In the old Muhu dialect of Estonian, “neh” roughly translates to a combination of “yes,” “naturally,” and “of course.” After being treated to a generous multi-course meal at this entrepreneurial spinoff of Pädaste Manor’s Alexander Restaurant on Muhu Island (Estonia’s third largest island), the idea of simply saying “yes” to Neh makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t I say yes to fresh ingredients, creative recipes and a welcoming staff?
The atmosphere at Neh is charming. Housed in an old building near the sea in the up-and-coming Rotermanni Quarter, Neh features exposed brick walls, a rustic wood stairway and warm lighting. The restaurant also collaborates with an art gallery to showcase work by various artists on a regular basis, and the tableware is designed by art students in the community.
Culture Vixen had the opportunity to sit down with Chef Peeter Pihel to talk about his philosophy on the food he prepares. Peeter is a friendly and warm man, and his passion for fresh and local ingredients was obvious the second he started talking about food, animatedly sharing his knowledge about berries that grow in the forest and edible flowers he uses in his dishes.
He spoke of his kitchen as a collaborative space where creativity is valued and where teamwork makes cooking more fun and the food more tasty. When asked about his philosophy on Neh’s role in the community, he explained his desire to promote local economies and the owners’ vision of the restaurant as a place where foodies can gather to enjoy local culture and tasty treats.
When it comes to the food, this vision seemed obvious. Neh, you might say. The food was fresh and beautifully plated. It was traditional Estonian food with modern flair, which turns out to be, in a word, delicious.
Everything from the appetizers to the desserts was a delight, and the intimate setting was a perfect complement to the culinary treats we experienced. I enjoyed a bowl of the chilled Tomato Splash soup, and our server was right: it tasted like summer. The kitchen was happy to work with my dietary restrictions (I’m a vegetarian) and tailored several of their regular menu items to fit my needs. And I can’t write this article without mentioning their amazing Bellini, infused with mountain berries, and just one option on their substantial wine list.
For dessert, we were given the opportunity to dine at the Chef’s Table, which is located in the kitchen and provides diners with a ringside seat of the action. It was fun, and dessert didn’t disappoint.
For regulars, Neh’s seasonal menu consistently dishes up new flavors, keeping the menu as fresh and inspired as the food itself. Between the food, the friendly staff, Peeter’s inspired cooking, and the cozy and creative space, Neh is a delicious option for trendy travelers and hungry locals alike.
Tel: +372 60 22 222