Nov 15 2013

Gastronome

Gastronome is a gourmet food store as well as a fish restaurant in Riga, Latvia. There are two Gastronome shops and restaurants in Riga, one of the shops and restaurants is located on Krasta street, a bit further out from the core centre of Riga, and other restaurant located in the centre of Riga, on Brivibas street, in the same building as Radisson Blue Hotel Latvia, which is where I went with my mum and my younger brother.

The Gastronome food store looked very tempting but we passed it and went to the restaurant (I have ever since been back and you can get great quality fish, bakery products and even Asian products in the store). When you first enter the restaurant there is a seafood bar with various fish and seafood located on the till on ice and you can chose what you want to have from prawns, octopus, crab and other types of seafood. I also have to say if you like oysters and want to eat them whilst in Latvia, this is one of the few places where you can find them (they are delivered to Gastronome every Thursday, so don’t go there on a Wednesday trying to get oysters). We did not sit at the bar and instead went further inside, where the restaurant is located. The restaurant was very pleasant, around ¼ of it was occupied, which is sort of ok for a Latvian restaurant as many places are quite empty, but as this was a Friday evening, you would hope they would get more people. We sat on one of the round tables in the middle of the room, but you could also sit by a square table by the wall. Live music, a man with a guitar, starter playing later on, which was very pleasant.

The menu is very fish and seafood focused and you could either have seafood on ice, including various mixed seafood platters, as well as cold and hot starters, soups and also main courses. There were three meat main courses but most of the menu focused on fish. I was actually quite impressed with the menu for main courses as you could find tuna, black cod, sea bass, Chilean sea bass (the most expensive fish on the menu and cost LVL17 or EUR24.19, but most fish cost around LVL12 or EUR17), turbot as well as various prawns and a live lobster straight from the restaurant’s aquarium. All this seafood was cooked on the grill and you could choose sides to go with this.

After we had ordered, the waiter brought us an amuse bouche which was a prawn with some sort of creamy, quite hard sauce, which was delicious. He also brought us a bread basket, which was ok, but not too inspiring, and the only bread that I liked was the darkish type of bread, and I did not think the thick breadsticks were that nice. My mum could not chose what to have either the tuna or the black cod, and she got quite excited when she saw that the restaurant offered black cod. These two type of fish (and all the other ones on the menu) were cooked on the grill, very uncomplicated, to showcase the great flavours of the fish and served with your choice of sauce from three different ones (lemon/ honey, tomato and one other one). When we asked the waiter about which fish to choose, he said that they received the tuna, salmon today, and the black cod three days ago. He was nice and honest about this, and so my mum went on to have the tuna, the fresher of the fish. The tuna was delicious when it arrived. My dad always says that Latvian restaurants have the tendency to overcook fish, but here the tuna was beautifully cooked, it was slightly pink in the middle, to show that it was not overcooked and was a delicious piece of fish. My mum chose to have steamed vegetables with chanterelle mushrooms to go with it, which I also very much liked, and the mushrooms made the vegetables taste very interesting, it was just a good addition. The vegetables still had some crunch to them, not too much, so also had not been overcooked.

I had problems choosing what I wanted, but in the end went for one of the salads which had lettuce, an Argentinian prawn, crayfish tails, grilled artichoke, olives and Italian goats cheese Laccanas. I thought it could be a bit small and not enough hence I also ordered 2 large Latin American tiger prawns for LVL6.10 (on the menu it said you can have 4, but I asked the waiter if I could have 2). The salad was quite nice, I actually very much liked how a few of the things in the dish, like the prawn and artichokes were warm and the rest, the salad leaves and the olives, were cold. The funny thing though was that there was no Italian goats cheese Laccanas anywhere to be found on the plate. I did not realize that at the time of eating, otherwise I would have asked the waiter about it, I only realized it afterwards, they seemed to have forgotten to add it. All the prawns, including the Argentinian one in my salad and the 2 Latin American ones were delicious. They were meaty, seemed fresh and good quality. The Latin American ones were not cheap (around £4 each), but they were good. I was so excited when I got them I even forgot to take a picture of them.

My little brother has a tendency to order and the not finish his food, so my mum and I were quite stick with him and he knew he wanted fries with ketchup and also some meat. As the restaurant did not have a kids menu, he had to show the waiter what sort of size portion of meat he wanted to have and then he got it. The menu did not feature any beef as a main course, but they did get him a beef steak from New Zealand with pepper sauce. The meat was delicious. It was well done, which is good for a kid, you would not want him eating a blue steak (although they did not ask us how to cook the meat) and cost LVL16 (around £19). I thought it was extremely soft and my mum also loved it and even asked the waiter where the meat came from, hence I know it came from New Zealand. The fries were also very good, there are some places in Riga that really don’t know how to make fries, and these were good.

My brother wanted some ice cream for dessert and they had three different types of ice cream, which he ordered. I ordered a selection of sorbet, and I was quite impressed with the various types of sorbet they had, lemon/champagne, peppermint and raspberry. Usually you get quite boring sorbets and these were interesting and also went well together as all of them had different sweetness and sourness to them, I very much enjoyed them.

My mum also very much liked the waiter, who was very attentive, good and always there for us and good with suggestions. She did say she had been to another quite an expensive restaurant for lunch that day where the service was not half as good.

Gastronome is not cheap, and on average we paid £3o/person for 2 courses (a main course and a dessert), but it does serve fresh nice fish and seafood. The menu though is not as creative as in another fish restaurant Le Dome (MMMM), which I prefer over Gastronome, purely as I think the chef is very creative and able to do amazing things with the fish, showcasing Latvian ingredients and type of cooking more, whilst Gastronome is a more traditional fish restaurant.

Price for 3 people with 4 glasses of wine: LVL 73.96 (and I left LVL7 service charge), so overall around £95
Date: 15/ 11/ 13
Location: Riga

Maija rated: 

3.00

Location: 

Gastronome
Brīvības iela 31, LV-1010
Riga
Latvia
LV
Gastronome Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3