Horisont Restaurant & Bar

Oldworldly charm

Tallinn has had two hotels whose establishment changed the town folk’s life and views. Built deep into the last century, Hotel Viru was the walled-off Soviet Union’s signpost to the free world. And twelve years ago, the Swissotel introduced a whole new standard of hospitality that set it miles apart from everything that had preceded it. The hotel and its restaurant, the Horisont, still show the way. But now, it is different. Previously, the managers were foreigners; now, the top staff consists predominantly of Tallinn’s own. The art of creating and sharing Old World’s charm has been acquired in Estonia, but is not yet the norm. As such, the list of places where the guest can feel like a king is not particularly long. Warm and competent service is complemented by the town’s best city view. The impression deepens further with the cocktails (the list always features something seasonal). And only then, the guest makes it to the food – or, rather, the food makes it to the guest. All dishes are carefully designed to meet the expectations set high by the atmosphere, the service and the drinks. The newest culinary fashion is shunned in favour of ingredients that are either unprecedented (the meagre and the red mullet in the winter menu) or very rare (the langoustines and the thymus). There are some unexpected flavour pairings, too. The red mullet is served with small pieces of chicken thigh confit. Chicken that tastes masculine and dominant is a rare experience. The Old World’s charm at the Horisont is elegant without being boring.