May 20th, 2012
Dan Hill on the joys of Helsinki's Restaurant Day:
Ravintolapäivä is "Restaurant Day" [...] After starting in Helsinki a year ago, Ravintolapäivä's role is to suggest "a food carnival when anyone can open a restaurant for a day".
Which it is, although this doesn't quite describe the genesis of the event, which came out of frustration with the effort required to set up a restaurant in Helsinki, of the kind that is open for more than a single day. [...]
Today, though, the sun was shining, the streets were full, and that frustration was long forgotten, given the explosion of invention on offer. [...]
For instance, our first stop this morning was for breakfast served from a little wicker basket lowered from a first floor window into the group of waiting customers below. Euros are stuffed in the basket, and up it goes. You shout up your order. Breakfast comes back.
The string had a menu attached, featuring egg and bacon, or eggs benedict, in home-baked English muffins (both hot bacon sandwiches and English muffins are extremely difficult to come by in Helsinki.) This is, again, not exactly within the law, but if this is considered a problem, then I believe the saying is the law is an ass. [...]