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Dining for foodies

Restaurants
By Anatol Steven. 30.09.2011

Foody

Save to foursquare Aspazijas 32, Riga Phone: 6722 7270
Email: info@foody.lv
Web: www.foody.lv
Working hours: Mon-Fri 09:30 - 24:00, Sat-Sun 11:00 - 24:00,

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As befits its name, Foody is all about tasty international cuisine served with decent wine and a little panache, but not with any unnecessary pretention. Situated on the edge of Old Riga close to the Latvian National Opera, it manages to lure in bohemian types as well as suited clientele.

If it’s still warm outside, sit at one of the wooden tables on the busy street for an extra buzz. If not, there are two spacious rooms to choose from inside – one a touch shadier with sofas to recline on for intimate conversations, the other brighter with more upright seating that is more appropriate for dining.
Elaborate floral emblems decorate the ceiling lighting, while loungey music elevates the mood. Both rooms are perhaps more elegantly designed than the average “foody” would wish, but the smiles of the waitstaff immediately put guests of all backgrounds at ease.
The thing to order immediately, alongside the wine, is the “wine appetizer” (€6.50) – a ceramic plate divided into nine squares, each holding a delicious accompaniment to the fruits of the vine. A list of these mini-portions is outlined in the menu, but they can change according to what’s in the kitchen at the time. So if you’re fussy ask the waitress beforehand.
The squares can be filled with, for example, salmon mousse, olive paste, chicken-liver pate, a blend of sweet and spicy peppers, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and so on, served with a basket of ciabatta. You may find yourselves having to reorder more of the bread to accompany this little feast.
There’s a wine list, of course, but for speed of choice you could opt for the “wine for the day” (€10 a bottle) or the “wine for the soul” (€13), the former being perfectly gluggable wines for everyday drinking, the latter boasting deeper textures, often French.
We’ve enjoyed a crisp Argentinean Chardonnay as a wine for the day and a Barone Ricasoli from the hillsides of Tuscany as a wine for the soul.
There are other appetizers, including plates of soft cheeses, hard cheeses or Italian dried meats, and starters such as blue mussels served in their shells as well as the ubiquitous balsamic-drizzled beef carpaccio (all around €6.50).
Our most recent visit was on a hot late summer day so we opted for salads. The pink tuna salad (€7.20) was especially good – sliced, lightly grilled fillet served on a bed of lettuce leaves and herbs with a smattering of quails’ eggs, cherry tomatoes and potatoes.
The Roman salad (€4.20), meanwhile, “recommended” on the menu, is a healthy tossed mix of leaves, feta, cedar nuts, sundried tomatoes, seeds, capers and a mustard-and-honey sauce. The blend of tastes was fabulous.
Among the mains, the tagliatelle is homemade and can be ordered with a choice of meat, salmon, cheese or tomato-and-basil Marinara sauce (tagliatelle dishes are priced at roughly €4 to €6). There’s also duck confit with mashed potatoes, spicy Thai-style pork, and seafood risotto, all in the region of around €6.50 to €8.50. You can round it off with dessert, but you probably won’t have room.
Foody is planning lively events for the near future, including wine tastings and IQ game nights. A Night of Wine is scheduled for September 10, with a wide range of wines, snacks and live jazz music. Evenings like these will become a regular fixture – give them a call to ask when the next one is.




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