine bars with specialty coffee, organic wines and brunch. The answer to my friend’s comment was that I actually don’t mind – this is the type of restaurant I prefer (as long as they do what they do well). Sidney’s is a perfect example of a place I would really love to have around the corner from where we live: fresh menu complemented with a good list of wines, both classic and nature, with a green footprint. Continue reading “The Era of the Neighborhood Bistro”

Does Sushi Love Wine?

There are some combinations between wine and food that have no place in history. Sushi and wine is one of them. Sushi, originally from Japan was meant to be enjoyed with local beverages, some hot sake for example, or green tea. However, more recently, a lot of Asian restaurants have popped up pairing oriental dishes with cocktails and different wines. Sushibar + Wine is one of them. The concept restaurant has four different locations in Helsinki, and I was lucky enough to be invited to one of them for a drink and a nibble.  Continue reading “Does Sushi Love Wine?”

The Little Red Riding Hood

When I still lived in Helsinki, my objection to it was mainly that it was too silent. I traveled for work, and longed for big city life with a plentitude of bistros, bars and terraces. I imagined myself mid-March holding a Cappunico on a sunny terrace in Paris, or having cocktails in a speakeasy in London’s’ Soho. Somehow Helsinki was quiet, monotonous and grey, and I felt a belonging somewhere else. Maybe it just felt like that at the time, however, looking at Helsinki now, it has changed. The atmosphere is more open, people like to go out, and that Parisian terrace, and many like it, can be found right there, close to the center of the City. For example, Le Petit Chaperon Rouge, which is a French wine and snack bar in Katajanokanranta, just a stone throw away from the Senate square. Continue reading “The Little Red Riding Hood”

The Grand Champagne Report

Look at that silly smile. That is me scanning the room for my next glass of bubbly at Grand Champagne 2018 – one of the best wine events in the whole of Europe. One would not guess Helsinki to be the venue for such an event. Maybe Paris or London sounds more natural. But it is the hard work of Master of Wine Essi Avellan and winelovers Taru and Christian From, that bring the cream of Champagne to Helsinki every spring for this three day celebration of wine. For the past two years, I have had the privilege to attend the Grand Champagne press event, listening to visiting winemakers speak about their profession and taste through the years new releases of cuvees and vintages. Here is my report of what is new and hot, and what I recommend to buy into the cellar. Continue reading “The Grand Champagne Report”

At the Helsinki Coffee Festival

This weekend was full of events. I know many of you are waiting for my report from Grad Champagne (it was awesome), but I want to put some more time and effort into writing that. So today I will focus on the Helsinki Coffee Festival instead, where we found ourselves just by chance. M saw a poster on the wall of one of our favorite third wave cafes, and luckily the event was near to where we were staying – the Helsinki Cable Factory event hall. The tickets for the morning were 15 euros from the door and 12 euros if you bought them online. The fare included access to the event and an endless flow of samples of coffee. Continue reading “At the Helsinki Coffee Festival”

Wineweek 172: Booking for Grand Champagne

I am a bit late to the party here, but better late than never. Grand Champagne, my favorite wine event of the year is coming, and it is time to book tickets – at least for the amazing Master Class tastings, held by some of the greatest winemakers in the region. The event is held in the center of Helsinki, from the 19th to the 21st of April, and is one of the biggest gatherings of Champagne houses in Europe. I would say that only events held in the French wine region its self can compare.  Continue reading “Wineweek 172: Booking for Grand Champagne”

The Best Cuts in Helsinki

I like meat! But like many others, I have also scaled down on my consumption. Not only because it is good for my body and the environment, but because I have become picky. Meat should be good, and well made. A steak well-done is murder of good produce. Somehow, I have lately not been too impressed by meat-places in Finland. I would not even dream of using my meat-quota on a pepper steak. But now, I have found a place I can happily recommend to a carnivore. Werner bar and grill on Bulevardi delivers on both produce and execution. And has good wines.. Continue reading “The Best Cuts in Helsinki”

Wineweek 163: Pre-christmas in Helsinki

Every year, we travel abroad for Christmas. And not just abroad, but preferably far far away from cold Sweden. We like spending the holiday season somewhere warm. Other prerequisites are safety, good food and preferably good drinks. There are plenty of travel destinations in the world, but only a few of the fulfill our requirements. So despite a tough analysis on all of the possible options, every year we end up going to South-East Asia. This years destinations include Thailand (Bangkok and Hua Hin) , Cambodia (Siam Reap) and Singapore. And whats best, we leave already next week. Next week! Awesome! But before that, we have been spending some time in Helsinki to make up for the lost Christmas with my family. We did some fun stuff. Here are a few tips for Helsinki in December. Continue reading “Wineweek 163: Pre-christmas in Helsinki”

Wineweek 147: August Favorites in Helsinki

This is one of those rare days I have almost nothing to say. Rare! No special reason, but compared to a summer on the move, its been very quiet for the past two weeks. I could mention the Santa Barbara Chardonnay that we had a week ago, or the rooftop bar I visited on Wednesday, but instead, I chose to add some photos from my quick trip to Helsinki a week and a half ago. They give a nice reminder that it is still summer, and life should be a little bit slow. Here are a few August favorites from Helsinki. Continue reading “Wineweek 147: August Favorites in Helsinki”

Helsinki’s Best Bars for Nature Wines

I had a quick look at my statistics last week, and one of the most popular posts of all time is my review of Helsinkis wine bars a few years back. All the places in that post are still relevant, I would go for a glass of wine at Latva, Vin Vin, Soil Wine Room and Sinne Helsinki any day. However, there are is a new genre of wine bar in town, that should really be mentioned – the natural wine bar. Nature wines are produced without any help from synthetic chemistry: pesticides or additives like clearing agents. They are usually unfiltered and can have some sediments that make the wine murky and thick in color. There is a skin contact-trend going on which means that you can also find orange, and amber-wines on the lists. Continue reading “Helsinki’s Best Bars for Nature Wines”