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il Sole

Restaurants
By Andra Kunstberga. 09.10.2013

il Sole

Save to foursquare Juras 23/25
(Baltic Beach Hotel)
, Jurmala
Phone: 6777 1428
Email: restorans@balticbeach.lv
Web: www.balticbeach.lv/baltic-beach-hotel-jurmala-restaurant-ilsole
Working hours: Mon-Thu 12.00 - 21.00, Fri-Sat 12.00 - 22.00, Sun 12.00 - 21.00,

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Not all of Latvia's best restaurants can be found in Riga. Jurmala, easily reached from the capital, is home to il Sole, which boasts sumptuous dining and a sea view.

To Riga’s eternal benefit, the coastal resort of Jurmala with its 30-kilometer-long sandy beach is never far away. And even though it’s not so lively this time of the year, that is precisely its attraction – a peaceful seaside retreat away from the stress and traffic of the Latvian capital.

As a stylish and sumptuous stress-free zone, the five-star Baltic Beach Hotel can’t be beaten. Virtually right on the beach and overlooking the sea, its suites, restaurants and sprawling spa center have been a major destination for the well-to-do since it opened 10 years ago.

One of our most memorable and enjoyable meals so far this year was at Il Sole, the hotel’s elegant Italian restaurant with radiant sea view, faultless and friendly service, delicious dishes prepared by an experienced chef, and a bottle of fine wine.

The chef behind the scenes is Olesja Kislicka, a graduate of the highly regarded IFSE culinary institute near Turin. She brings a high quota of authenticity to each of the sizeable menu’s Mediterranean-style dishes.

It was not quite warm enough to sit out on the terrace but it was easy to imagine these plein air tables’ popularity in the summer months. Instead we sat by the window, regularly gazing seaward.

With the colorful décor resembling a sunny Italian garden, ivy hanging from tiled walls and designs of vines and grapes, the ambiance was warm and the seating cozy. The immaculate white tablecloths and tableware were a reminder this was high-end dining. A steady stream of unintrusive Italian pop music accompanied our meal.

Soon after ordering, four little white ceramic pots were brought to the table containing pesto, vegetables in balsamic sauce, tomato and parmesan, and a feta, garlic and nut cream, along with breadsticks and buns.

Like all good Italian restaurants Il Sole boasts a wide choice of appetizers, such as saffron, octopus and scallop soup, beef carpaccio, and vitello tonnato, a Piedmontese classic that covers sliced veal with a creamy tuna and caper sauce (€13 to €17).

We indulged in a plate of classic Italian meats and a leafy salad. For the main dishes, we both decided on risotto, mine a classic with truffle paste (€14), my friend’s a black risotto with octopus and mussels (€13).

The truffle risotto was satisfyingly rich and deliciously earthy, while the black risotto carried the taste of the sea. Both had the silky texture characteristic of this well-loved Italian dish, if it’s prepared correctly, the rice soft but with a tiny bit of bite still left.

We were glad for leaving some space for dessert; the hot warm chocolate cake with ice cream (€6.50) was something special. A molten chocolate pudding, which when cut open oozes soft, lava-like chocolate from the inside, it was the ultimate indulgence, giving the meal a romantic final flourish.

As if the choice in the Il Sole menu isn’t enough, there’s a kids’ menu too. The wine list is also extensive, concentrating on Italy but also with a fine representation of other countries.

Brunch at Il Sole on Sundays at 12pm to 3pm lays out a broad range of seafood, cheeses, salads, pastas, desserts, coffee, tea and fresh fruit smoothies. Each guest also gets a sparkling glass of prosecco. For all that, the price of €13 per person isn’t bad.

Before or after the meal, there’s plenty more to do at the Baltic Beach Hotel. The spa, which features a vast spectrum of spa treatments, a water relaxation zone with pools, saunas, hammam and other delights, plus a traditional Russian banya, is worth losing yourself in for an entire day.

More sea-view dining, this time with a French touch, can be experienced at the Caviar Club restaurant. If it’s a Friday evening proceed to the Lobby Bar for live jazz and cocktails. And if it’s too late to go home you can always stay the night, overlooking the beach.




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