The filigree rickety spiral staircase takes you to the first floor where this spacious restaurant unfolds. You get it, the minute you step in, there’s something quite different about this place and when you read the story on the menu, the full picture emerges. The jazzman in the picture looks you right in the eye and grimaces. The music you hear is probably not played by the band you imagine and the walls and floors are ‘ecologically clean’. The waiting staff actually talk to you, they don’t only smile at you.
Elevant is Calcutta street food cum North Indian homemade dishes cum ayurveda medicine. I’m not so hungry after the elk soup at lunchtime (see below) and I settle for a Sabzi Pakora, vegetables in crunchy chickpea batter while my cohort digs in to Gosht Saag, lamb and spinach curry. The naan that comes with it is fluffy and buttery. He washes it down with an Icelandic beer called Einstök while my housewife of Spanish Verdejo is perfect for my needs and wants.
When the waiter arrives with the bill, it’s neatly encased in a little box, something I’ve noticed several times in Tallinn. Estonians have a knack for detail, turning what could be a mess hall into a homey dining hall, adding just that appropriate decoration for that spot, enchanting you with their creativity. Elevant is just such a place.