Riga is a young and – in the best sense – dynamic city and every time I am there it looks a bit different around me. Restaurants are in general good places to see what an urban ecosystem in a city is up to! In Riga a young and trend-conscious community is obviously pre-dominant and their style and interpretation of global trends leave a mark on how they present themselves! We will also write about the bubbling start-up environment in the city a little later which is very interesting for both foreign investors and to planners of innovation-driven conferences. But: you have to eat as well!! So we want to present some update on the restaurants …
Restaurants owned by young and aspiring chefs seem to be in a competition on how food is displayed and on creating new combinations of traditional local with international fusion! For the looks, a mix of Scandi Style with a touch of French Shabby Chic – decorated with the fresh green of birch trees (pre-Easter week!) and some quite original characters involved in suggesting, serving and entertaining: restaurants in Riga present themselves in a truly urban, yet cozy style!
Together with Aigars Smiltans from MEET RĪGA, the official convention bureau of Riga city, we tested the following 2 restaurants for you!
1) The Three Chefs
As the name indicates the place has 3 distinct owners who are all very active in both kitchen as well as in direct liaison with the guests. Fully booked even on workdays, with great food and all kinds of local and international drinks, like a Latvian Cider, with a color like champagne and with light bubbles and a special mix of flavor – a bit apple (naturally….) but infused in a winey environment. We must mention the unique table decoration they do in this restaurant by splashing sauces in different colours – like an art piece – on the paper mats as a savory basis to dip the freshly baked bread into. Very original idea and fun to eat! Mārtiņš Sirmais, one of the 3 chefs, told us:
“We’re not selling food, we’re selling the evening experience”
The restaurant has several rooms and one of them is presently decorated completely with Ittala items (for those who do not know the brand: it is a Finnish company, very famous, offering dishes, cutlery, all kinds of home items in a typical style).
When we went into the place my eyes immediately fell on a sign saying “Ittala Zale” which made me jump in happy expectation and think I had accidentally come across a special sale for Ittala. It was not a sale … Zale is the Latvian word for “hall” …
It is a real experience to order a dessert there … In the YouTube clip you see some plate foggily wafting like a little volcano…. Try it out. h
It is fun – and delicious as well!
More information on the restaurant website: www.3pavari.lv/en/
2) Muusu Restaurant
Here is a 360° tour around the place which spreads over 3 floors in one of the old houses of Riga old town.
The interior is set in a Nordic style – clean lines, raw brick walls, linen fabrics and wood in combination with metal. Chilling sofas and different environments in the rooms and the decoration in the eclectic style described above add to the experience of the meal. Good wines and friendly staff!
Happy dining and a good experience for a small group!