A full rating of 30 best restaurants in Lithuania announced during a special event

A full rating of 30 best restaurants in Lithuania announced during a special event, 2017-06-29

This year, having added up the votes of members of the Good Food Academy, a list of the best 30 restaurants in Lithuania was compiled, and the first 5 places have been announced today during a special event in Pirklių Namai (Merchants’ House) in Vilnius, with the attendance of numerous professionals of gastronomy, gourmets and politicians.

Which ones are the best this year?

In the rating of 2017, the first place was granted to Gastronomika of chef Liutauras Čeprackas. The chef was delighted with the award, but at a distance. The award was quite unexpected to him, thus L. Čeprackas greeted all the guests of the event via direct connection on a screen from Spain. During the event, the award of Gastronomika was handed to the restaurant’s team delegated by L. Čeprackas by Rolandas Viršilas, CEO of the initiator of the project, UAB Švyturys-Utenos Alus.  

“We are very pleased that the project has been organised for a second consecutive year, however, this year, we have been surprised not less than last year. We have many new names and ever-improving old names, which experiment courageously and offer their visitors various combinations of food. And Švyturys is precisely like that – continuously experimenting and looking for the best combinations of beer with food. This fundamental goal of ours also gave rise to the initiative of the 30 Best Restaurants – in order to show and reveal to people how many gastronomic secrets are still undiscovered and how beer can help to reveal them. For us, everyone together and separately are winners, because restaurants strongly contribute to the cherishing of the beer and food culture and teach Lithuanians how to enjoy a good taste,” said Rolandas Viršilas, CEO of UAB Švyturys-Utenos Alus.  

This year, the five of the best also included Martynas Praškevičius’ Džiaugsmas (last year, the chef triumphed with his other restaurant – Stebuklai), the restaurant of the Žemaičiai family operating in Vilnius and at the seaside Šturmų Švyturys, the brightest debut in Kaunas – Nüman and Vytautas Samavičius’ Monai in Klaipėda, in a stable manner taking place 4 for a second consecutive year.  

Compared with the list of last year, in 2017, the list of thirty includes as many as 11 new restaurants, while 5 of them have been newly opened. It is obvious that the dynamics and supply of emergence of new restaurants brings joy not only to visitors, but also to the ones voting.  

“Still, we have to emphasise that all the restaurants included into this rating list belong to the elite of gastronomy in Lithuania and are original, creative and exclusive. It is these restaurants that received, this year, the largest number of points from more than 100 members of the academy. The latter, while voting, were supposed to take into account the quality of food and creativity of dishes, the level of service, the environment, the drink list and even more criteria established in the regulations of the project,” tells us Linas Petrukaitis, the founder of the Good Food Academy.   

Restaurants which ascended the rating

Since the project “30 Best Restaurants” has been organised for a second consecutive year, this year, the results are inevitably compared with the restaurants’ rating of 2016. Thus, the analysis of the table shows that, in the final table of 2017, 7 restaurants ascended by a few positions.  

Compared to last year, this year, in the final table, among the restaurants in Vilnius Šturmų Švyturys, Sweet Root and Gaspar’s ascended as well as Kaunas’ Uoksas and Nida’s Nerija. The most noticeable ascension was by 12 positions, and this was a manageable task for the kitchen of two chefs, Ernestas Viršilas and Raimundas Dambrauskas, in the restaurant of the town of Palanga called Palanga.  

And, certainly, the title of the brightest ascension of this year belongs to Liutauras Čeprackas’ Gastronomika, acknowledged to be the best restaurant in 2017: from place 5 to place 1.  

“I am indeed happy that our team’s work and efforts of the recent year have been appreciated. Gastronomika is quite an atypical restaurant. Before we opened it, there were sceptics who told me we would not last long with such a format, however, this award shows that everything is possible,” after the award said L. Čeprackas, manager and chef of the best restaurant in Lithuania in 2017.

Newcomers of the project and striking changes in the list

An overview of this year’s list obviously shows that emergence of new restaurants brings joy not only to visitors but also to those voting. This is proved by the fact that this year the list of “30 Best Restaurants” includes as many as 5 newly-opened restaurants. The five include Somm, Rise and Bizarre, which were recently opened in Vilnius, as well as Kaunas’ Nüman and Vilnius’ Džiaugsmas, which are among the best three.  

This year, the list of “30 Best Restaurants” also includes, for the first time, one restaurant from two smaller resort towns of Lithuania: Trakai and Druskininkai. These restaurants are Apvalaus Stalo Klubas and Velvetti. And IDW Esperanza Resort, located close to Trakai, is among the best ten for a second consecutive year.  

“The project’s geography expands and this is indeed delightful, because now it is already obvious that restaurants in Lithuanian resorts are not behind, in terms of their quality, the best restaurants of the cities,” maintains L. Petrukaitis. 

By the way, this year’s list contains 11 new names if compared with the last year, which also means that 11 restaurants of last year left the list this year. And the sharpest surprise fall, but not elimination from the list, this year has been demonstrated by Dublis, which parted ways with chef Deivydas Praspaliauskas at the end of the year. This was a fall by 20 positions.  

Still, the project’s organisers would like to remind you that even if the place has a certain significance, however, all the restaurants of this list are exceptional, creative, quality and, what is most important, offer excellent dishes and service to their visitors.

The winner-restaurant – atypical location in the context of Lithuania

Gastronomika, which has triumphed on the rating list this year, is a unique restaurant in the context of Lithuania, which has been in operation for a very limited time in comparison with others, however, from the very first day it was opened it has been named a top-level “fine dining” place with a creative ambition and attitude towards the gastronomic culture.  

On Thursdays and Fridays (except for summer), Gastronomika holds tasting dinners, during which visitors taste exceptional dishes created by chef Liutauras Čeprackas. The menu here changes every few months and has a different theme every time.  

Such tasting dinners encourage people to forget what they like and what they do not eat. If the chef provided a possibility to choose, a visitor would not experience, to the full, the emotion conveyed by one or another menu of Gastronomika. Quite often, here people are encouraged to leave their prejudices and pursue new experiences. Thus Liutauras, creating the menu of this restaurant, every time sells not the food but the emotion, and it is obvious that this year a place like this became the brightest gastronomic “hit” in the entire Lithuania.  

Gastronomika has been established in the premises of a former plant of radio parts. And if you want to find this place, you will have to wander around for a while, because there is no sign with its name outside. This makes it possible to avoid unnecessary casual visitors.

Who votes?

This project is a continuous one and its purpose is to join as large a circle as possible of experts and professionals of gastronomy for united voting. In total, the voting for the list “30 Best Restaurants” includes over 100 representatives of the gastronomic world: chefs of Lithuania, foreign chefs working in Lithuania, owners of restaurants, bloggers and journalists writing about this industry, sommeliers and other experts of gastronomy.  

The voting is organised by the Good Food Academy together with the Lithuanian Association of Hotels and Restaurants, the Lithuanian Association of Restaurant Chefs and Confectioners and the magazine Geras Skonis. This year, the project’s partners have also been joined by the State Tourism Department under the Ministry of Economy. The project’s initiator – Švyturys.