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Restaurant Riviera - new

Restaurants
By RigaNOW!. 20.09.2015

riviera new

Save to foursquare Dzirnavu ielā 31, Riga, Riga Mobile: 26 605 930
Web: www.rivierarestorans.lv
Working hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 - 23:00,

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Art Nouveau, an artistic style, has a lot of different names – Modernismo, Jugendstil, Stile Liberty, Sezessionstil... Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly the most imposing manifestation of architectural decadence. At the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, Art Nouveau converted a strict and reserved architectural style of the Riga's historic centre to the magnificent one. Purely utilitarian elements of the houses and artistic solutions of the eclectic decorations covered the city like symbolist paintings or poetry! The facades resemble monumental stage curtains guarding the private life from the public eye. The pretentious tendency is everywhere – in coquettish sphinxes, spacious balconies and balustrades, window apertures resembling large key holes, antique masks and chaplets. It recalls the everlasting theatrical performance that takes place both behind the walls and outside, involving everyone.

The sensual Art Nouveau architecture is represented by almost each building in the city centre. Riga as one of the largest metropolises in the Baltic States also became an important centre of Art Nouveau development, and there is one of the richest legacies of Art Nouveau in Europe – about 800 buildings, representing approximately 40% of all houses in the centre – it is far more than in any other city in the world. In addition, the architecture and art experts believe that Art Nouveau has a particular force and scope in Riga. Art Nouveau pearls can be found in the capital's "quiet centre", with its central axis at Alberta Street. Here architectural ornaments are bright as fireworks!

 

And at the junction between Antonijas Street and Dzirnavu Street, where even in winter there are a lot of tourists, a popular restaurant "Riviera" welcomes its guests. The site has been so popular that often it is really difficult to find a free table. That is why the restaurant owners Janis Sokolowski, who is also the chef, and Eduards Jakushevski, who is also the chief sommelier, decided to find a solution. They found free premises not far from their first restaurant – on the other side of Dzirnavu Street – and opened another "Riviera". The names are the same, but it was done on purpose. As Janis and Eduards say, basically a new place is a sort of an extension of the existing restaurant. At least the concepts are equal: both places offer Mediterranean cuisine with a Latvian touch. However, the new "Riviera" is not the identical copy of the "old" one. Approximately half of the menu is different. Both restaurant owners are in this business for more than ten years, so they perfectly understand the guests’ desires. The new restaurant has a more intimate atmosphere and does not offer any business lunches. This 60 seat place is for people who prefer peaceful and stylish atmosphere.

 

The new restaurant’s design is similar to the existing "Riviera" style. The main emphasis here is made on large wine racks, which make an impression of the unique wine "library", and a specially exquisite Mediterranean region wine card. The restaurant has one of the largest wine selections in Riga (if not the largest). And – what is important – the prices are very reasonable. As Eduards says, there have been cases when French visitors had been really surprised by the fact that here some wines cost less than at their homeland. A big mark-up makes no sense, the owners believe. For them it is important that people regularly return here, it is also the basis of their business success. Here, like at the "old" location, there are plates on the walls which together with the wallpaper pattern create a Provencal-style home kitchen atmosphere. French music in the background, bright colours, and white tones create a feeling of lightness and airiness.

 

Similar tendency is kept in the menu. As says the chef and co-owner Janis, whose relatives live in Sicily, the menu must not be oversaturated with offers. It should include flexible dishes with the selected gastronomic concept. You can ask the waiters, whose service culture is at a very high level, to bring another side dish or sauce. Everything is possible. As for the kitchen things, as Janis says, the Mediterranean dishes have a Latvian touch because the restaurant uses seasonal products. If, for example, it is chanterelles season, then an entire section of the menu is dedicated to these mushrooms. If the strawberry season in Latvia is over, you will be offered blueberries with a cheese cake. By the way, about the cheese cake... We have tried a goat cheese cake with seasonal forest berries, fig jam, and caramelized walnuts /€ 5.60/. A specific goat cheese and an outstanding balance of sour and sweet tasted heavenly. Fantastic! We can also recommend deep-fried frog legs with mashed sweet potatoes and young spinach almond butter sauce /€ 9.80/, as well as an octopus grilled in herb butter with mashed potatoes made with roasted garlic, vegetables, and grilled pepper sauce /€ 19.40/. Frog legs were gentle, looked like the deep-fried berries, tasted excellent, but, as to the octopus, we have never tasted something better and softer even in Mediterranean countries! And these dishes are included only in the "new Riviera" menu! It will satisfy any gourmet.

 

Yes, we have already told you about the wines – the choice is grand, but we suggest you to taste the homemade lemonade, too. Green tea, citrus, ginger, and mint lemonade is very refreshing. And that is not all. There is a special story about the enjoyment of coffee here. These days it is recommended to taste the coffee, which was collected in Ethiopia, in a small village where one of the families produces it in small quantities, and after that coffee is specially roasted in Italy at a family factory. We warmly recommend you to try it without milk and sugar to feel the real taste!

 

 -      octopus grilled in herb butter with mashed potatoes made with roasted garlic, vegetables, and grilled pepper sauce – € 19.40

-      rabbit medallions and liver with green asparagus in apple madeira sauce with caramelized cauliflower and savoy cabbage puree – € 16.40

-      goat cheese cake with seasonal forest berries, fig jam, and caramelized walnuts – € 5.60




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