So there we were, strolling through charming Old Town Tallinn during a brief period of free time before a conference. A cute sign caught my eye – CRU. Through the window, I could see a group of people who looked pleased with their food, so I thought, well okay, this looks like a decent spot for lunch.
Understatement of the year!
No really – my colleague and I managed to stumble into a restaurant that has secured the spot in my list of having the BEST DESSERT I’VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. See how I used capital letters there? I’m serious. For real. I don’t even really get excited about dessert – ever (unless it’s a cheese plate).
But before I move on to dessert, let’s take a step back.
How cute are the table settings and the bread dish with yummy seasoned butter?
My colleague ordered the hot smoked lamb, which came with pointed cabbage, crispy potato puree and a marvelous jus. I went for the fresh whitefish, baked clams, spinach and Estonian cider sauce (whatever that is). It also came with some sort of ravioli, buried under the pretty foam.
Both were delicious, but her lamb was the clear winner of that round.
Of course, then came the dessert round. She picked the rye-bread ice cream with cherries and a hazelnut cream. It was prettier than mine…and was actually quite good.
I told the waitress I wasn’t really into dessert, and she said to trust her! Thank goodness I don’t have trust issues, because she brought me something that, on the menu was called Brule [smoked] bacon meringue, and it was amazing! (I would however, recommend they come up with a different name…maybe it sounds better in Estonian? I digress…
Mouthwatering – I can’t even begin to describe how good the creme brulee alone was, but then add those bits of meringue with a hint of bacon flavour? Party in your mouth. Seriously.
The thing is, we didn’t stop there.
The next day, we needed to find a place to have dinner. Yes, you guessed correctly. We ended up right back at Cru. This time, we both started with the most mouthwatering chanterelle mushroom soup that tasted like…a cloud. How they managed that texture is beyond me, but oh so good. It was topped with potato puffs for a bit of crunch, cheese, and scallions. Turns out the chefs had picked the mushrooms themselves in the local forest… of course.
Moving on to the main course, I chose the steak, my colleague chose the duck. I think it was a tie in terms of yumminess. Though the presentation of the duck was fab, with the crispy thigh served on a separate dish.
Once dessert came around, I obviously had to get the same thing – I mean how many times in my life will I have the opportunity to have this magic!? (Okay yes, I may already be planning a return trip to Tallinn in the Spring, literally just to go back to this restaurant…you think I’m kidding. I’m not).
My colleague got a beautiful chocolate cake, but honestly, mine still tasted better (she agreed!). Nevertheless, how pretty is this presentation?
Sigh, I just want to go back and eat more. The best part of it all? No main course was more than 23 euros, and no appetiser or dessert over 10! What is this sorcery!?
Seriously, go to Tallinn. Also it’s a super cute town.