The Restaurant of the Year selected by the Finnish Association of Gastronomies can be found in Lohja.

    Asparagus and “Holland” were on the menu last summer. Tommi Anttonen

    The Society of Gastronomies of Finland chose Mikko Utter, named after its owner, as the 2023 Restaurant of the Year. The restaurant is located at the stone base of an apartment building in the center of Lohja.

    In their announcement, the gastronomes justify their choice with the restaurateur’s uncompromising attitude, which is conveyed to the dinner guests as a personal experience. The food and drink offered respects the origin, the place of growth and the cycle of the year.

    Mikko Utter’s 8-seater restaurant is located in the center of Lohja. Tommi Anttonen

    Mikko Utter got his business idea from professional chefs’ home dinners. The chef to the village concept started in 2015, when he opened his bar kitchen in an old commercial apartment.

    – A village trip to Lohja to Mikko Utter’s place rewards its visitors. The threshold to become a guest is low, and when you arrive you can take it easy while the host takes care of the details of the service, chairman of the Finnish Association of Gastronomies Joni Kiiski characterizes in the announcement.

    Kiiski points out that the chef’s skills are not limited to high-quality dishes. Utter bakes its own bread, makes cheeses and cold meats, and preserves.

    Mikko Utter’s kitchen is small and compact. Tommi Anttonen

    At the moment, Mikko Utter has a season called Mahla. The main ingredients of its flavor world are horseradish, potato, gravie, egg, Hereford, maple and small pastries.

    – In this season, the thing that is very dear to me – and perhaps the thing that has changed my cooking the most – is maple sap. This is the tenth year that I collect sap from three maples in the backyard and make syrup from it, restaurateur Utter says in the press release.

    Spelled risotto from the 2022 summer menu. Tommi Anttonen

    At the same time, he reminds that three maples will not make much syrup for a larger group. One liter of syrup uses almost 50 liters of juice.

    If you scaled up the cooking of the juice, there would be so much moisture from the cooking that it would no longer be possible to do it indoors. In addition, you should think about where the energy comes from and in what form.

    Mikko Utter is a passionate wine enthusiast. He has established contacts with small Central European wineries. Tommi Anttonen

    Mikko Utter does not aim to be a traditional restaurant. The restaurateur states that he is an entrepreneur with a passionate attitude to food and wine, whom you can visit.

    Our country’s oldest food association, the Suomen Gastronomien Seura ry, has been awarding the restaurant of the year recognition to deserving restaurants since 1985.

    Restaurant Mikko Utter is the 35th restaurant to receive the recognition. The society that nurtures and develops gastronomy and food culture was founded in 1945 and has around 300 members.

    Restaurants of the year

    2023 Mikko Utter, Lohja

    2022 Zero, Helsinki

    The 2021 Restaurant of the Year was not chosen because of the corona virus

    2020 Aanaar, Inari

    2019 Chapter, Helsinki

    2018 Kaskis, Turku

    2017 Grön, Helsinki

    2016 Roux, Lahti

    2015 Spis, Helsinki

    2014 Ask, Helsinki

    2013 Chef & Sommelier, Helsinki

    2012 Muru, Helsinki

    2011 Restaurant C, Tampere

    2010 Just Helsinki

    2009 OLO, Helsinki

    2008 Postres, Helsinki

    2007 Savoy, Helsinki

    2006 Demo, Helsinki

    2005 George, Helsinki

    2004 Palace Gourmet, Helsinki

    2003 Brewery restaurant Herman, Turku

    2002 Restaurant of the Year was not selected

    2001 GWSundmans, Helsinki

    2000 Chez Dominique, Helsinki

    1999 Savoy, Helsinki

    1998 Kanavaranta, Helsinki

    1997 Restaurant of the year was not selected

    1996 Lyon, Helsinki

    1995 Restaurant of the year was not selected

    1994 Safka, Helsinki

    1993 Pamir, Strand Inter-Continental

    1992 Julia, Turku

    1991 Lehtovaara, Helsinki

    1990 Amadeus, Helsinki

    1989 Henrik’s, Tampere

    1988 Bellman, Helsinki

    1987 George, Helsinki

    1986 Celine, Helsinki

    1985 Palace Gourmet, Helsinki