VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

1 May 2017
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Hotels & restraunts

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First Kempinski Hotel

for the Baltic states

1

THE KEMPINSKI HOTEL CATHEDRAL SQUARE
 IN VILNIUSIS A FIRST FOR THE MUNICH BASED LUXURY HOTEL CHAIN.

 

The hotel reopened in 2012 in a former Grand Hotel built over 100 years ago. In the Soviet period the building was used as the central telegraph office. In Vilnius’ Unesco heritage listed old town, it offers 96 rooms and suites. During restoration workers discovered remains of the 16th century city wall, now on display below glass on the entrance to the restaurant.

Rooms have parquet floors and bathrooms feature mosaic tiles. Original architectural details have been restored and are now combined with modern funiture. Some suites have alcove balconies that overlook Cathedral Square.

There is a 76-seat restaurant ‘Telegrafas’ which serves local and Irish specialties, a lobby lounge bar, spa and conference centre.

Read more…

Category : Hotels & restraunts

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Radisson Blu Hotel, Klaipėda:

Retreat to elegant
seacoast luxury!


General Manager Tobias Ammon is rightly proud of the breakfast buffet that
Radisson Blu Hotel offers its guests. Here with waitress Kristina.

The Radisson Blu Hotel in Klaipeda has just celebrated its first ten years as the only truly international luxury hotel at Lithuania’s beautiful seacoast. Two months ago the hotel got a new General Manager, German Tobias Ammon (35), and I am sitting down with him in the hotel’s breakfast room this early July morning to let him explain to you, dear readers, why you should visit Klaipeda and his hotel – this summer as well as when the autumn winds already make the endless Baltic Sea waves powerfully roll in towards the port city shores.

“I must admit that I had to ask where Klaipeda is when I was offered this position, but I was astonished to see what a nice area this is, when I first came here,” tells the young manager, who now has moved here with wife and little daughter. He and his little family are now in full swing “testing Klaipeda as travel destination”, and they are using their bicycles to do exactly that!

“This area is really ideal for bikes, and we are now using our weekends to bike to the fantastic beaches in the outskirts of the city, riding through beautiful coastal pine tree forests, villages and over the wavy, green landscapes that characterise this area,” he tells.

To my question why people should come to visit this seaside town and district, Tobias answers: “First of all because of the experience. Klaipeda is still kind of a genuine, untouched place, and there is a lot to discover for those who haven’t been to this part of Lithuania or Europe. The genuine Old Town in Hanseatic style, the river, the yacht harbour, the beautiful nature, the smell of sea, combined with a long and interesting history starting in the 13th Century. In addition, Klaipeda is centrally located between the resort areas of Neringa and Palanga, The ferryboat trip over to Neringa (the Curonian Spit) takes only a few minutes. The Palanga resort town and international airport is only a 20 minutes drive from here. So this is really an ideal, central location for those who want to experience the beautiful Lithuanian seashores.”

“I agree that the summers in Lithuania are nothing but fantastic. The long, white, soft and sandy beaches that surround Klaipeda both to the north and west makes this a truly ideal summer paradise, but what about the autumn, winter and spring seasons out here at the coast? What can you offer our VilNews readers when this area again turns rainy or snowy and the icy Baltic Sea winds are whipping the faces of all those walking around in bowed positions to avoid being blown over?” I ask.

“Let me first say that our hotel has several corporate clients, many representing companies and organizations dealing with the Klaipeda harbour, shipyards or other sea related activities. They represent our core business. But let me also say that I am eager to get in touch with companies or organisations considering a seacoast seminar or conference. We can accommodate up to 100 delegates in our meeting rooms and we have 74 elegant guest rooms with all you expect from a branded high class hotel.” Tobias sounds very convincing when he describes all the advantages of the hotel and of Klaipeda as conference destination even during the colder seasons.

“What about weekend offers for people living in the Lithuanian inland cities or in other European countries?”

“Our hotel can offer excellent weekend packages for individuals and families. Just call us! In addition to the 74 rooms we also have fitness facilities and a steam bath. We have rooms for entertainment or meetings, a well assorted bar, and a restaurant that is famous for its delicious meals for all tastes and desires.

So why not follow his advice and go for a seaside experience next time you plan for a seminar or a team-building event in your company or organisation? Or simply for some days off, deeply breathing the refreshing sea air out here...

Palanga International Airport has direct flights from Copenhagen, Oslo, Riga and Moscow. There are ferries connecting Klaipeda with Sweden and Germany. Or you can come by train, bus or your own car. The excellent motorway between Vilnius and Klaipeda makes the 300 km trip a pleasant three-hour experience only...

To talk with Tobias Ammon feels very refreshing. One can easily feel that this is a gentleman full of ideas and energy that surely will be for the benefit of Klaipeda and the Radisson Blu hotel.

But despite his rather young age, Tobias is a man with a very impressive record of experience. Born in Germany, not far from Berlin, growing up in the seaside city of Rostock, moving to the Black Forest area to start in the hotel business already as a 20-year youngster, and since then learning the trade and ‘climbing the ladder’ in several German hotels, as well as in Austria, England and St. Petersburg, Russia, before coming to Klaipeda as General Manager of Radisson Blu.

“Already as a child I loved to entertain, make shows, prepare dinners and so on. For my parents and others. So it was probably not strange that I chose the hotel business, first of all within the so-called ‘food and beverage’ segment of the business.”

“I simply love to meet people,” he declares as his conclusion to our little chat at the hotel’s breakfast table this morning.

Text: Aage Myhre
aage.myhre@VilNews.com

 


Hotel exterior


Maritime Standard Room


Conference and Meeting Room


The Newport Restaurant

Category : Hotels & restraunts / Lithuania today

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Yes, this is Lithuania’s national dish


What could be better. A couple of hot ‘cepelinai’ made of fresh potatoes, stuffed by
minced meat or cottage cheese. Plus a refreshing beer...

 

As soon as I came here I was told to try the Lithuanian national dish, cepelinai, which are stuffed potato dumplings, and I soon found a restaurant to give it a try. It was a quality recommendation (!) as I found the cepelinai to be a quality taste sensation. Hmmm….cepelinai. When I asked for the bill at the end, the waiter brought me another pint of beer……ah, no more questions, we must be in Lithuania.

Well, when visiting any country, it’s always an interesting treat to sample their traditional dishes and Lithuania is no exception. For some, you may have this opportunity while visiting family and friends. I’m always excited when I get an invite from my cousin Vytautas in Vilnius to come over for dinner. His wife Rūta never ceases to amaze and delight with the wonderful meals she prepares – You would not believe the Cepelinai that comes from her kitchen. It must run in the family because her sister Marytė in Kaišiadorys also has that magic touch so I’m also always in good appetite when we visit her – Some of the roast meat this lady prepares is fit for royalty.

Now if these invitations for a traditional home cooked meal are not available don’t despair or if you just want to go out and do some gastronomical exploring on your own there are many places to find traditional Lithuanian food. As you drive around the country you continually are passing through villages and small towns. In most of these villages you will find at least one kavinė (café). These kavinės almost always offer a number of Lithuanian favorites on their menu. I can tell you that it is not uncommon to see a large hand made sign on a tree that says “CEPOLINAI”. This sign may be in front of a road side kavinė or if your lucky, the sign is in front of some one’s house. In this case you’re eating cepelinai on their patio – Talk about wonderful atmosphere! Let’s face it, for the most part their clientele are the people in the village and Lithuanians like to eat these traditional meals on a daily basis. In a small town you will find quite a few of these local kavinės.

Now some may be concerned that they don’t speak the language very well or even not at all. No Worries! All you need to know are a few words like cepelinai, kugelis and bulvinių blynai (potato pancakes) and you’ll do just fine. In fact for those of you that don’t speak Lithuanian very well, or not at all, you may enjoy not only your meal but your visit even more. In these village and small town kavinės they don’t really get a lot of foreign visitors so when guests from another country come into their cozy little café they are delighted. As long as everything you say is with a smile you will have probably the most friendly service you ever experienced in your life. Now ordering your meal may involve a lot of pointing and gesturing but in the end all will be understood and you will be in for a delicious treat. Oh by the way, one more thing you should remember, kopūstų sriuba (cabbage soup). Some of the finest cabbage soup I’ve ever had in my life has been in some of these country side kavinės.

Now for those of you that will be spending time in some of the larger cities in Lithuania, you will also find quite a few local kavinės that offer a variety of traditional Lithuanian dishes. Also in the larger cities you can easily find any number of restauaunts that specialise in traditional lithuanian food. There are three restaurant chains in Lithuania that offer very good and very high quality traditional meals. Now the word “chain” may sound a little detracting but don’t let it. I’ve eaten in various restaurants of all three of these “chains” and I can tell you that you will be treated to not only authentic but very tasty food. In fact two of these “chains’ have restaurants here in Vilnius and I go to these places quite often.

To go in alphabetical order let’s start with BERNELIŲ UŽEIGA.
Bernelių Užeiga prides itself on recreating the food from an authentic Lithuanian kitchen. It was the first Lithuanian restaurant chain that was certified with Lithuanian Culinary Foundation Certificate which guarantees that dishes are prepared according to original recipes. Their menu is vast and the atmosphere of their eateries is very warm and welcoming. They have four restaurants in Kaunas and one in Šiauliai.

Next on the list is ČILI KAIMAS.
The Čili chain is the largest restaurant chain in Lithuania and a few years ago they opened up their specialty Čili Kaimas restaurants. Their menu also is based on traditional dishes. Depending on which location you are in the atmosphere can range from eating in the dining room of a wealthy land owner to sitting at wooden tables at a big festival. There are five Čili Kaimas restaurants in Vilnius, two in Kaunas and two in Klaipėda.

Last on our list but by no means least is FORTO DVARAS.
Forto Dvaras was the first restaurant in Lithuania to offer certified meals from the Gastronomic Heritage Foundation. These are meals made in the traditional way, using products of local origin.
I would say they this restaurant has the widest variety on their menu. They have one entire page devoted to just potato pancakes. About any variety of grated potato, filling and sauce you could think of and when you look at their list of cepelinai varieties you will be equally amazed and delighted. All of this with Lithuanian music playing in a cozy atmosphere of an old estate, decorated with elements of the old graphics and pictures from authentic books. For you lovers of cabbage soup, I highly recommend you try their cabbage soup with smoked sausage – Labai skani!!!

Now some one may ask which one would I recommend???
Good question. I wish I had a good answer???
I have eaten in the restaurants of many of these chains and I would have to say that it would be difficult and maybe impossible for me to say which is the best. They are all very popular so I would say that it’s a good bet that you will enjoy any and all that you eat in.

 

Vin Karnila

Category : Hotels & restraunts

Countryside in the city

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Text: Liisa Leitzinger

Countryside in the city – what can you find in the beautiful Valakupiu forest park just a few kilometers away from the Vilnius Old Town??

Any Vilnius resident will start having trouble finding things to do during the long winter weekends. During summer, we keep ourselves happy and busy just walking around the beautiful old town, sitting in cafes or driving to Trakai and countryside homes for weekends. Here comes the winter and by February, we are fed up with shopping centers, seen all the movies and just discouraged by the amount of clothing needed for a short stroll around the town. I myself keep dreaming about winter weekends in cozy country inns, but the reality of driving on icy country roads trying to reach the destination before early sunset has made me prefer staying within the save city limits for the winter time. Fortunately, Vilnius is a human size of a city, which means that countryside can be reached 5 km from the Cathedral Square!

The city area called Valakupiu is located between Neris river and Nemencines plentas road, about 5 km from city center after Antakalnis area. Actually two names are used for this area. Valakupiai name is the old and official name, known from 18th century Polish form Walakupie. However, in Lithuanian  language the form Valakampiai is more common and  many residents seem to prefer Valakampiai from the official choice of linguistics, Valakupiu. Location among Neris river and landscape of pine trees has made this area favorite picnic location not only summertime, but also during winter. Only less than ten years ago, I remember cows grazing next to the main road. Cows are gone now, but some of the little wooden homes still keep chicken and one local keeps a little pony, seen eating grass during summer and working to carry wood during winter.  Valakupiu is truly countryside within city!

Bus number 15, although travelling only once an hour from Antakalnis  and circulating slowly around the area, makes Valakupiu area reachable for citizens without cars too. The area has two beaches by Neris river maintained by Vilnius city. The first beach is larger area, with several sandy sports fields, barbeque areas, two children’s play areas and café. The second beach is still kind of a free spirit area, where ladies can sunbathe in their underwear, retirees play games of chess all day and dogs run free mixing with little children and drunken teenagers. The action at the Valakupiu beaches does not stop for the winter, on the contrary. All weekends Vilnius residents set up barbeques and take out thermoses of hot drinks to enjoy a day out in the snow.  On Sunday mornings, sports enthusiasts gather for soccer games, some of the groups being together for games for over 10 years!

Endless little roads and pathways among the pine forest make the area great for walking and skiing. Weekends are filled with groups of friends and families, some walking quietly along the river, enjoying the nature, some taking out Nordic walking sticks for a real exercise or jogging along the roads. The area has plenty of large fields and forests for dogs to run free. Skiing is also very popular in Valakupiu. It is not the organized kind of skiing we have in my home country Finland, where the city will maintain hundreds of kilometers of specially made ski tracks, which are lit up for the evening and only used for skiing. No, skiing in Valakupiu is for the brave, making their own tracks and going where they want to in a beautiful, snow covered forest. Of course, none of the forest tracks and roads have names or signs! That is part of the attraction and adventure of out door sports  in Valakupiu. Actually it is almost impossible to get lost. The area is between Neris river and Nemencines road, so eventually the lost sportsmen will run into one or the other landmark.

The area Valakupiu has of course developed and changed from the countryside and rehabilitation area into desirable residential living area. The old wooden villas have new company from modern, expensive homes hidden in the pine woods. Fortunately, the area did not suffer from excessive building, even during the times of economic housing boom. Building sites are very large and new homes stay hidden in the pine woods. Some walkways in the woods could almost be like Hollywood tours looking for houses of the rich and famous. Many wealthy Vilnius citizens have built magnificent residences in Valakupiu, hiding along the banks of Neris river and pine woods.

The service infrastructure and hotel development in the area also started during the economic rise. As many of the restaurants from the Soviet times had long been closed down and demolished, new entrepreneurs looked into the possibilities to cater residents and visitors to the area. The most visible restaurant – café at the first beach by the road is “Valakampiu Svetaine”, Lizdeikos street 46. Hugely popular and busy during summer, it remains closed during winter season. Newcomer in the area is restaurant  ”Vaidilutes 24”, www.vaidilutes24.lt . Specialized in private parties, this family restaurant has become very popular and remains reserved most weekends for weddings, birthdays and work parties. Originally the owners planned to build a small guest house in the connection with the restaurant, but this development is still waiting for better times.  Very popular and open all season is “Plento baras” at the main road Nemencines pl. 33. Owned by the Cili restaurant chain, the menu is good Lithuanian home cooking in rustic country interior.  Plastic surgery center  ”Vitkus Clinic” www.vitkusclinic.com offers a bit different type of services, concept taken from California directly to Lithuania, cosmetic surgery operations  close to nature, offering quiet healing time and luxury accommodation for patients. The real gem and hidden secret in the Valakupiu service sector is “Valakupiu rehabilitation center” www.reabilitacija.lt, at Vaidilutes street 69. This huge center offers medical services and accommodation for people with severe or moderate physical disabilities and professional training for handicapped.  Doctor’s note will lead you to modern facilities and very reasonably priced services from specialized massages to thermal baths.
The most serious development in Valakupiu hotel scene was Hotel Vila Valakampiai, www.vilavalakampiai.lt  by the first beach, Vaidilutes street 6A. The building itself was started  almost ten years ago, then left empty and unfinished, until opening to public with 29 luxury rooms, conference center, upscale restaurant and outdoor terrace. At this time, the hotel and restaurant are closed. Obviously, the Vilnius market remains very competitive in restaurant and hotel area. Also, the concept of Hotel Vila Valakampiai might have been slightly wrong for the area. The hotel rooms were quite plain business like, whereas I would imagine most people choosing remote location for a hotel stay, would have preferred more romantic and spa like rooms. The restaurant interior was beautiful and elegant, but maybe the expensive dinner menu was not right, as wine bars were just becoming popular and people were looking for a place to go out, have a drink and socialize, not sit down and eat.

Would I stay in a hotel in Valakupiu area? Is there a customer segment for resort hotels in city park areas? Are we going to see the existing hotel open and running again and new ones opening in Valakupiu? I do hope so. I would definitely take my husband or the whole family for a get away weekend in the nature, just to get out of the house during winter. But to do so, many details had to be just right. The right price. The right atmosphere. Activities. Company. Food. Who will be the next entrepreneur trying to get all the details just right for a hotel in the city park?

Category : Hotels & restraunts

The editor’s preferred restaurants

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Text: Aage Myhre


Lithuania offers a modern, international cuisine and service, fully on par with Western Europe.
La Provence in Vilnius Old Town is an excellent example of exactly that.

Did you think that this country mostly offers traditional food? Think again… Today’s situation is that numerous Lithuanian restaurants follow the best world traditions of offering exceptional international cuisine, as well as a number of Lithuanian masterpieces, first-class service in surroundings of refined elegance and impeccable hospitality. Modern Lithuania’s excellent cuisine together with a high class service will leave you a memorable experience.

Let me bring you to some of my favourite international cuisine restaurants, this time unfortunately only in Vilnius!

 

La Provence

Address:                     

Vokieciu st. 22, Vilnius, Tel. +3705 2620257  www.laprovence.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

International/Mediterranean

Number of seats:

80

Number of halls:

4

 

La Provence is good, and remains good year after year. You should try some of their juicy fish choices that include red mullet, monkfish and fresh, hot and smoked halibut. My favourite, however, has always been the lamb knuckles or roebuck filet with cherry sauce. La Provence also houses a most uncompromising wine list ...

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Balzac

Address:                       

Savičiaus street 7 Vilnius Tel. +370 614 89 223  www.balzac.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

French - International

Number of seats:

60 

Number of halls:

1

 

Balzac restaurant was in 2010 voted the best restaurant in Lithuania.  This is the place to go for authentic French cuisine, French wines and top gastronomy as only the French can it... It’s located in the very heart of Vilnius, close to the Town Hall Square, Warm atmosphere with French music. The owner and main person behind both food and wines is Thomas Teiten, a very sympathetic guy from North Alsace. All genuine... A bientôt !

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Neringa

Address:

Gedimino av. 23 Vilnius, Tel.  +3705 2614058  www.restoranasneringa.lt

Location:

Centre

Cuisine:

International

Number of seats:

180

Number of halls:

3

 

This place gives you a feeling of going back to the ‘good old days in Lithuania’ - the interwar period. And when you are here, at least once you have to try their world famous Kiev Cutlet! The restaurant is unique by its unchangeable interior from the beginning about 40 years ago – and still this is the venue of elderly intellectuals, one-time famous artists, architects and actors. Retro music concerts at weekends. Jazz club in the cellar.

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Sena_neringa

 

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Bistro 18

Restaurant & wine shop

Address:                       

Stikliu st. 18, Vilnius, Tel. +370 5 2660770, www.bistro18.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

International

Number of seats:

60

Number of halls:

3

 

Anne and Saulius, the Irish-Lithuanian couple owning and running this place, might well be there to give you a warm welcome as soon as you enter. The food is of the best in town, and affordable. Do not forget to ask for the wine list, or study the many shelved bottles. If you are lucky, Saulius might be there to share his wine wisdom...

 

 

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Steakhouse Hazienda

Address:                       

Maironio st. 13, Vilnius, Tel.: +370 5 2122087  www.mabre.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

International and Lithuanian

Number of seats:

60 

Number of halls:

4

 

The restaurant is a part of the elegant Mabre Hotel’s monastery compound, offers a truly international and Lithuanian cuisine. A relaxed atmosphere for business lunch or evening dinner. Live music is performed at least three times a week, and during spring and summer the open-air terrace is the venue for very special events! The bar serves a good selection of beers and wines, spirits, and soft drinks. Among the very best steaks in town.  

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Markus ir ko

Address:                       

M. Antokolskio g. 11, Vilnius Tel. +370 5 2623185  markusirko@takas.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

International steak house

Number of seats:

60

Number of halls:

2

 

This is certainly a restaurant you should visit if you want a really good, juicy, soft steak. The location in Vilnius'  old Jewish quarter gives the place a unique atmosphere. It’s only regrettable that the serving staff's attitude  is not on the same good level...

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Sue’s Indian Raja

Address:                       

Odminiu st. 3, Vilnius, Tel.  +370 5 266 18 87 www.sues-lt.com/

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

Indian

Number of seats:

60 inside and 60 in summer terrace

Number of halls:

2

 

Sue's Indian Raja is something of an institution in Vilnius. It's just about the only game in town if you've got a hankering for the savoury delights of the Subcontinent. Owner and restaurateur extraordinaire, Wing Commander (retired) Rajinder K. Chaudhary, the man whose shirts are always crisp, can often be found tucket in a quiet nook, quietly tapping away at his laptop. "Nothing here is pre-cooked, nothing is microwaved," he says proudly.
All the spices used at Sue's, along with the rice, are brought over from India.

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Zoe’s

Address:                       

Odminių st. 3, Vilnius, Tel. +370 5 2123331  www.zoesbargrill.com/

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

International

Number of seats:

80 inside and 60 in summer terrace

Number of halls:

3

 

Zoe's is one of the places in Vilnius you become genuinely fond of. The food is good, the service is  impeccable. The atmosphere is always good. The boss himself, Swedish-Austrian Jurgen Weis, always have a steady hand throughout. Always a safe choice, if you ever were in doubt...

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Medininkai

Address:                       

Ausros Vartu st. 6, Vilnius, Tel. +370 5 2660770  www.medininkai.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

International

Number of seats:

80 inside and 60 in summer terrace

Number of halls:

3

 

Restaurant Medininkai follows their own, old tradition of offering excellent food and courteous, first-class service - in surroundings of refined elegance and impeccable hospitality. The restaurant is located in a former monastery in the heart of Vilnius near one of the oldest streets in town, today has the privilege of 16th century courtyard, where guests can have the added pleasure of lunching or dining outdoors during the summer season in the pleasant atmosphere of ancient Vilnius.

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Saint Germain

Address:                      

Literatu st. 9, Vilnius, Tel. +370 2621210  www.vynine.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

French

Number of seats:

30

Number of halls:

1 

 

Restaurant-winery “Saint Germain” is a place to meet, to be in a company with friends, to leave.... and to meet again. Retro style surrounding creates relaxing and informal atmosphere. This is a place for those preferring pleasant and cosy environment, no rush when enjoying gourmet meals and quality wine.

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.Lokys 

Address:

Stikliu st. 8/10, Vilnius, Tel. +370 5 2629046  www.lokys.lt 

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

Lithuanian

Number of seats:

173

Number of halls:

4

 

“Lokys” means ‘bear’. This hunters' restaurant is known for its fine flavour of historical Lithuania. Situated in the old town of Vilnius the restaurant offers many historic delights - among these, of course, delicious food according to traditional recipes. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Vilnius. As you sit in the restaurant's gothic cellars and listen to the lulling melodies of Lithuania played on a flute and accordion, the chef of the restaurant is busy roasting the finest hunting takes for you.

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venison-2_7

 

Pegasus

Address:                       

Didžioji st. 11, Vilnius, Tel. +370 5 260 9430 www.restaurantpegasus.lt

Location:

Old Town 

Cuisine:

International

Number of seats:

100

Number of halls:

2

 

A truly modern restaurant with international cuisine, offering a gourmet trip to various countries of the world. Dishes from almost all regions of the world are included in the menu. Modern and democratic atmosphere with a sense of tasteful luxury helps to create a special atmosphere for any purpose. View to the City Hall square. A unique location and balcony view make any event special.

 

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Stikliai

Address:                       

Gaono st. 7, Vilnius, Tel. +370 5 2649580  www.stikliaihotel.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

International

Number of seats:

100

Number of halls:

3

 

Regarded by many as the highest-class and most elegant restaurant in the capital, the restaurant is located in the courtyard, under a glass roof and serves French cuisine. The restaurant is part of the Hotel Relais and Chateaux Stikliai.

 

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Domm

Address:                       

Didzioji st. 31, Vilnius, Tel. +370 686 77707  www.domm.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

Contemporary

Number of seats:

50

Number of halls:

3

 

Domm is situated in one of the most prestigious buildings of the city - the Town Hall. Its history dates back to the 15th century and the décor resembles a film set featuring ancient ceiling frescos, contemporary design furniture, extravagant chandeliers and artworks adorning the walls. None the less exotic is Domm's cuisine, offering an amazing gastronomic adventure. Experimental cooking is its field and it never ceases to amaze.  

Restaurant Domm, Vilnius

Restaurant Domm, Vilnius

Restaurant Domm, Vilnius

 

Žemaičių smuklė

Address:                      

Vokieciu st. 22, Vilnius, Tel. +3705 2620257  www.zemaiciai.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

Lithuanian

Number of seats:

200

Number of halls:

6

 

This Samogitian tavern serves Lithuanian national dishes from the famous potatoes dumplings “cepelinai“ to simple and delicious curd cheese pancakes as well as European cuisine including game dishes and sea food. One of the oldest restaurants in town.

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Stikliai tavern

 

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Address:                      

Gaono st. 7, Vilnius,

Tel.: +370 5 2649580

www.stikliaihotel.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

Lithuanian and European

Number of seats:

45

Number of halls:

2

 

The restaurant is located in the heart of the Vilnius Old Town. The vaulted cellar houses a restored Tavern, where traditional Lithuanian and European dishes are served. The atmosphere is informal and relaxed, created by antiques and Lithuanian country style items.

 

Brewery ‘Prie katedros’

Address:

Gedimino av. 5, Vilnius, Tel. +370 605 7755   www.priekatedros.lt

Location:

Centre

Cuisine:

European

Number of seats:

96

Number of halls:

4

This cellar restaurant on the main street of Vilnius (Gedimino ave) makes its own beer using honey, and one way or another adds either of the ingredients into the food it serves. Educational classes are organized for beer lovers. During the class the guests are introduced with the beer production session and get the opportunity to taste all sorts of beer that are produced in this little restaurant factory.

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San Marco 

Address:

Subaciaus st. 2, Vilnius, Tel. +370 5 2553355  www.ramadavilnius.lt

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

Italian

Number of seats:

120

Number of halls:

3

 

San Marco is the place for those who look for pleasure and peace. Italian style restaurant wit a quiet and delighted home atmosphere full of nice elements of refined decor, gourmet food and wines just in the Old town of Vilnius.  Believe it or not, but I found a pearl in my oyster that evening...

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Restaurant Vilnius

 

Ida Basar

Address:

Subačiaus st. 3, Vilnius, Tel.: +370 5 2553355  www.idabasar.lt/

Location:

Old Town

Cuisine:

International

Number of seats:

120

Number of halls:

6

 

Ida Basar is one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Lithuania, situated in a XVI century architectural monument of Vilnius. It is also the only restaurant - museum in Lithuania  and one of 4 of the kind in Europe. Guests can not only enjoy meals from international cuisine and delicacies  from Lithuanian Grand Duchy (XIV - XVII century) noblemen meals, but also observe ample collection of antique dishes, cutlery, china, coffee grinders, and other - more than 4000 items in total.

http://www.idabasar.lt/images/saldaus_vyno_pyragaitis.jpg

Gen.direktorius V. Kontrauskas su ekspertu iš Vokietijos P.F. Valter

http://www.idabasar.lt/images/restorano_rusio_sale.jpg

 

Belmontas

Address:

Belmonto str. 17 Vilnius, Tel.: +3705 615 20220   www.belmontas.lt

Location:

15 min drive from the centre

Cuisine:

Lithuanian / International

Number of seats:

Lithuanian restaurant “Tavern of Joana Carinova” – 340 seats
International restaurant “Gloria” – 80 seats
Banqueting halls – seating up to 140, standing up to 200 guests
Summer terrace – up to 400

 

This entertainment and recreation centre is a very good place for any event: both formal and informal, in the open air and inside, from folk to classic style. Water falls, fountains, watermills, beautiful surroundings carefully looked after by the owners create a relaxing atmosphere. There is also an open-air bar and amphitheatre – an ideal place for any kind of performance.

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Category : Hotels & restraunts

OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com


By Dr. Boris Vytautas Bakunas,
Ph. D., Chicago

A wave of unity sweeps the international Lithuanian community on March 11th every year as Lithuanians celebrated the anniversary of the Lithuanian Parliament's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. However, the sense of national unity engendered by the celebration could be short-lived.

Human beings have a strong tendency to overgeneralize and succumb to stereotypical us-them distinctions that can shatter even the strongest bonds. We need only search the internet to find examples of divisive thinking at work:

- "50 years of Soviet rule has ruined an entire generation of Lithuanian.

- "Those who fled Lithuania during World II were cowards -- and now they come back, flaunt their wealth, and tell us 'true Lithuanians' how to live."

- "Lithuanians who work abroad have abandoned their homeland and should be deprived of their Lithuanian citizenship."

Could such stereotypical, emotionally-charged accusations be one of the main reasons why relations between Lithuania's diaspora groups and their countrymen back home have become strained?

Read more...
* * *


Text: Saulene Valskyte

In Lithuania Christmas Eve is a family event and the New Year's Eve a great party with friends!
Lithuanian say "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi" (the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it). So everyone is trying to spend New Year's Eve with friend and have as much fun as possible.

Lithuanian New Year's traditions are very similar to those in other countries, and actually were similar since many years ago. Also, the traditional Lithuanian New Years Eve party was very similar to other big celebrations throughout the year.

The New Year's Eve table is quite similar to the Christmas Eve table, but without straws under the tablecloth, and now including meat dishes. A tradition that definitely hasn't changes is that everybody is trying not to fell asleep before midnight. It was said that if you oversleep the midnight point you will be lazy all the upcoming year. People were also trying to get up early on the first day of the new year, because waking up late also meant a very lazy and unfortunate year.

During the New Year celebration people were dancing, singing, playing games and doing magic to guess the future. People didn't drink much of alcohol, especially was that the case for women.

Here are some advices from elders:
- During the New Year, be very nice and listen to relatives - what you are during New Year Eve, you will be throughout the year.

- During to the New Year Eve, try not to fall, because if this happens, next year you will be unhappy.

- If in the start of the New Year, the first news are good - then the year will be successful. If not - the year will be problematic.

New year predictions
* If during New Year eve it's snowing - then it will be bad weather all year round. If the day is fine - one can expect good harvest.
* If New Year's night is cold and starry - look forward to a good summer!
* If the during New Year Eve trees are covered with frost - then it will be a good year. If it is wet weather on New Year's Eve, one can expect a year where many will die and dangerous epidemics occur.
* If the first day of the new year is snowy - the upcoming year will see many young people die. If the night is snowy - mostly old people will die.
* If the New Year time is cold - then Easter will be warm.
* If during New Year there are a lot of birds in your homestead - then all year around there will be many guests and the year will be fun.

Read more...
* * *

* * *
VilNews
Christmas greetings
from Vilnius


* * *
Ukraine won the historic
and epic battle for the
future
By Leonidas Donskis
Kaunas
Philosopher, political theorist, historian of
ideas, social analyst, and political
commentator

Immediately after Russia stepped in Syria, we understood that it is time to sum up the convoluted and long story about Ukraine and the EU - a story of pride and prejudice which has a chance to become a story of a new vision regained after self-inflicted blindness.

Ukraine was and continues to be perceived by the EU political class as a sort of grey zone with its immense potential and possibilities for the future, yet deeply embedded and trapped in No Man's Land with all of its troubled past, post-Soviet traumas, ambiguities, insecurities, corruption, social divisions, and despair. Why worry for what has yet to emerge as a new actor of world history in terms of nation-building, European identity, and deeper commitments to transparency and free market economy?

Right? Wrong. No matter how troubled Ukraine's economic and political reality could be, the country has already passed the point of no return. Even if Vladimir Putin retains his leverage of power to blackmail Ukraine and the West in terms of Ukraine's zero chances to accede to NATO due to the problems of territorial integrity, occupation and annexation of Crimea, and mayhem or a frozen conflict in the Donbas region, Ukraine will never return to Russia's zone of influence. It could be deprived of the chances to join NATO or the EU in the coming years or decades, yet there are no forces on earth to make present Ukraine part of the Eurasia project fostered by Putin.

Read more...
* * *
Watch this video if you
want to learn about the
new, scary propaganda
war between Russia,
The West and the
Baltic States!


* * *
90% of all Lithuanians
believe their government
is corrupt
Lithuania is perceived to be the country with the most widespread government corruption, according to an international survey involving almost 40 countries.

Read more...
* * *
Lithuanian medical
students say no to
bribes for doctors

On International Anticorruption Day, the Special Investigation Service shifted their attention to medical institutions, where citizens encounter bribery most often. Doctors blame citizens for giving bribes while patients complain that, without bribes, they won't receive proper medical attention. Campaigners against corruption say that bribery would disappear if medical institutions themselves were to take resolute actions against corruption and made an effort to take care of their patients.

Read more...
* * *
Doing business in Lithuania

By Grant Arthur Gochin
California - USA

Lithuania emerged from the yoke of the Soviet Union a mere 25 years ago. Since then, Lithuania has attempted to model upon other European nations, joining NATO, Schengen, and the EU. But, has the Soviet Union left Lithuania?

During Soviet times, government was administered for the people in control, not for the local population, court decisions were decreed, they were not the administration of justice, and academia was the domain of ideologues. 25 years of freedom and openness should have put those bad experiences behind Lithuania, but that is not so.

Today, it is a matter of expectation that court pronouncements will be governed by ideological dictates. Few, if any Lithuanians expect real justice to be effected. For foreign companies, doing business in Lithuania is almost impossible in a situation where business people do not expect rule of law, so, surely Government would be a refuge of competence?

Lithuanian Government has not emerged from Soviet styles. In an attempt to devolve power, Lithuania has created a myriad of fiefdoms of power, each speaking in the name of the Government, each its own centralized power base of ideology.

Read more...
* * *
Greetings from Wales!
By Anita Šovaitė-Woronycz
Chepstow, Wales

Think of a nation in northern Europe whose population is around the 3 million mark a land of song, of rivers, lakes, forests, rolling green hills, beautiful coastline a land where mushrooms grow ready for the picking, a land with a passion for preserving its ancient language and culture.

Doesn't that sound suspiciously like Lithuania? Ah, but I didn't mention the mountains of Snowdonia, which would give the game away.

I'm talking about Wales, that part of the UK which Lithuanians used to call "Valija", but later named "Velsas" (why?). Wales, the nation which has welcomed two Lithuanian heads of state to its shores - firstly Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, who has paid several visits and, more recently, President Dalia Grybauskaitė who attended the 2014 NATO summit which was held in Newport, South Wales.
MADE IN WALES -
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS.

Read more...
* * *
IS IT POSSIBLE TO
COMMENT ON OUR
ARTICLES? :-)
Read Cassandra's article HERE

Read Rugile's article HERE

Did you know there is a comment field right after every article we publish? If you read the two above posts, you will see that they both have received many comments. Also YOU are welcome with your comments. To all our articles!
* * *

Greetings from Toronto
By Antanas Sileika,
Toronto, Canada

Toronto was a major postwar settlement centre for Lithuanian Displaced Persons, and to this day there are two Catholic parishes and one Lutheran one, as well as a Lithuanian House, retirement home, and nursing home. A new wave of immigrants has showed interest in sports.

Although Lithuanian activities have thinned over the decades as that postwar generation died out, the Lithuanian Martyrs' parish hall is crowded with many, many hundreds of visitors who come to the Lithuanian cemetery for All Souls' Day. Similarly, the Franciscan parish has standing room only for Christmas Eve mass.

Although I am firmly embedded in the literary culture of Canada, my themes are usually Lithuanian, and I'll be in Kaunas and Vilnius in mid-November 2015 to give talks about the Lithuanian translations of my novels and short stories, which I write in English.

If you have the Lithuanian language, come by to one of the talks listed in the links below. And if you don't, you can read more about my work at
www.anatanassileika.com

http://www.vdu.lt/lt/rasytojas-antanas-sileika-pristatys-savo-kuryba/
https://leu.lt/lt/lf/lf_naujienos/kvieciame-i-rasytojo-59hc.html
* * *

As long as VilNews exists,
there is hope for the future
Professor Irena Veisaite, Chairwoman of our Honorary Council, asked us to convey her heartfelt greetings to the other Council Members and to all readers of VilNews.

"My love and best wishes to all. As long as VilNews exists, there is hope for the future,"" she writes.

Irena Veisaite means very much for our publication, and we do hereby thank her for the support and wise commitment she always shows.

You can read our interview with her
HERE.
* * *
EU-Russia:
Facing a new reality

By Vygaudas Ušackas
EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Dear readers of VilNews,

It's great to see this online resource for people interested in Baltic affairs. I congratulate the editors. From my position as EU Ambassador to Russia, allow me to share some observations.

For a number of years, the EU and Russia had assumed the existence of a strategic partnership, based on the convergence of values, economic integration and increasingly open markets and a modernisation agenda for society.

Our agenda was positive and ambitious. We looked at Russia as a country ready to converge with "European values", a country likely to embrace both the basic principles of democratic government and a liberal concept of the world order. It was believed this would bring our relations to a new level, covering the whole spectrum of the EU's strategic relationship with Russia.

Read more...
* * *

The likelihood of Putin
invading Lithuania
By Mikhail Iossel
Professor of English at Concordia University, Canada
Founding Director at Summer Literary Seminars

The likelihood of Putin's invading Lithuania or fomenting a Donbass-style counterfeit pro-Russian uprising there, at this point, in my strong opinion, is no higher than that of his attacking Portugal, say, or Ecuador. Regardless of whether he might or might not, in principle, be interested in the insane idea of expanding Russia's geographic boundaries to those of the former USSR (and I for one do not believe that has ever been his goal), he knows this would be entirely unfeasible, both in near- and long-term historical perspective, for a variety of reasons. It is not going to happen. There will be no restoration of the Soviet Union as a geopolitical entity.

Read more...
* * *

Are all Lithuanian energy
problems now resolved?
By Dr. Stasys Backaitis,
P.E., CSMP, SAE Fellow Member of Central and Eastern European Coalition, Washington, D.C., USA

Lithuania's Energy Timeline - from total dependence to independence

Lithuania as a country does not have significant energy resources. Energy consuming infrastructure after WWII was small and totally supported by energy imports from Russia.

First nuclear reactor begins power generation at Ignalina in 1983, the second reactor in 1987. Iganlina generates enough electricity to cover Lithuania's needs and about 50%.for export. As, prerequisite for membership in EU, Ignalina ceases all nuclear power generation in 2009

The Klaipėda Sea terminal begins Russia's oil export operations in 1959 and imports in 1994.

Mazeikiu Nafta (current ORLEAN Lietuva) begins operation of oil refinery in 1980.

Read more...
* * *

Have Lithuanian ties across
the Baltic Sea become
stronger in recent years?
By Eitvydas Bajarunas
Ambassador to Sweden

My answer to affirmative "yes". Yes, Lithuanian ties across the Baltic Sea become as never before solid in recent years. For me the biggest achievement of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea region during recent years is boosting Baltic and Nordic ties. And not because of mere accident - Nordic direction was Lithuania's strategic choice.

The two decades that have passed since regaining Lithuania's independence can be described as a "building boom". From the wreckage of a captive Soviet republic, a generation of Lithuanians have built a modern European state, and are now helping construct a Nordic-Baltic community replete with institutions intended to promote political coordination and foster a trans-Baltic regional identity. Indeed, a "Nordic-Baltic community" - I will explain later in my text the meaning of this catch-phrase.

Since the restoration of Lithuania's independence 25 years ago, we have continuously felt a strong support from Nordic countries. Nordics in particular were among the countries supporting Lithuania's and Baltic States' striving towards independence. Take example of Iceland, country which recognized Lithuania in February of 1991, well in advance of other countries. Yet another example - Swedish Ambassador was the first ambassador accredited to Lithuania in 1991. The other countries followed suit. When we restored our statehood, Nordic Countries became champions in promoting Baltic integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. To large degree thanks Nordic Countries, massive transformations occurred in Lithuania since then, Lithuania became fully-fledged member of the EU and NATO, and we joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2015.

Read more...
* * *

It's the economy, stupid *
By Valdas (Val) Samonis,
PhD, CPC

n his article, Val Samonis takes a comparative policy look at the Lithuanian economy during the period 2000-2015. He argues that the LT policy response (a radical and classical austerity) was wrong and unenlightened because it coincided with strong and continuing deflationary forces in the EU and the global economy which forces were predictable, given the right policy guidance. Also, he makes a point that LT austerity, and the resulting sharp drop in GDP and employment in LT, stimulated emigration of young people (and the related worsening of other demographics) which processes took huge dimensions thereby undercutting even the future enlightened efforts to get out of the middle-income growth trap by LT. Consequently, the country is now on the trajectory (development path) similar to that of a dog that chases its own tail. A strong effort by new generation of policymakers is badly needed to jolt the country out of that wrong trajectory and to offer the chance of escaping the middle-income growth trap via innovations.

Read more...
* * *

Have you heard about the
South African "Pencil Test"?
By Karina Simonson

If you are not South African, then, probably, you haven't. It is a test performed in South Africa during the apartheid regime and was used, together with the other ways, to determine racial identity, distinguishing whites from coloureds and blacks. That repressive test was very close to Nazi implemented ways to separate Jews from Aryans. Could you now imagine a Lithuanian mother, performing it on her own child?

But that is exactly what happened to me when I came back from South Africa. I will tell you how.

Read more...
* * *
Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >



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