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Design Restaurant Eevert is a combination of classic Finnish design and quintessentially Finnish food at its best. Located on Ratakatu in the artsy Punavuori district, this relative newcomer to the Helsinki restaurant scene presents a unique concept in which local design and food culture are seamlessly blended.
Owners Tarja and Kimmo Martiskainen spent several years bringing their vision of a ¨design restaurant¨ to life. The building which they finally settled on has a storied architectural history, having been designed by one of the giants of Finnish design, Alvar Aalto. Aalto’s legacy as an architect is internationally renowned, and the building, which was built in 1952, served for many years as Aalto’s personal office.
History & Story Telling
Today, it still reflects the style of the great designer, with several pieces from his design oeuvre forming part of the wider collection of Finnish design items that make up the restaurant’s décor, from the furniture and lighting to the tableware used in the dining service. Many pieces have been restored, thereby preserving significant pieces of Finnish design heritage, while, at the same time, using best practices in terms of sustainability.
Included in this collection are pieces from the iconic design houses Iittala and Arabia, as well as from designers Lars Sonck and Harri Koskinen, amongst others. Restaurant staff are very enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge about these pieces if you wish to learn more about their origin. In fact, history and story-telling are distinctive features of the diner’s experience at Eevert. If you visit, be sure to ask about how the restaurant came by its name!
This deep connection to the past is felt in the menu, too. The house rye bread, which is baked fresh every day at the restaurant, is made using the original sourdough leaven that was brought with the Martiskainen family when they were evacuated from Suojärvi before the Winter War. It is quite traditional amongst Finnish families to keep their own family leaven for generations, and the seemingly humble rye bread itself holds a revered status, being widely considered as the national food of Finland.
A Sustainable Approach
Attention is also paid to the continuation of ecologically sustainable practices, not only through the use of many refurbished design antiques, but also in the care that is taken to ensure that the ingredients used are sourced in a sustainable manner. Ingredients are, whenever possible, sourced from local small producers and through ecologically friendly cultivation.
One example of this is Eevert’s partnership with Kyrö Distillery, a local rye whisky and gin distillery. Together, they have created a uniquely tailored selection of cocktails that were prepared specially to complement the menu. Sparkling wines and champagnes are also standard on the drinks menu, as are carefully selected wines, beers and ciders.
Their collaboration with Kyrö also extends to their delightful dessert menu. Kyrö’s Napue gin (which, incidentally, won an award as one of the world’s best gins in 2015) is served together with strawberry and white chocolate. You can find this dessert on the à la carte menu and also on their summer menu, which has been designed to highlight the best ingredients available during the summertime.
Fields, Forests and Lakes come to the Table
One of the hallmarks of their menu is the use of fresh Finnish ingredients such as wild mushrooms and berries, and domestically produced meats and fish, while using time-honoured methods for their smoked food dishes.
Another classic Nordic taste to experience is reindeer, and this is one of the most popular dishes from the menu at Restaurant Eevert. Sourced from Kilpisjärvi in the far north of Finland, reindeer is available on the menu year round and it is served roasted, along with delicious Lappish potatoes and northern bilberries.
The Finnish culinary landscape is inseparable from its geographic counterpart, with the bounty of the fields, forests and lakes forming an integral part of Finnish cuisine, and bringing this to the table is key to the restaurant’s philosophy.
This is the experience that Restaurant Eevert has sought to recreate on each plate that is served, and while this may sound considerably like a fine dining experience, it retains a refreshingly relaxed ambience. The space is quite flexible, as the interior can be adapted to accommodate both small, intimate groups or alternatively, it can be opened up so that it holds large parties of up to 150 people.
Restaurant Eevert is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Monday to Saturday. Reservations are required.
Address: Ratakatu 9, 00120 Helsinki