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The Restaurant with Two Atmospheres

On a sunny summer’s day, the Leib is a sight to see in its own rights. A spacious green garden with the tables set right on the lawn, along with two terraces. The dining hall stands empty on those days. There is no other garden like Leib’s in Tallinn old town. With less generous weather, however, guests prefer to dine indoors. The atmosphere is rather more humble than the luscious garden, but provides a perfect setting for the Leib’s dishes: modern Estonian cuisine whose every dish has roots in traditional Estonian fare. Over the last couple of years, some have suggested that the Leib has run out of inspired ideas and their years of recreating Estonian food has left them worn out and tired. Should you have heard these rumours, just forget them. The Leib seems to be at its all-time best. The green pea-kombucha soup with smoked walnuts and well-aged cheese from Andre farm is a descendant of pea soup, age-old farmstead fare reborn here as an impressive city dish balanced to perfection. Or beetroot tartar, where the beet has been cured, then „revived“ with vinegar, then cured again and served on grilled sourdough bread with spruce sprout cream. The depth and richness of the beet flavour is unparalleled in Estonian cuisine. One of the restaurant’s owners, the award-winning sommelier Kristjan Peäske, has turned his restaurant into a „sommelier school“. It keeps producing new sommeliers who bring home one award after the other. The extensive drinks list is best perused for educational purposes: take the advice of Leib’s sommeliers and you’ll be partaking of little-known beverages that match the food perfectly.