Chez Dominique  

Creative Innovations with Nordic and French Flavors
Sheep shearers might be more common to Finland than chefs, but guests won’t find mutton on the menu at Chez Dominique. Owner and head chef Hans Välimäki started his career at age 12, baking pastries for his friends. Today, he’s still in the kitchen, whipping up garlic sauces that lull patrons off the street and lobster tortellini with a dash of vanilla to make the mouth water.

Hans does get out of the kitchen, but he doesn’t stray far from his beloved restaurant. He scours the city, which he describes as “paradise for people who love cheese,” looking for the finest selections of delectable gold wedges, fresh fish from the bay, and the finest organic produce.

Aiming to create the most innovative Nordic and French flavors in the industry, Hans states their job is “to surprise, offer experiences not to be found at home nor at any other restaurant. The first element in our cuisine has always been taste. I love to experiment, but not at the expense of our customers.”

He delivers on this promise, offering unique four, six, and nine course surprise menus. Creative appetizers are served before reinvented main dishes like lamb medallions and lobster tortellini, with shallot ice cream for an encore and, of course, cheese dishes sprinkled between. Each dish is offered with a matching wine, each meticulously chosen and different in body and flavor.

Accommodating only 50 guests at a time, the subtle décor and lighting this tiny restaurant in Helsinki, Finland might seem a bit out of reach. But the restaurant takes reservations as late as 2 days in advance, making it one of the easier world class restaurants to book. This doesn’t mean that advance booking isn’t a good idea for this popular restaurant.

Chez Dominique need not toot its own horn. There are plenty of others willing to boast their success: Restaurant of the Year in 2000; two Michelin stars in 2003; Best Restaurant in Finland for six years in a row according to Viisi Tähteä Magazine, and jumping up the ranks of 50 Best Restaurants in the World every year, landing at 23 in 2010, according to Restaurant magazine.
Chez Dominique
Richardinkatu 4
Helsinki, Finland
09 - 612 7393
Rating 94.28 
Rank [category] 3 
Rank [overall] 23 
"Undeniably the best restaurant in Finland. "

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