Dinner Date/ Helsinki

Dinner Date: Bar Cón

Kortteli in Kamppi recently opened with a bunch of great new restaurants, and I’m still on my way to taste every single one of them. For the misters recent birthday, I booked us a table at Bar Cón, which is located on the 6th floor of the mall and regardless of what it might seem like at first, certainly one of the nicest locations of Korttelit (for not having the great window front). This fancy Tapas bar struck me as the perfect place for an intimate dinner for two, sharing all the things and enjoying a relaxed, slow dining experience in modern and classy atmosphere.

 

 

Quite different from my favourite Tapas bar up to this point, which is cozy and dimmed, a bit old fashioned and serving what I’d consider more comfort food than anything else, Bar Cón is more of the experience that puts a big focus on design, optics and arrangement – but still doesn’t lose the focus of serving delicious foodie bits, the menu features something for everyone. Given the occasion, we got started with a glass of bubbles, as you do, along with some olives and a plate of Spanish cheeses. We were both a bit overwhelmed by the menu and not sure about the amount to order for two people, so we got a Pintxo each and four Tapas to start off with, with the recommendation to just order more if we felt like it.

What I liked a lot about it to begin with, was the pace of the dinner, the rhythm of the food served was perfect and gave us a lot of time to nibble on everything. It would have been nice to get an introduction to the cheeses we ordered, and after having been to Portugal recently, the olives didn’t really impress me – but oh well, I’m a massive olive-snob so don’t judge! For Pintxos, I went with a beef tartar which was nothing short of amazing, and as much as I am an olive-snob I am also a tartar-snob, so you can take my word for it. Snob-me would have added some capres but now I’m gonna shut up 🙂 also the blue-cheese and walnut version was very tasty, and next time I’ll make sure to order a bunch more of these little tasteplosions.

For the actual tapas, we eventually tried all their vegetarian ones from the menu, starting with my favourite – as simple as it sounds – but the green Padrón peppers fried in olive oil and seasoned with coarse salt were just so delicious, just thinking of it makes me sad it was over so quickly. Such a simple dish, but sometimes those are just the ones that take the cake. Followed by a fresh celery and chicory salad with pumpkin cream, dressed with blue cheese and nuts, full of flavours and different textures – I’ll keep this in mind to try at the next dinner party! Along with that came white asparagus dressed with truffle and walnuts, which was a nice complimentary dish to keep the start of the meal fresh and light, although it wasn’t my favourite thing of the list. Next up were the

Next up were the crispy potatoes with spicy sauce made of smoked pepper and aioli, which was the misters prefered dish of the evening, great crunchy potatoes and tangy garlic tastes worked perfectly together to prevent any possible hangover from the red wine we ordered with it.

 

We still felt a bit peckish, so we decided to still go for the Brussels sprouts and mashed potato as well as sautéed spinach with raisins and pine nuts which I also found quite inspiring to try on my own, spinach is amazing and underrated to begin with, so any new variation makes me happy and this one was delicious. The mash and brussels sprouts were a bit underwhelming (well, the name of the dish is pretty descriptive, there was nothing particulary striking about it) but all of it together made this evening finish off just nicely.

Happy and full, but not too full, spending a good two hours eating and eating some more, enjoying the wonderful atmosphere, not too loud, not hectic, yet urban vibes and really nice lighting (something you notice when taking photos at dinner). As it was the birthday, there was the favourite dessert waiting at home, so I’ll have to come back to try all the desserts. I’d happily recommend Bar Cón, I can also imagine this place as being great for team dinners or nights out with more people, as you can just get a bunch of Tapas and share them all over the place. This makes it a cool social dinner, and you can just take your time and enjoy every bit. The prices of 4-6€ per person are a bit steep for a casual dinner just like that, but I guess somewhat justified for the experience as a whole, especially when you have an occasion. I’ll certainly be back for at least all them desserts and more of the peppers.

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