There are several restaurants down the street from where I live, and I've only been slowly getting around to eating at them.
Shameful, I know.
Fully aware that I should hop to it and actually try them, my girlfriends German K and Hong Kong P suggested we eat dinner at Kuukuu (pronounced just like "cuckoo"...which is oddly pronounced "koo-koo"...unlike how it's spelled...silly English), which is literally a block from my place. (Btw my friends both live within 2-3 blocks of me as well, so it's not like they had to go far either...yet they still bicycled from their apartments anyway...something I made fun of them for).
We arrived in style after a luxuriously slow-paced day of sauna and sleeping, and had an equally slow and luxurious meal. I think we spent 4 hours eating, laughing, and generally having a good time. Needless to say, I would recommend Kuukuu (which hilariously translates to "Moon Moon") to everyone.
Being generally starved of good food and wanting to try everything under the sun, I didn't order an appetizer, but instead snarfed on the free bread and delicious dill butter spread that was provided:
Delicious and wonderful. Dill is one of those extremely prominent items here...it's the parsley of Finland. The bread here is pretty fantastic as well, which is something to say since I generally don't care about bread as a food group.
Next came the main course - Hong Kong P and I both ordered the hare after having it recommended by our waiter (who didn't really recommend much...not to say nothing on the menu was good but this tends to be a trend among waiters here...they don't know what to say when you ask them what is good).
I don't recall ever having hare in my life, but it was actually very strange. And tasty.
Sort of like the texture of ahi tuna and something with soft tendons mixed together with the flavor of venison. To be honest the thing that surprised me the most was that it was rare - I had no idea you could cook a meat like that and leave it not cooked all the way through. Knowing my penchant for bloody meats it was wonderful to find this out, but it was still a bit shocking.
Needless to say Hong Kong P was not particularly fond of this meat and I got a piece of hers as well as mine.
The mushrooms (chanterelles and assorted others) were to die for. I sopped up the mushroom sauce with the remaining bread from the bread basket.
Paired with this lovely dish was a recommended chianti, which I sipped with delight and vigor. Very well matched.
And for dessert? A dessert menu that I was actually able to eat every single item off of (this is a complete rarity):
No chocolate, no hidden ricotta cheesecake...I was impressed. I'm sure it was a fluke of some kind, but I will definitely take what I can get. :)
And this will be no surprise to anyone who knows my love of cheese (minus ricotta), I ordered the dessert cheese plate. It's something I almost never get to order (because no one wants to share it with me), but it's something I always not-so-secretly desire in the depths of my heart. I absolutely love cheese (as you could probably tell by now) and where else am I going to get quality cheese but at a quality restaurant? It even had a matching port to go with it! (One of my absolute favorite alcoholic drinks!)
Waiter, I'd like to order three, I mean one of the cheese plates, please!
And so cheese plate it was:
Fabulous it was also. Surprisingly the most disappointing one on the plate was the middle one on the left - the softest one. It was ripe and creamy, as you'd expect it to be, but the least powerful. The white one on the top had little bits of fennel seeds in it with a delightfully creamy texture not unlike salted butter that's been fridged for a little bit. The bottom one was definitely my favorite. Salty, heady, pungent, and deadly flavorful. I took the smallest bites possible to savor it for as long as possible. Needless to say this little plate (with fig jam and little cracker) took me about 40 minutes to eat. That's no lie.
Naturally the port also slowed me down.
First glass of port I've had since moving to Finland, and boy was it fine. I don't even remember what kind it was (it's printed on the menu), but it didn't even matter. Port, after being starved from it for so long, is glorious in all its forms. I've since had two other kinds (while on a birthday pub crawl nonetheless), but this one will remain special for me. Plus I can walk down the street from my apartment and get it whenever I want. ;)
Thus rounded out a genuinely satisfying and wonderful meal. And it wasn't even indecently expensive - just 48euros or so. Not bad, really. Would do it again in a heartbeat.
So if you come and visit me and we want to pick up something relatively casual, I'd probably take you to Kuukuu, glorious and close as it is. YES food glory, you're so close to where I live! :D