Oct 18 2014

Mio

I have heard people say that Mio is the most romantic restaurant in Riga, Latvia. I can see why you would say that, as inside of the restaurant is decorated with lace, flowers, cute cushions and in pastel colours. When I was there however this sort of décor mainly attracted women, and my dinner buddy Petersons ended up being the only man in the whole restaurant. But they have put in a lot of effort into the décor, much more than an average Latvian restaurant and it feels homely, cosy and beautiful at the same time. The tables are however very close together, as the dining space is so small, and you may feel squeezed in. Also the open kitchen on one side of the room seems very small, and I was amazed how they could produce all the food there.

Mio is owned by a husband and a wife and the husband cooks and the wife takes care of the clients, although apparently lately they are seen less in these respective functions. I have heard some people say that when the restaurant first opened and the husband was more dedicated and always in the kitchen and cooking the restaurant produced better food. Having said that when I was there, he was there in the kitchen cooking.

The menu offers mainly Italian and French dishes with some Latvian influence. The menu is divided into appetizers, salads, soups, pastas and main courses. The waitress also brought us some soft bread, with texture a bit like cake, with a nice spread. I ordered one of their salads as my starter, which had lettuce leaves, goats cheese and semi-dried beetroot. I did not think the salad was too impressive or tasty. My friend Petersons ordered a soup, made out of porcini mushrooms. As the porcini mushroom season in Latvia is on (just about) they seemed to have used fresh mushrooms to make the soup and the soup smelled and tasted fantastic, with a deep mushroom taste. We could also smell it being cooked in the kitchen. Ievina ordered a fish soup which had a bit of an orange taste and fennel added to it, as well as fish and seafood. But poor Ievina had to wait a long time for her soup, they served everyone else and then Ievina had to wait 10more min without her food, but because of this the waitress said they apparently gave her extra fish and seafood. I don’t think it is great to serve the food separately and make one person wait a bit longer, but apart from that the soup was delicious, with an interesting fennel and orange taste and a lot of seafood. The orange taste could have been a bit overpowering for some though. Baibina ordered a beef tartar, and she got a beautiful plate of food. the beef tartar was topped with onions and a small egg and had some salad on the side. Looked very nice.

We all ordered pasta as our main course, as the menu said it was home made, and this intrigued me. Baibina and I ordered a pasta with porcini mushrooms, cream, rocket and beef. Ievina ordered a pasta with just porcini mushrooms and Petersons ordered a pasta with tuna, tomatoes and dill, and he thought the the dill was unneccessary (I agree a bit strange, never seen a pasta with dill). I thought the actual homemade pasta was clumsy. It was cut in different shapes to show it was homemade and each pasta was not perfect, like shop bought pasta is, which I liked, but the texture was all wrong. The pasta was too thick, my friends Baiba and Petersons could make thinner pasta and because of the thickness of it, tasted a bit too much of flour, it was just not the right way how it should have tasted. Also I felt like there was too much cream and the whole dish just felt a bit unnecessarily heavy. But on the other hand, the ingredients used were great, delicious mushrooms and beef, and I liked how rocket was added to the pasta.

I can see why Latvians like Mio. They give you good sized portions of delicious food that is almost cooked in front of you for a reasonable price and in a beautiful atmosphere. For me though, some of the dishes did not quite work.

Date: 18/ 10/ 2014
Price per person (what I left): EUR 30
Location: Riga

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Mio
Blaumana 15
Riga
Latvia
LV
Mio Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5