What does a foodie do for her 35th birthday? Why, go out for an 11-course dinner at the best restaurant in Estonia, of course!
Gracing pretty much every list of the best restaurants in Tallinn, Noa Chef’s Hall lives up to its lofty reputation. Exceptional atmosphere? Check. Good service? Check. Great food? Double check.
We booked our table for the earliest seating (18:00) and arrived a few minutes early to sit in a glass atrium and enjoy the view. Then it was into the main dining room where leather placemats matched leather menu-holders and handmade knives leaned on stones, waiting for their debut with the meat courses. The full-length windows continued in the dining room and our table overlooked a small grassy area where a fire would be lit as the sun went down and, beyond that, the sea and the sunset.
The presentation was immaculate. Our sense of fanciness fully engaged.
And then came the food.
Every course a tribute to the forests and bogs all around us. Candies in the shape of leaves. Bowls made of ice. Leeks char-grilled and stuffed. Cheese made to look like feathery moss. And every bite a surprise and delight.
There was a fermented lemonade made with celery that tasted like the color green. A leek tender inside the charred outer shell, stuffed with hollandaise. Meat prepared in front of us, cooked with hot fat and draped in local cheese. A basket of breads, each with their own unique flavors.
We spent over three hours lingering over each of the 11 courses, drinking two glasses of wine, watching the sun dip below the horizon and well-dressed locals sip cocktails by a fire in the yard.
In all, a perfect birthday. A perfect meal. An experience worth of the hell yes, eat here list.
Address: Ranna tee 3, 12111 Tallinn, Estonia
Phone: +372 508 0589
Hours: Open Wednesday through Saturday 18:00 to 23:45 (6 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.).
Price range: The 10-course tasting menu currently costs 89 euros per person. Optional wine pairings are an additional 79 euros. There’s also a juice pairing available for 59 euros.
What (else) to do in Tallinn
Nature-lovers should head down to the bog trails just outside Nomme 10 or so minutes south of town by train and plan a stroll through the pretty, well-manicured Kadriorg Park.
The hip part of town, complete with graffiti and cool co-working spaces is over by the train station, where you’ll also find Balti Jaama Turg – the best fresh market the city has to offer. In between veggie stands, you’ll also find a popular cafeteria and a second floor full of clothes and antiques.