This restaurant is just off the main town centre so wouldn’t get much passing trade, but it is virtually opposite a large car park (which is free after 6pm). Although quite small (about seven tables) it is cosy and tastefully decorated with a nice ambience. You should note that it is closed Monday and Tuesdays
It advertises itself as “Italian-Lithuanian” – a seemingly odd partnership of cuisine from the cold climate of a north eastern European country and that from a warm Mediterranean country. Never having been before we didn’t really know what to expect, but having been to Lithuania I was interested to see what was on offer.
The menu contains dishes from both countries, but you could be forgiven for thinking it was principally an Italian restaurant as the image projected is more Italian, as are the majority of dishes on the menu (a variety of pizzas and pasta as well as risotto and some meat and fish dishes). It is a family restaurant and whether the owner is Italian or Lithuanian I don’t know but the chef (a lady who I assume is the owner’s wife) is Lithuanian, as was the waiter so it’s got a strong Lithuanian influence. However, as Lithuanian cuisine is fairly limited there would be insufficient variety to produce a menu exclusively of Lithuanian fare.
Having said that, that there are a number of authentic Lithuanian dishes listed with some of the smaller ones (such as potato dumplings with meat - almost their national dish - beetroot soup and fried bread with cheese) unlikely to be commonly found. This particularly goes for the fried bread with cheese listed as a snack, which in Lithuania is usually dark rye bread and eaten as a snack with beer.
As the chef and therefore food influence is Lithuanian rather than Italian we didn’t go for the obvious Italian dishes so can’t comment on the authenticity. We didn’t choose from the dedicated Lithuanian menu either but we were very happy with what we got. We started with a carpaccio of beef fillet with parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes which, although doused in plenty of olive oil in true Italian fashion, was very good indeed. I had veal fillet medallions in a honey-mustard sauce, mash and vegetables while my wife had duck breast with the unusual but delicious accompaniments of grilled apricots with mascarpone cheese and an orange and brandy sauce with an interesting blue cheese mash and vegetables. We were both asked how we wanted the meat cooked (something that is not often asked for meats other than steak), and both dishes were excellent. My wife then finished with a crème brulee, which was topped with grapes and strawberries and also excellent.
Sadly we were the only customers the whole evening (a Wednesday), but the waiter was friendly and chatty and the service good (as you might expect being the only ones there!) We thought the prices very competitive for what we had. The draft beer is Moretti (Italian), which at £4 a pint was very reasonably priced (I paid £4.95 a pint last week in a local restaurant for a pint of Moretti).
Overall we enjoyed a very good meal. I don’t give five stars lightly, but I could not fault anything here and we both enjoyed an excellent meal so it’s worth top marks. We will certainly return, and I have already decided on my next meal – Lithuanian, of fried bread and cheese with a pint of Moretti to start followed by pork schnitzel – and I’m greatly looking forward to it.