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Degustare

Restaurants
By Andra Kunstberga. 14.03.2013

Degustare

Save to foursquare Pulkveža Brieža 11/13, Riga Phone: 6763 1790
Email: info@degustare.lv
Web: www.degustare.lv
Working hours: Mon-Sun 08.00 - 24.00,

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One of an increasing number of restaurants in Riga that relies on the spontaneity of the chef to create memorable and original dishes, Degustare is a rare find.

Hidden away in a well-reputed four-star hotel on the edge of the Art Nouveau district, it’s not been widely written about. But it deserves attention, and not just from the often pleasantly surprised hotel guests.

The chef at Degustare, Mihkel Heinmets, is young but experienced, having fine-tuned his profession in seven different countries. A two-Michelin-star mentor from the famed Frantzen/Lindeberg restaurant in Stockholm initially assisted in the Degustare kitchen to create some of the unusual combinations you’ll experience here.

Reached through sliding doors from the hotel lobby, the restaurant consists of a minimal handful of tables. Reserve the one by the window. A small banqueting room at the side, also visible from the street, caters to a steady stream of private dinners. The overall area replaces an Italian restaurant that used to occupy the premises.

A two-course business lunch that changes every day, depending on what fresh delights the chef has found in the market that morning, is served between 12.00 and 15.00. The a la carte menu is available from 17.00. 

The emphasis at Degustare is on small but perfectly created dishes relying on curious combinations of mostly organic local ingredients – combinations that are rarely found elsewhere. Poached salmon comes with beetroot and orange bouillon (€13.50). Duck breast, slow cooked and roasted, is served with endives and truffle-parsnip puree (€17). Beef tenderloin comes with greens fried in butter seasoned with hay ash (€23).

There are no shortcuts on the food. Occasionally popping up in the menu is a 100-year-old vinegar from Italy, grazing the dish, tile or stone on which your dish may be served. Elsewhere you’ll find an egg perfectly cooked sous-vide at 36.5 degrees for 45 minutes. Or home-smoked shrimps, half of them fresh and half cooked, just to compare the tastes.

We enjoyed an oyster which had been slow-cooked in its shell at 47 degrees for 30 minutes and cooled, with an added soupcon of egg butter, truffle and white wine sauce, sprinkled with crisp blackcurrant skin, and downed in one slurp from the shell. You need to keep it in your mouth just long enough to identify each taste.

Degustare is the official restaurant in Riga for Dinner in the Sky, an annual event where a special table is elevated 50 meters off the ground for periods of between 20 and 60 minutes. It will be taking off in Riga on June 18-22. The lucky customers are surely in for a heavenly experience, in more ways than one.

[kitchen closed from 15.00 to 17.00]

AfLlwh02 26.10.2015 07:47

We have been going to Dino's for over 20 years andit is our favorite Italian Restaurant. The fodois great and the service is
excellent. Thank youDino staff for being there for us and many otherfollowers.James P Raymond

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