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By RigaNow!. 14.08.2015


Save to foursquare Jauniela 24 (Hotel Justus), Riga Mobile: 67212404
Working hours: Mon-Sat 12:00 - 22:00,

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The world’s longest river is the amazon. The world’s longest mountain range is the Andes. The country with the longest name
is the United Kingdom  of Great Britain and
northern Ireland. But
did you know that the  longest street in the world  is Jauniela, in the heart of  Old Riga? It begins in London and ends in Bern.

Puzzled? It’s a joke often told by Riga’s guides! Why? Some 30 years ago, whenever the USSR’s film studios needed to show foreign countries, they went to Riga. Old Riga with its narrow lanes and western architecture was ideal. And most often it was tiny Jauniela that was filmed. It became Baker Street in a popular Russian series about Sherlock Holmes and a significant street in Bern from a legendary soviet series about spies in World War II. Anyone around in the soviet times know these films by heart.

But besides its cinematographic past, Jauniela’s real history is much older. Almost all the buildings on the 225-meter street are architectural monuments. It began to form in the 16th century, not far from the dome cathedral. In other words, you can feel the history here almost physically.

In an antique building at no 24, almost ten years ago, the four-star boutique hotel Justus opened. And if there’s a hotel, there has to be a place where its guests can enjoy a meal – a restaurant with the same name, Justus.

It opened its doors in April, but it would not be accurate to call it new, as it operated here for a long time under a different name, offering traditional Latvian cuisine. But the hotel owners realized that this concept is, of course, great for foreign guests but in the old town there are quite few places like that, and the restaurant began to look for a different approach to satisfy guests’ gastronomic requirements.
so we can safely say that the restaurant team are no beginners in this business. They know what they’re doing and, essentially, this is a restarted project – the old place has a new design and new concept. Speaking of the design, the restaurant
has become lighter; here and there the plastering has been removed, revealing walls that are several hundred years old. This, together with the wooden beams, creates a distinctive medieval feel, but modern accents are introduced with jazzy sofas and photographs on the walls of modern architectural pearls from around the world. It may seem kitsch, but no – it all works together quite well and creates a glamor that suits this place. Old and new are in harmony...

Chef Elina Salina says that the menu was created to bring out the best of modern European cuisine. Hotel guests were asked what they’d like to see there. But, she says, all of the raw ingredients are purchased from Latvian producers and local markets. Of course, when it comes to aspects like exotic sea creatures, big suppliers are used. But on the whole the main goal is to supplement European dishes with local and seasonal accents. 

The menu is not very extensive, and the snacks section needs broader variety, but we were assured this was in development. If you visit in a few weeks there will definitely be some innovations. The restaurant’s special accent is the popular business lunch, highly requested as two dishes cost €7, three only €10 and the variation changes each week – and never recurring in the space of a year.

If you want to eat a la carte, enjoy original and interesting findings. For example, goat-cheese salad with sea-buckthorn jelly and marinated vegetables (€8.50) most intriguing here is the taste that plays in the mouth, sweet, salty and marinated, creating very pleasant combinations and emotions. Similar feelings can be enjoyed while eating, for example, duck fillet with carrot purée, pearl couscous, and white wine sauce (€13.50).

But the special offer is the trout, served whole along with potato and truffle oil puree, shallot-fennel salad and white wine sauce (€13). That was what we tried during our visit and we can safely recommend it to you – it’s excellent, the meal providing a sense of fullness yet not too much heaviness in the stomach.

And there’s another thing that earns the highest praise – on the menu allergens are indicated next to each dish, essential for people suffering from different kinds of allergy. Not every restaurant clearly provides such information.

To conclude, Justus is a pleas-
ant restaurant without pretentions to being more subtle than it really is. It’s an affordable choice for daily visits. You can find, of course, places with more democratic prices, but the costs match the food quality and how big the dishes are. Now the restaurant
is growing and probably in the near future it will surprise you with its intriguing innovations.


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