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“Late night post ballet/opera dinner”
Review of Carelia Brasserie

Carelia Brasserie
Ranked #209 of 1,522 Restaurants in Helsinki
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $22 - $58
Cuisines: European, Scandinavian, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Taka-Töölö
Description: Best ingredients, innovative touch, certainty brought by experience, and classic French cuisine shake hands in a relaxed brasserie atmosphere right across the street from The National Operahouse. Personal addition to the unique surroundings is the original decor saved from the 1920s pharmacy. Unique atmoshere of Restaurant Carelia is a charming combination of ambience from the past, liveliness of a French brasserie as well as modern and urban feel. It has been said that a visit to Carelia feels like visiting old Vyborg, Paris and Helsinki, all at the same time. We pride ourselves with our wine selection which is one of the best that Helsinki has to offer and delicious but simple menu along with friendly, capable and professional service.
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Late night post ballet/opera dinner”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

This is a lovely restaurant for post theatre/ballet dinner. They have an omelet lightly flavored with tarragon that is not too heavy for a late night dinner and satisfying too. The steak frites are also quite good if you have a larger appetite. Located across from the Opera House, it's in a perfect location for a quick post ballet meal before going home.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank swanchat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Ascona, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
409 reviews
267 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“WINE (and dinner)”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Carelia is best-known for its wines. They source their own suppliers, and end up with a particularly varied and interesting wine list, including specialty wines. Also, the wine knowhow of the service staff was very impressive.

Too bad our group of 10 was 'forced' to a set and pre-ordered menu, significantly undermining the potential excitement in an individual culinary balance.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank rokkap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espoo, Finland
Level 6 Contributor
348 reviews
212 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Good quality Bistro in Downtown Helsinki”
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Overall probably the best Bistro in Helsinki. Nice wine list. Good classical dishes. No surprises but no disappointments as well. Overall the quality of the food is really good and the atmosphere as well. The wine list is really big so there should not be a problem in finding a nice wine.

Visited June 2012
Thank Joachim73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espoo, Finland
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Food was OK but the service...won't go again”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

My previous experiences at Carelia had been good so I took some expat friends there. First, we had to wait for our table for 10 minutes. OK, it was an opera night (opera across the street), and I would not like to be hurried out before the next customers either. So never mind. But, during the time we stood waiting for the table, some guests coming after us were guided to the bar for drinks while we had been told that the bar is full. From the time when we got to our table, it took a whopping 60 minutes to get the starters, even if the restaurant was half empty at that time. Getting the menus took forever. Explaining the daily specials was clumsy. Getting the wine list took forever. I was offered patronizing advise on the wine list, as if I had never seen one in my life. After 45 minutes we asked for some bread, which after a surprised face on the waitress was brought to us. The nice and pricey bottle of Meursault was pretty much gone by the time when the starters finally came. Then, the soup was poured to the plates in front of us but all over the plate. The scallops were the smallest I have ever seen, and the price of €7 per piece is a rip-off. Now, the soup and the scallops tasted decent, one must admit. Another 30 minutes of wait for the main courses, which were again OK but nothing spectacular. All in all, quite an embarrassing evening for me as the host, after all my praise when we chose the place. I am not even listing all of the mishaps. Won't go again - Carelia seems to be losing their touch.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank T U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Amazing and unexpected gastronomic experience!”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Tried this restaurant during a business trip, several nights in the hotel had got boring and we literally walked into Carelia without any knowledge of it or having a booking. Staff were very friendly and explained the menu and specials. I opted for Steak Tartare to start, which was almost perfect, with Merguez sausage for the main course. The wine list is huge and prices are intimidating compared to the UK (reasonable wines were around 60-70 euros a bottle), their cellar boasts some exceptional wines if your wallet will stretch, Petrus at almost 2000 euros for example!

If you can afford it, I highly recommend trying Carelia.

Visited November 2012
Thank DavidGodf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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