Monday, 4 May 2015

Dining and w(h)ining in Riga: 3Pavaru

The lunch prepared by the chefs of 3Pavaru-restaurant in Helsinki earlier this year was what got interested in Latvia. So, naturally it was one of the restaurants we visited when in Riga. Based on their performance in February we expected a lot and weren't disappointed.

The restaurant is located in old army barracks dating back to the Swedish rule. These days the buildings have been converted to a row of cosy little shops and interesting restaurants. 

Restaurant's website doesn't seem to get updated at the moment, but they are on Facebook. Though even there everything is only in Latvian. 

You should definitely check out the restaurant's Instagram feed though - it must be the most stylish one I've ever seen!

The restaurant, opened in 2011, was one of the restaurants behind the revolution in Riga restaurant scene. It's known for its modern take on Latvian culinary traditions, exquisite presentation and quality ingredients, many of which are sourced locally.

Style, high quality...but with a twist. Just wait and see!

Before we got started with the menu, we we're in for a surprise. The parchment place mats were splattered with "sauces for the bread". What a genius and ice-breaking idea!

Chef Juris Dukaļskis is famous for his attention to detail and hands-on approach. This is evident in everything he does - down to every last detail. Such as the incredibly beautiful, mismatched antique cutlery.

The dinner was a feast for eyes and stomach. Everything was so pretty! We kicked off asparagus season with this beauty, the star of which was beautifully set yolk (you know, 20 minutes in sous vide and so forth...)

Next up, gloriously rich cray fish soup. The deep bowl was not the most ergonomic choice for spooning the dish but the dish itself was impeccable. 

Main dish was exactly what we had expected based on their Helsinki visit: interesting play on textures, tastes, colours and contrasts. 

In addition to asparagus season we cracked open rhubarb season - another long-awaited favourite of mine. The dessert was quite possiböymy favourite all evening and tasted exactly as superb as it looks like. I know all that photographing food in restaurants isn't the most elegant thing to do, but just look at this. It's dishes like this that make it worth all the discomfort and embarrassement. Whoah. Art on a plate. Again. 

Sweet, tart, set, dried, jellied, dry frozen... Rhubarb romance at its best.

And when in Rome... for digestives we had black currant version of Riga Black Balsam, a local liqueur legend. The first and last ones for us, though the locals swear by this. There's not a ailment in the world it wouldn't cure and there are actually bars in the city where the entire cocktail menu is based on this! 

Price-wise 3Pavaru isn't the cheapest option. One of the very best though it is. Price of a three-course dinner without beverages is still under 50 euros and trust me: worth every cent and penny.

The restaurant is open every day, too, for lunch and dinner.

What did you think of that one? Everybody's hunger taken care of for a moment? Hey - careful there! These cobble-stone streets can really wreak havoc on those heels...

So, what should we have in the program for tomorrow? Ready to head out of Riga and into the countryside for a couple of visits? Or should we take a tour around the Central market?





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