I had picked a few restaurants in Old Town Tallinn from Tripadvisor to check out on an evening walk. One highly rated one is Rataskaevu 16, named after its address. When I checked it out on a weekday, it was completely sold out and turning away people, one after the other. I took that as a good sign and was even more intrigued by the fact that a lot of the guests seemed to be locals, judging by the language! I made a reservation and I glad I did!
Rataskaevu 16 is so good, I did something I’ve never done in all my years of traveling: Despite my short visit, I came back the next day – I liked it THAT much! So, the food described below was from two meals – I wasn’t that hungry to try all in one sitting!
R16 is located in an old and nicely restored building. They have seating on a small terrace along the cobblestone street as well as a beautiful dining room. I sat inside both days and it’s a cozy space that would be perfect for a quiet or romantic dinner. All the staff, from the host to the waiters was very friendly on both occasions, probably the best of my trip to date!
They have a small menu with a few appetizers, main courses and desserts. I can rarely handle more than two dishes, so I had an appetizer and main course the first time and a main course and dessert the second time to get an appreciation of the whole menu.
I chose the roast beef and salad as the appetizers – it sounded pretty simple and straightforward – but it was awesome, the salad fresh, the sauce tasty and the roast beef tender and juicy! From the main courses, I tried the pork fillet with potato gratin and a mustard sauce. The sauce was a perfect fit for the pork and came together very well with the gratin, too! On the other occasion, I had the beef tenderloin. I substituted the broccoli (not a big fan) with some roasted potatoes the waiter suggested and it worked out great. The beef was tender, the red wine sauce was really well done and the potatoes were as good as potatoes can be! Now, how could you possibly top that – well, I’m glad you asked: with a warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce, that’s how you top it! The cake was warm with hot, gooey sauce at the center, beautifully plated with the sauce and ice cream. I was glad I had saved room for dessert the second night!
Every single dish I tried was great and I wish I could have tried some of the rest. You can find the full menu here.
Between the amazing food and the great service, it’s pretty easy to understand why the restaurant was full every evening and loved by locals and visitors alike. I saw plenty of people being turned away and a foreign couple returning like me for a second night! Enough said – if you only have one meal in Tallinn, make it Rataskaevu 16. Make sure to call ahead or walk by during the day to make reservations or you probably won’t have a chance!