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2021-12-08 21:51:21


DINING -> Restaurants
By RigaNOW!. 20.09.2015

Bulduru prospekts 52, Jurmala , Jurmala Mobile: 26525254
Working hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 - 23:00

New fine restaurant. Jurmala, which is just a few tens of minutes’ drive from Riga, with its dunes, pine trees and sandy beaches is indeed a real pearl of the Baltic Sea (the Gulf of Riga). It has long been a favourite resting-place of Riga citizens and even foreigners. Yes, a summer season in Jurmala is short, but very colourful. It is saturated with the sea and pines, dancing and music. And with good restaurants.

Ever since the resort started to welcome its guests, there was a tradition: last Sunday (usually in mid-August) the vacationists had a ball in a Kursaal, after which all of them went to the beach to say goodbye to the sea and leave something valuable – money, a ring or anything else – as a pledge that next year they will return to have fun again. Clearly, they did not forget about gastronomic pleasures! At the beginning of the resort’s history life mainly focused in the old pubs. In the first half of the 19th century the evenings and rainy days were spent partying at the Bulduri Manor hotel and then the vacationists went to Melluzi also known as Karlsbad. There Carl Baron von Fircks built a wellness hotel with twelve rooms, a dance hall, a restaurant, a library and a billiard room!


In 1960– 80’s Latvia and two other Baltic republics in general were considered to be the Soviet "West", because there the standard of living was much higher than in the rest of the USSR. Then Jurmala became one of the main resorts for all Soviet citizens. State leaders used the Baltics as an exemplar of the Soviet way of life that demonstrated the achievements and benefits of a Soviet regime. That is why here such a "libertinism" was allowed as expensive restaurants with vaudeville programs that could not be found anywhere else, not even in Moscow.


In short, entertainment and restaurant tradition in Jurmala have been cultivated for hundreds of years! Therefore, the supply and quality of service here have always been high. The new restaurant "Faces" at the Bulduri central intersection, nearby dunes, perfectly continues the ancient traditions. One of the restaurant owners – Edward Jakushevsky running this business for 20 years – believes that every restaurateur's dream is to make people return again and again. It is great to see the same faces over and over again. That is why the restaurant was given such a symbolic name!


The restaurant's design is arranged with great taste. The wood dominates, a bit of dark tones in sunny weather contrast with the bright outdoor light. The owners are proud that both the design and the furniture were manufactured in Latvia, although the concept of the restaurant is a Mediterranean cuisine with a strong Spanish accent. Almost all products are authentic – they are brought several times a week directly from Spain.


Visually the restaurant is divided into several zones. A broader one is intended for eating at the tables with variable seating capacity. A bit further there are some higher tables for enjoying wines and snacks. There is one of the largest wine cabinets in Latvia – its length is eight meters and it fits perfectly in the overall atmosphere, becoming one of the dominant design elements. And that's not all! On the wall you will notice a face, or a mask, which looks like a real one because it blinks the eyes! Some walls are decorated with bright houseplants. As Edward says, he likes travelling around Europe and picking up new ideas in the restaurant design. An update of the design is an open kitchen where the orders are cooked right in front of the customers’ eyes.


At the kitchen the "show" is run by Andrei Ursu – a chef with vast experience gained in various Riga and Jurmala restaurants. And, as here Spanish accents dominate, you can order tapas! Both hot and cold. The choice is rich. Some tapas and a glass of wine are enough to make you feel full. Well, we can also suggest you an octopus fried in herb-infused olive oil with smoked mashed potatoes and Da La Vera paprika /€ 12.90/ or grilled small squids with stewed Spanish beans and chilli sauce with lettuce /€ 7.90/. There are also some more "serious" dishes, like Catalan ox cheeks braised in white wine, with carrot puree and caramelized onions /€ 14.50/ or butter- fried dorade fillet with Spanish goat cheese, dried plum tomatoes, olives and fried green potatoes /€ 15.90/. We also recommend you to try veal broth with fried mushrooms, onions and beef tartar /€ 7.90/. For dessert? Modern version of a Classic Crema Catalana /€ 5.60/, for example. The choice is really impressive. There is a lot on menu also for vegetarians and children.


However, a special emphasis in the "Faces" menu is made on DRY-AGED steaks or entrecotes. It is a method of keeping fresh meat in special temperature and humidity conditions. Within four weeks meat loses about 20 per cent of its weight, but becomes juicy and enriched with outstanding highly saturated taste characteristics. The meat is being dry-aged in front of you – in a special cabinet at the restaurant hall. 100 grams of such entrecote cost 16 euros, a chop – 14 euros. True, the minimum portion weighs only 200 grams, but it is worth it!


Needless to say, your lunch or dinner here can be supplemented with a huge wine selection. A wine card is written on more than 20 pages! Wines for all tastes are available here – those that perfectly complement the food and those that are worth enjoying without disturbing the taste buds. As a small minus we can mention the lack of a parking place. True, you can leave a car on the nearby street, but in summers it might be problematic to find a free parking place. Nevertheless, a pleasure that the restaurant "Faces" offers is unforgettable. This new place is really worth visiting!

 -      octopus fried in herb-infused olive oil with smoked mashed potatoes and Da La Vera paprika  – €12.90

-      Spanish seafood soup with oranges and saffron – € 8.90

-      Catalan ox cheeks braised in white wine, with carrot puree and caramelized onions – € 14.50