Five small, strange restaurants
Holzknechthuette in Carinthia, Austria. (Almdorf Seinerzeit)
Big flavour doesn’t need big space. A handful of restaurants across the globe are proving this by skipping large dining rooms in favour of more intimate spaces – sometimes only roomy enough for a single table. From Las Vegas to Finland, here are five tiny restaurants that all put a special spin on pint-size dining experiences.
Eenmaal – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Do not plan on date night at this Dutch restaurant. This pop-up diner, only open a few times a year, only has tables for single diners. The concept was put together by designer Marina van Goor in June 2013 as an experiment to challenge the idea that dining out demands company. The prix fixe menus, which change seasonally, have featured rich dishes like pork belly with pickles, and cabbage, sausages with homemade mustard and duck breast with red sauce.
Dinner in the Sky – Las Vegas, United States
With 22 seats, this restaurant may not be the smallest on this list – but once the entire table and attached chairs rise 180ft in the air, it certainly becomes one of the strangest. A chef prepares the custom meal from the centre of the circular table contraption, serving it to guests who are strapped in to their seats. As for bathroom breaks? A nod to one of the on-board servers will send the whole table back to the bottom.
- (Dinner in the Sky)
Holzknechthuette – Carinthia, Austria
The décor and cuisine at this restaurant, part of the Almdorf Seinerzeit resort, pay tribute to its forest setting. Carinthia lumberjacks often spent a full week in the woods before heading home, and needed a warm place to cook and sleep. One of these simple huts is now a cosy restaurant serving only four people. All the hearty Austrian dishes, including frigga (an egg dish), steak and Grand Marinier pancakes, are cooked over an open flame, and the meal is finished off with homemade schnapps.
- (Almdorf Seinerzeit)
Solo Per Due – Vacone, Italy
This one-room Italian restaurant is not only among the world’s smallest, but might also be among the most romantic. Housed in a building built in the 19th Century, the restaurant (whose name translates to “just for two”) seats just two at a time, but has a full wait staff ready to answer to any request. Diners can specify either a fish- or meat-based dinner, which will cost a fixed 250 euros a person (not including wine and Champagne).
- (Solo Per Due)
Kuappi – Isalmi, Finland
At only eight square metres, this shack-sized restaurant has room for only two customers in its tiny dining room. On good weather days, it can accommodate another two on its equally small front terrace. Due to its diminutive dimensions, the cooking is done at its brother restaurant, the Olutmestari, which features fresh and fried seafood selections like grilled salmon on toasted dark bread and vendace fish battered with rye flour. However, Kuappi does stock its own bar, but true to form, only with mini bottles. Due to its bare bones structure, the restaurant only opens in the warm summer months from June to August.