Virgin Oil Co.
May 11, 2018
When you spy the big red sign for this bar/restaurant from busy Mannerheimintie street, you can be forgiven for hesitating before you go any further. Take a chance and brave the somewhat sleazy entrance you won’t be disappointed. By day, Virgin Oil Co is a great Italian (or rather, Italian-American) restaurant. While it feels a little bit like a chain, the barrel-bottom tables in the spacious dining area add a bit of atmosphere, and it’s difficult to resist the moreish aroma of freshly baked dough emanating from their wood-fired pizza oven. Most tables offer a direct line of sight into the kitchen, so you can watch the pizza chefs at work while you wait for your meal. There’s a bar adjacent to the restaurant, but the real draw for the party crowd is Virgin and Co.’s upstairs bar/club, which hosts live bands most evenings. Attracting some reasonably big names, this space is primarily a rock club, so it can get pretty loud, not to mention sweaty you have been warned. If you’re after a quiet meal and a glass of wine, definitely opt for lunch or an early dinner downstairs while the menu is quite extensive, the pizzas are the standout choice. After 6pm on Fridays and Saturdays Virgin Oil Co. becomes an over 18s venue, and really gets going. The acoustics aren’t state-of-the-art, but with the right band, the atmosphere is pretty electric. Upcoming gigs listed on their webpage, but if you can’t read Finnish, you may need your hotel concierge to translate it for you.