Sep 28 2013

Le Dome

Le Dome is a fish restaurant in Le Dome hotel and spa, a 5 star hotel in the old town of Riga. I first read about Le Dome in an Air Baltic magazine. People that have been to Latvia will know that Air Baltic, our national carrier, is one of the ways how to get to Riga, and I frequently fly with them to go home. Le Dome places advertising in the Air Baltic magazine which I sometimes flick through and says they are one of the best fish restaurants in Riga, tempting tourists to go there. Apparently in 2010 it was voted the best fish restaurant in the Baltic states by a survey in the Baltic Times publication. I did not go there though because I had read the magazine or Baltic Times, but because my friends booked this restaurant for dinner. One of my best friends Baiba’s boyfriend Emil loves this place and it is one of his favourite restaurants in Riga. Le Dome uses fish caught by the local fishermen and all other produce sourced from Latvian farms. The head chef is Maris Astics, who has won many competitions and has become the honorary chairman of the Latvian Chefs’ Club. The menu at Le Dome changes four times a year, and Maris likes seasonal products.
We went to Le Dome on a Saturday evening and we had a reservation for 8pm. Half of the restaurant was full when we arrived, which is good for Latvian standards as so many restaurants can be very empty, but then again the room is quite small, so it is easy to fill it. The interior is quite plain, in light colours, yet nice, white tablecloths, I was sitting on a sofa but mainly there are chairs. There was also a pianist playing some live music when we were there and they have live music every Friday and Saturday.
When I arrived the waitress brought us some bread and there was a huge selection of breads, white bread, typical Latvian dark bread, cheese bread, bread with seeds and to go with this wide selection we were given a plate of four different butters, which I thought were very creative and we had a choice of plain butter, butter with olives, butter with Latvian bacon fat (I know sounds disgusting, but was quite nice and definitely original), and butter with greens. I tried all of them, and quite liked the selection.
When I arrived my friend Petersons was already waiting and he had ordered a selection of “tapas” that Le Dome offered for us to sharer as a starter. I found it quite cool that a fish restaurant in Riga would offer snacks or tapas and some of them were absolutely excellent. Petersons being greedy and wanting to try everything had ordered all 5 tapas, and the whole plate they brought us with all of these cost LVL 13.10, which is not bad at all considering we were sharing these. The tapas included “Pikeperch cream with cauliflower, quail eggs and bread toasts”, “Herb pancakes with cream cheese and trout caviar”, “Traditional Riga sprats dumplings with mustard cream and summer vegetables”, “Whole-grain dark-rye bread with salted speck and shallots” and “Baked Valmiera Camembert cheese with pumpkin and cranberry jam”. I absolutely loved these tapas and thought all the ones apart from the baked Camembert cheese were incredibly creative, and the plate they brought us was beautiful. It was full of so many intricate details that the tapas had, and it was just incredible to see such talent in Latvia, using Latvian ingredients and coming up with something so original and beautiful. My favourite tapa was the traditional Riga sprats dumplings which were covered in this parcel and just so delicious, but the pikeperch cream with cauliflower that looked like half of an egg was pretty cool as well.
For our main courses we just wanted to have a selection of fish and then share everything, as the waitress had earlier told us about the fish that they have available on the day and that thet can cook for us and most of them sounded amazing. Petersons was extremely keen to have tuna when he heard it was available, so we ordered that and it was well cooked. The chef had not murdered it and overcooked it, like many other Eastern European chefs can do, and it was just seared with a beautiful pink inside. The fish I wanted to order was the Baltic sea salmon, which has a different colour and taste to the normal salmon, it is lighter in colour, and it tasted very interesting as it was just like salmon but a bit different, I had never had it before I think, so it was nice for me to try it. The other fish we had ordered were pikeperch and sturgeon which were also wonderfully cooked and not overcooked, just right. We also had some sides to go with the fish, a bowl of boiled potatoes with some dill and a small bowl of mixed boiled vegetables, which were quite ok, but not that remarkable or memorable.
We also ordered 3 different types of deserts to share among us, and I had one of the most incredible deserts I have had in a while, a “peanut crème cake with tonka-bean ice cream”, the peanut crème cake was amazing, it was thick, had a lot of substance and very strong intense delicious flavour, and it reminded me of a sweet called “halva” I had as a child. We also ordered a selection of sorbets to share as well as a “strawberry ice cream cake” which had a marzipan topping and was also an incredible desert. This strawberry ice cream cake and peanut crème cake were deserts that really impressed me as I had not had these sort of deserts before, they were once again creative, with Latvian influence and very delicious.
I had a great meal at Le Dome, they had incredibly fresh and interesting types of fish cooked well and this is a great place to bring foreigners where you can show them different types of Latvian fish you can’t easily get in Western Europe and the tapas and deserts were incredible, seriously good. And when I left they even gave me a little bag of dried fruits, which was a nice little touch.
Date: 28/ 09/ 13
Location: Riga
Price for 4 people with alcohol: I don’t know as Baiba’s amazing boyfriend Emil paid for us

Maija rated: 




Le Dome
Miesnieku iela 4, Riga, LV-1050
Le Dome Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4