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By RigaNow!. 14.08.2015


Save to foursquare 49 Vaļņu iela,
Rīga, Latvija
, Riga
Mobile: 371 67869953
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If we ask the 21st century man or woman to something with- out which life is unthinkable,
it’s likely that he or she will mention a computer or a mobile phone. That’s
understandable to a
certain extent – after all,
this is the era of technol
ogy. And yet there are so
many things that haven’t 
changed through the centuries
even the millennia, without which
our lives would not only be inconvenient but also unimaginable.

One of these is very simple – fire! Our prehistoric ancestors admired and feared it. Fire gave light, heat and protection against wild animals. This made people dependent on it and forced them to maintain it, even when
it was not necessary. It led to a completely different level of comfort.

But humanity has always been wondering how to “tame” fire. How to make it accessible at all times? This problem was solved by matches, which will soon celebrate their 200th birthday. The first commercial production of matches in England was organized by John Walker in 1826. These matches could be ignited when rubbed against any surface, but frequently caused fires even in the box. In 1855, the Swede Carl Frans Lundström patented a certain composition for match heads and the surfaces, once scrubbed, set up a “safe” match factory. This innovation was so successful that it is still used with very minor changes. Why are we talking about this? Because fire, in some way, means an oven, and an oven is where we make food. That’s the first thing. Second, and this is very important, less than a month ago in old Riga, near the central railway station, at the Wellton Hotel Riga, a new restaurant called Allumette opened whose name translated from the French as “match”. The French-inspired restaurant offers popular dishes that have already proven themselves as classics, as well as presenting a broad range of innovative offers alongside modern cooking and presentation thanks to young but experienced chef Reinis Chernayevs. The interior is designed in soft colors along with works by well-known Latvian artist Juris Dimiters. They play with the theme of matches, which suits the style of the restaurant well. Warmth and coziness are created with the help of a fireplace, especially on
chilly autumn evenings. The restaurant has elements of wood and linen, creating a certain intimacy. The space is divided visually into three parts. The main hall has seats for about 50 guests. The further end of the room is separated with a glass wall, creating a cigar room, where special French brandy tasting evenings are scheduled. Closer to the entrance there’s a special chill-out area where you can arrange business meetings or simply meditate while drinking coffee and enjoying the restaurant’s original paintings. The culinary concept deliberately focuses on that classic of world cuisine – France. Restaurant manager Inese says it is of value that French food is always in demand and is both sophisticated and democratically simple at the same time. Among other things, we would like to emphasize that the prices here are also amazingly fair, which means that your wallet will not have to go on a “diet”. Virtually all of the main courses, which are always the most expensive in any restaurant, are priced under €10. Allumette offers a broad range of choice. Appetizers, salads, pastas, soups, main dishes, and desserts are available for a wide variety of tastes. Start with homemade chicken liver pate with brandy, blue onion marmalade, cranberry jelly, gooseberry jam and baguette croutons or puff pastry vol-au-vent with beef, chanterelles and arugula salad. If you just want a snack while enjoying the really extensive wine list, we recommend the cheese plate with roquefort, Chevree, Comte, mimolette, and Camembert cheeses, grissini, honey, and fig jam (€15.50) or bruschetta
with Portobello mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, parmesan cheese, Prosciutto, goat cheese, and blue onion marmalade (€12.50). Yes, it’s
a bit more expensive, but the portions are enough for two.

We can also recommend the beef salad with roquefort cheese, marinated pears, sundried tomatoes, and matured mustard seed-honey sauce (€8.80), which we tried ourselves – it tastes wonderful! lamb stew
in red wine with seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes with chives (€8.90) is special pleasure for your palate – you’ll really feel like you’re in France! And to really top off this French feeling, there’s dessert – crème brule with caramel topping and seasonal berries, at just €5.50. The restaurant is brand new. its managers say they’ve got lots of ideas that will gradually be implemented. For example, soon specialized wine evenings will be held, where professional sommeliers from France will reveal the compatibility of different wines with specific dishes. It’s also planned that soon guests will be offered oysters and special workshops will be dedicated to them.

In the meantime, the new restaurant lacks a special aura. There is still some stiffness and reticence. But can this be called a flaw? Most probably no. All this comes with time. Right now, Allumette is a tasteful mainstream restaurant that does not promise wonders but pleasant tastes for a reasonable price. It’s really worth trying the cozy warmth of the fire offered by this “match”!



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