The new chef at Monte Pacis, Mr Rokas Vasiliauskas, composes the menu according to seasons, however, in addition to the main dishes on the menu he also always offers something micro-seasonal.
Even though Rokas supports local meat and cheese producers, however, part of the meat travels to the restaurant from all around the world. The chef is particularly delighted with recently discovered top-quality meat suppliers from European countries, the USA and even Australia. The latter countries supply Monte Pacis with wagyu beef, kangaroo meat, meat of black angus, etc. Seafood, fish and foie gras also come to the restaurant from foreign countries.
While vegetables and greenery travel to the kitchen only a distance of just a few dozen metres – Monte Pacis has its own garden next to the restaurant. And the morning in the kitchen starts, as always, with baking bread, mellowing butter and cooking sauces – the kitchen does not use any pre-prepared products and prepares everything on the spot.
This summer’s menu is based on nostalgia. The menu includes tastes known to a Lithuanian, but presented in a novel and sometimes absolutely unexpected manner. Because of such a menu, some people might remember their childhood, while for others (a younger generation or foreigners) this might be a discovery.
Another novelty of the summer – a second menu intended for visitors coming to an outside terrace. This menu is simpler than the one of the restaurant. It includes more snacks and lighter dishes suited for a cosy and low-key stay at the terrace with family, friends or colleagues. Yet another novelty of the summer is a special water list consisting of as many as 15 sorts of water of different mineralisation and taste.
During his culinary studies at Derby university in Great Britain, Rokas Vasiliauskas worked at the restaurant Holbeck Ghyll having one Michelin star. Once he graduated, he already had five job offers (four of them came from European restaurants marked with Michelin stars). Rokas chose the famous Enoteca of Barcelona (general manager Paco Pérez, two Michelin stars). And later on, as his career progressed, he received an offer from the restaurant of Monte Pacis to become the chef-in-chief of the kitchen of this restaurant.
It was not a small challenge for Rokas, and he accepted it with enthusiasm. Today, he is trusted both by younger colleagues and even older professionals who have extensive work experience in Lithuanian, European and USA restaurants.
Together with the new chef, the concept of tasting dinners has also changed a little. First of all, now the restaurant offers two types of tasting dinners: 4 dishes – EUR 30 and 6 dishes – EUR 36. As he improvises with the tasting menu, Rokas tries new and unexpected ideas. The ones which receive most appreciation from visitors are often included into the menu of the next season.
Another objective of tasting dinners is to better familiarise with the kitchen of Monte Pacis. During such dinners, visitors taste more different dishes than choosing dishes a la carte. Tasting dinners are offered without the set hours – the kitchen is always ready to surprise its visitors. However, if you want to know what you will eat, Rokas suggests ordering from the main menu. Because dishes included in the menu have been most elaborated and are loved by many!
The complex of Pažaislis Monastery was designed by Italian architect Giovanni Battista Frediani. The buildings were decorated with modelling art of master sculptors from Lombardy as well as frescos and paintings of artist from Florence Michael Archangel Paloni. In 1812, French emperor Napoleon and his army stayed at the monastery. In 1921, the derelict Pažaislis Monastery was transferred by the Government of Lithuania to sisters of St Casimir congregation who came from Chicago and who have been living here to date (currently, there are 19 sisters).
The guest complex and restaurant Monte Pacis are located in the guest house built next to the monastery by founders Kristupas Zigmantas Pacas and his wife Klara Izabelė – a part of the monastery intended for receiving guests. In the Founders’ Hall of the complex, large balls were organised in the 17th century, and now – dinners are served. In the complex, there is also the Hall of Klara Izabelė and a low-key Dining-Hall.
Monte Pacis may boast a wine list which is one of the largest in Lithuania. Owner of the restaurant Ms Indra Ramanauskienė was trained as a sommelier, therefore, she chooses very attentively what will go into the wine cellar. And the cellar houses about 200 different sorts of wine. The wine list is dominated by wine of makers from France, Italy, Spain and Germany; the restaurant cooperates with wine makers directly, and this cooperation has lasted for about 10 years now (Indra used to own another restaurant before). This year, the cellar was supplemented with natural wines. Here, you can also taste quality Lithuanian wine made from berries.
Monte Pacis has its own garden next to the restaurant. In the garden, you can see spinach, beans, berries, edible flowers, tomatoes, mint, blossoms of lime-trees and many various potherbs – and all the plants are also affected by prayers! Everything that is grown in the garden is used to prepare dishes of the restaurant sooner or later.