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By . 23.08.2016


Save to foursquare Marstalu 12, Riga Mobile: 22133112
Working hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 - till the last visitor, Sun closed,

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New restaurants are popping up all the time in Riga, while long-established ones are always bring-ing out innovative new dishes and menus. The following pages tell about a number of new spots that welcome you to experience something a little different.  By Egils Zarins

Old Riga, which is always full of tourists regardless the season, dictates its own rules for those who want to open restaurant business in this popular area. On the one hand, it would be appropriate to introduce foreign visitors to the benefits of local cuisine and traditions, but on the other hand they have their own specific taste formed from the childhood. Therefore, the restaurants waiting for their guests in the Old Town are very different – beginning with classic Latvian cuisine and ending with the Japanese sushi. Needless to say, there is a big competition. The popularity comes only to those who have found their unique atmosphere and specific offer. In other words, the place should have its own concept.But maybe the simplest solutions are the best ones? However, it is a real art to be truly naive in the sense of simplicity and have a little bit of childish directness! This is the idea of Imants Jankovskis’ business. Recently, he with some of his partners opened a restaurant at Marstalu Street 12 (opposite the hotel “Radi un Draugi”) and gave it an unpretentious but very extensive name – “naïve”. According to Imants, simplicity is a virtue, which may take years to be developed and requires hard work, determination and moving on. Imants says: we as the newcomers might be forgiven some mannered jokes. Some meals here have foreign names, the presentation sometimes has reference to the nouvelle cuisine... But there is at least one thing Imants promises on behalf of his team. Although they are new to this business, they wish to take care of each visitor, and even the most demanding client will find a fulfilment of his epicurean desires. The “naïve” owner is not afraid to admit that they wish to have their project to be one of the best in Riga. It sounds ambitious, but one should dare to be daring!


That is just the way it is. Old Riga – with its architectural gloss and rich cultural heritage – is the most appropriate place to celebrate life and indulge in the pleasures of taste. The building where the restaurant is located has a rich history on its own. It was built in the early 19th century, as evidenced by the carefully restored ornate ceilings of the premises. It is a true architectural wonder. But the rest of the design elaborated by a young architect Karlis Lauders is minimalistic to tie with the restaurant’s name – naive in a good sense. The main accent in the interior is made on the walls designed in the form of airy bookshelves ideally going together with the painted ceiling beams. The restaurant is not large, there is a place for about 40 people. Some visitors can sit at tables on the first floor, and inconspicuous wooden staircase allows to enjoy meals on a small balcony enhancing the intimacy of the restaurant.


A chef de cuisine Juris Januks has finally returned to his native city with the firm intent to take his team on an unforgettable gastronomic journey through time and space. His deliberately eclectic menu reflects a decade of international experience and an idiosyncratic philosophy of artisan cooking. You will find Juris’ own signature dishes as well as French, Italian, and Asian staples alongside the meals that your grandma may have cooked for you countless years ago. And all the dishes have some specific Latvian accents, says Imants. After all, mostly the products are bought at the local market. For example, omelette wrap with bacon and verdure /3.90 euro/ – a simple dish made from local products. Another option is double beef burger with jalapenos /9.90 euro/ with some spicy Mexican accents. Salmon and spinach fettuccine with flying-fish roe /6.40 euro/ will bring a delicate Mediterranean atmosphere, while spicy Thai soup with prawns and lime leaves in coconut milk /6.40 euro/ reveals the secrets of Asian cuisine. All the “classic” recipes can also be called Juris’ own work, and many visitors will recall their childhood, sunny days, and grandma’s kitchen. The menu shows the master’s unique style and culinary philosophy – every meal is good if it strengthens the body and relaxes the mind, says the “naïve” owner about his chef de cuisine’s input. Speaking about kitchen, by the time you will be reading this magazine, the restaurant will definitely offer a lot of new nuances since the chef from France with Michelin restaurant experience should have been arrived to the restaurant to help the ambitious team present their menu and wine list satisfying his requirements. There are a lot of plans, and, seeing the owner’s energy, there is no doubt that they will be implemented.


But for now we can recommend you to try pork BBQ ribs with fondant potatoes, caramelized on-ions and demi-glace sauce /9.90 euro/. The waiting time is not too long, a portion is big enough, and the meat melts in your mouth. Potatoes served are not simply cooked – they are boiled in butter and then fried in oil with thyme. Brilliant dish, fantastic aftertaste. That is why it is one of the most popular meals in the restaurant. And New York cheesecake with strawberry sauce is just mind blowing. I argue that it is one of the best cheesecakes in Riga! Definitely. There are customers who come specifically to enjoy this miracle! 


The wisdom necessary to keep things simple is gained over years of hard work and experience. Therefore, we recommend you to feel the lightness and spirit permeating the atmosphere of free-dom, which the restaurant has managed to create. By the way, the business lunch offered here costs only 4 euros! It is the cheapest in Old Riga.


Spicy Thai soup with prawns and lime leaves in coconut milk 6.40 euro

Pork BBQ ribs with fondant potatoes, caramelized onions and demi-glace sauce 9.90 euro

New York cheesecake with strawberry sauce 3.90 euro 


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