In the context of Lithuania, the idea of Bizarre is unique. This is a complex of restaurants a part of which turn into a cocktail option late in the evening. On the ground floor, the Pan-Asian/Peru kitchen is located, while the first floor houses a restaurant of the European fusion cuisine dominated by dishes of the Mediterranean Sea region. The complex also includes a bar and a lounge.
The idea of such an ambitious project was considered by owner Rimgaudas Kunstmonas for more than 20 years. He gained his experience in the restaurant business by fostering a legendary Skandalas in Klaipėda the wheel of which has now been fully taken over by Rimgaudas’ sister. Currently Rimgaudas focuses his attention only on Bizarre and activities pursued next to the restaurant which will be discussed in more detail later.
The restaurants and menus of both floors are strictly separated from each other. The concept of the ground floor of Bizarre was mostly influenced by travelling in Asia. Thus this space is dominated by peace and the idea of sharing. If you choose to eat there, R. Kunstmonas recommends ordering more dishes and enjoying all of them together with a group of friends.
The dishes are quite small and served in pieces so that visitors can taste more options. While options here indeed are numerous. The menu here is not focused on one particular Asian cuisine, rather, it is dominated by Pan-Asian dishes influenced by Japanese and Peruvian cuisines as has been the recent trend around the world. The tandem of the latter cuisines, by the way, is called Nikkei and is a sensation in the world of gastronomy!
This floor has two chefs: Karolis Narušis and Audrius Mikoliūnas. Previously, both of them worked in London where they gained a lot of experience. By the way, in the famous London’s restaurant Novikov, Karolis insisted and was invited to work in the sushi section, even though only the staff of Asian origin is hired there. While a year later, he even became a sushi instructor.
The first floor is European, however, the menu here is not focused on one particular cuisine either. The menu of the first floor is mostly dependent upon the seasons, including as many local products as possible. The long-term experience of chef Gilles Dumont enabled him to re-create the entire menu in five days, and a new menu was fully launched at the beginning of summer.
The menu includes tastes of the classical French cuisine combined with traditions of the Italian cuisine. Certainly, the local supply of Lithuanian farmers and forests makes the menu even more cosmopolitan – for instance, adding boletus, which has grown in Lithuanian forests, to an Italian risotto. Gilles enjoys combining different cuisines most.
Just having arrived in Vilnius and without having had much time to see the city, G. Dumont radically changed the menu of Bizarre and confirmed that his goal was to be the best.
When you find out more about Gilles Dumont, such maximalism seems natural. The experience of this chef is impressive. He started working in the kitchen at the age of 11 when he would go there after classes at school, while at the age of 16 he was responsible for main courses in one restaurant in Belgium. During his studies at a culinary school he went on traineeships only to Michelin-star-rated restaurants, therefore, it is not surprising that while pursuing his career he managed more than one kitchen of a Michelin-star-rated restaurant.
In London, Gilles worked as the chef in one of the most expensive steak restaurants – Argentinian Gaucho. He also worked for Gordon Ramsey for more than three years, managing one of the restaurants belonging to his group of companies, Maze Grill Mayfair. Finally, his experience brought the Belgian man to Portugal, where he established the position of restaurant Bovino in Algarve.
Once you enter Bizarre, its interior makes a huge impression. However, you are less surprised when you find out that Rimgaudas Kunstmonas is also the owner of one of the most luxurious companies of the interiors in Lithuania MadamW as well as the manager of a company of design of exclusive private interiors mostly implemented abroad. Thus, while establishing a restaurant, the question of the interior came next in importance after the menu and consolidation of a staff team.
It could seem that the interior here was created for the evening, however, during the day the space is filled with natural light after the shutters are opened. The greatest wish of Rimgaudas is for everybody here to feel comfortable. Thus, here, you will find both lighter and darker corners as well as private spaces and the spaces which gather together many different people. The latter functions on both floors are best performed by two unique Bizarre bars, which are the two main axes of this complex of restaurants.
By the way, the majority of furniture for this restaurant was manufactured in Lithuania, however, the interior of the ground floor also includes quite a lot of details which came from Asia. The majority of such details (chairs, table tops, a part of chandeliers, umbrellas above the bar, etc.) was produced in the island of Bali.
Since one of the ideas of this place is to join together several different restaurants, kitchens and, most importantly, people, at the end of the week dinners in Bizarre are usually transformed into the social club format which is popular in the cities of the world. Here, you can travel through spaces: have an aperitif at the bar, take a seat at the table for dinner, later on, enjoy a dessert in the lounge zone and travel to the other floor to continue the evening at the other bar. It is because of such a format that the restaurant’s owners also intend to start a programme of events since autumn. While the plan for the next year’s warm season is to extend an open-air terrace throughout the entire parking territory with more greenery, water and other details.