Leib Resto & Aed is what happens when a chef and sommelier get together and open a restaurant. It’s about fresh, local, simple, and honest cooking. Good food doesn’t need to be pretentious.
We caught up with Kristjan Peäske (the sommelier in the duo) to talk about local food, life in the restaurant business, and how to keep it simple.
Leib Resto & Aed works closely with small local organic farms, butchers, and fishermen. The result has been continued success. “Life in a restaurant is constantly developing. For starters, Janno and I are definitely more relaxed and have a clear vision. The way we train our staff changes every year – in the beginning it was about figuring out how to get everyone to work together, but today it’s about how we can all grow as a team and develop our skills, which also includes going abroad for training”, explains Peäske.
Leib is successful because they haven’t compromised their vision to serve seasonal local food and certainly never compromise quality. While local cooking has become quite trendy, Peäske says that it’s important to pay attention to the trends, but at the same time, make them your own. The menu at Leib is short, changes seasonally and changes often. “You can’t eat fresh tomatoes in winter”, says Peäske, “they just have no taste”.
It’s not just the food that is locally inspired at Leib. Grapes don’t really grow in Estonia, yet, but there are plenty of other things Estonians do well in the department. Leib makes some of their own craft beer and schnapps, which can be paired to any dish instead of wine. Peäske encourages you to try some of their homemade brews, but the wine list is also impressive, with a very eclectic mix of wines by the glass or bottle.
Since opening Leib, Peäske also opened Umami together with his partner Janno Lepik. “Leib focuses solely on local flavours, whereas at Umami we get to play a little to combine local and international, in particular with Asian influences”. When asked if there are plans to open a third restaurant, Peäske simply smiles and says, time will tell.
Leib Resto & Aed
Uus 31, Tallinn Old Town
Click on the address to see the location.
TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV
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