Yes, you read it right. A restaurant that is 80m underground. In other words, 260 feet below.
First, a bit about “pop up” restaurants for those of you unfamiliar with the term. A pop up restaurant is, as the name suggests, a restaurant that ‘pops up’ in an underused location. This allows the chef to experiment so that, should the experiment fail, there is no risk of losing his or her shirt and going bankrupt – a fine restaurant is a lot of investment, after all.
So, coming back to our main course (couldn’t resist the pun!), Finnish chef Timo Linnamaki found a limestone mine about 60 km west of Helsinki, in the small town of Lohja. He figured that he could seat 64 people in the mine and with a good menu the seats would be taken. Being an award-winning chef would help, of course.
Taken they are. For a four-course evening meal that costs €128. Wait, drinks and transportation from Helsinki to the mine and back are included in the cost! And, you can expect salted salmon, veal tenderloin, snails cooked in Pernod and apple crumble.
A bit about the ambience. “Eerie blue lights cut deep shadows into the ceiling of the large, dim, underground cavern, a former smithy where drills were hammered to dig into the bowels of the Earth.” said the copy from the Associated Press after the opening.
All this in a 115-year-old mine that goes down 1,250 feet and where limestone is still mined!
If you want to enjoy a meal in these unique surrounding you will have to hurry. Because, the experiment ends on September 29 (this year, not next) and too many people have the same idea!