Bread and wine
“Sometimes you just want good food,” is what the introduction to Leib’s website says. I couldn’t agree more, and when I want good food, I go to Leib.
Leib Resto ja Aed is the dream of sommelier Kristjan Peäske and chef Janno Lepik, two friends turned restaurateurs. Their love for good food and good wine can be seen in the restaurant’s changing menu, and the elegant, yet unpretentious wine list. Located in the Old Scottish Club in Tallinn’s Old Town, walking through the courtyard to the restaurant is beautiful both in summer and in winter.
The menu at Leib changes seasonally. In summer, the kitchen moves outside to an open grill. In winter, the cosy interior, with sheepskin covered chairs, tartan wallpaper, and fireplace is a wonderful place to enjoy a great bottle of wine with a hearty meal.
On chilly winter’s night, I decided to try the roasted bone marrow with gherkin onion salad to start. This is really an interactive dish, where you scoop out the marrow and mix it with the salad, or simply spread it on the toasted sourdough that accompanies the dish. For those less adventurous, the house-smoked trout with salt baked potatoes and egg foam is a delicious take on an Estonian favourite. As a main, the server suggested pan-fried local pikeperch with potato-cauliflower mash, ramson (wild garlic) and marinated fennel. The skin of the pikeperch was perfectly crispy and the fish, delicate. The fennel added a hint of freshness and the cauliflower mash was lovely and rich. My vegetarian dining companion tried the wintery pumpkin dish of roasted pumpkin with pumpkin cream and cottage cheese. Pieces of sautéed chard offered a great balance to the dish in both colour and texture.
The selection of house-made ice creams is a light way to finish the meal. On this particular night we were served sea buckthorn, cranberry, and black bread ice cream. Or if you have a bit more room, the dessert menu has a little bit of everything, from crème brûlée with black bread, to chocolate, to a local cheese platter.
Leib Resto ja Aed
Uus 31, Tallinn Old Town
TEXT: KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS: ANDREI CHERTKOV