May 2 2015

Ratatui

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Ratatui is a bit of a strange restaurant in the sense that it is very good with a French chef Jean-Mark Bordenave but is located in Bergi, a small little village on the outskirts of Riga, almost in the middle of the forest. Usually these sort of goof restaurants open in the centre of Riga not in Bergi, but needless to say this is now the best restaurant in Bergi and the neighbouring area.

The name of the restaurant (Ratatui) is a Lativianised way how to say Ratatoille, the typical French vegetable ragout, a dish popular in the Provence region. The restaurant is located in a separate house by one of the roads and besides the restaurant is a guest house with rooms where you can stay. The main chef Jean-Marc was born in the south of France, in the Midi-Pyrénées region and trained as a chef in Tooloose. Apparently he is especially passionate about making sauces, which are key in French cooking, as well as fois gras. The reason why he ended up in the middle of Latvia was due to his Russian wife, which we also saw and who was lovely and welcoming and served us food. The dining room feels cosy and homely even though the tables are laid out in quite a formal way. My mum said that you need to book a table here as sometimes this restaurant can get very busy. When we came here it was half busy though, which i think for Bergi is a very good sign.

The menu is very impressive, it is very long, with lots of choice, each dish is explained in 4 languages – French, English, Latvian and Russian, and on the menu you can find all the classic French dishes you would expect to find there. The portions are large, you won’t leave hungry and starters on average cost EUR8 and main courses EUR 17. Before our meal we were also given small baguette style bread, very nice ham that we ate way too quickly as it was such a nice snack, and some green olives.

My mum and I ordered the "traditional French onion soup with croutons, Emmental cheese and toast". It was a very good big portion and for EUR5.45 was not expensive. There were a lot of soft onions, nice amount of croutons and cheese melted on the top of the soup which looked appetizing and overall i thought this was actually better than some of the very watery and plain French onion soups I have had in brasseries in Paris. My brother ordered another soup with seafood for EUR 6.85. the soup came with croutons, the typical garlic french mayonaise and cheese. Uusally however when I am given these condiments with French soups, the croutons are larger and on each crouton you add the mayonnaise and cheese and then float them in the soup. Here the croutons were smaller and my brother did not know what to do with all these things. He even asked the chefs wife what to do and she answered he could eat them in whichever way he wanted, which was not very helpful for my clueless brother, so he left these and just ate the soup. The soup was very pleasant. My fiance could not decide what to order for a long time and in the end went for the "quail eggs en cocotte with mushrooms sauce and black truffle" for EUR 10.50. At first he was a bit scared to order this dish as it was unusual but the waitress encouraged him. The quail eggs had been baked in the oven and were covered with the mushroom sauce. It had an unusual but pleasant taste, but the main thing is that I dont think anywhere else in Riga you can get such a specific, unusual French dish so well executed.

I chose a main course of "beef "Bourguignon" stew served with mashed potatoes" (EUR 13.95), my mum and fiance ordered "lamb shank confit with rosemary and potato croquettes" (EUR 21.05) and my brother "fillet of beef Wellington  served with asparagus beans" (EUR 16.40). At first my brother and I were supposed to share our dishes but my brother refussed to eat my beef "Bourguignon" when he saw it. There was nothing wrong with it, he just seems to be a bit unfammiliar with French cooking and also did not particularly enjoy the beef Wellington. I though the beef "Bourguignon" stew was good, with a huge piece of bone marrow in the middle, large portion, very meaty, some of the pieces of meat were quite fatty but thay was fine. I personally would have liked to see a bit more vegetables in the stew but that is not how you cook it. My fiance did not like the rosemary and potato croquettes that came with his lamb and much rather preferred the mashed potatoes I had, I do have to say it was a good mashed potato. I did taste the croquettes and they were a bit strange with not too much potatoe inside of them. I thought the lamb shank was an impressive piece of meat, once again I have not seen it anywehere else in a Riga restaurant, although my boyfriend complained it needed sauce and was too boring to eat on its own. As for the beef Wellington, I thought it was good, with tasty pastry and filling and meat inside of it, my brother did not understand the pastry as he has never had beef Wellington before. It could have maybe been a bit thinner but it was crispy and i enjoyed the beef wellington (meat and the surrounding pastry). I also very much liked the cute green beans served with the Beef wellington that were wrapped in bacon. The Beef wellington did not come with any potatoes so my brother had to order mashed potatoes as a side.

My boyfriend had done a lot of sport that day and was feeling hungry so he also wanted a dessert and ordered the "sphere chocolate with Nougat glace and caramel sauce" for EUR 6.40. I actually thought this was one of the best dishes of the whole meal and a Michelin star restaurant worthy dessert. It was a chocolate sphere with cold halva inside of it and we were encouraged to pour the warm caramel sauce over it. This melted the chocolate sphere and revealed the halva. Not only was it a very pretty and smart dessert, it was also very delicious.

I personally think this is probably the best authentic Frencg restaurant in Latvia at the moment. You will not find better French dishes anywhere else, the prices are reasonable for the amount of food you get and the food is delicious. But you have to be open-minded and like typical French food to come here.

Price for 4 people with alcohol: EUR 165.10 (and we left EUR 10 service charge)
Location: Bergi, Latvia
Date: 02/ 05/ 15

Maija rated: 

3.50

Location: 

Ratatui
Upesciema iela 66
Berģi
Latvia
LV
Ratatui Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 3.5