No. 17MONTE PACIS

TOP 30 PLACEMENT. Always a consistent performer, Monte Pacis maintains its solid position high in the Top 30. But this year, the restaurant has some exciting innovations to report.

Facts

Head chefRokas Vasiliauskas
His favourite spice  salt and fresh coriander
Managing directorIndra Ramanauskienė
Type of cuisinemodern Lithuanian with childhood nostalgia
Working hoursI-IV 12:00-22:00, V-VI 12:00-23:00, VII 12:00-20:00
AddressT. Masiulio g. 31, Kaunas
Since2013
Capacity (seated)130 seats
Average hot dish priceEUR 20 (starter EUR 10)
Terraceavailable
Breakfast8:00-11:00, brunch on Sunday 12:00-20:00
Business lunchweekdays (12:00-15:00)
Dog friendlyno

Place in 2016 No. 15
Place in 2017 No. 23
Place in 2018 No. 13

WHY VISIT? If you’re looking for authentic surroundings, you’ve hit the jackpot. Monte Pacis is located in one of the most significant examples of late Baroque architecture in Northern and Eastern Europe – Pažaislis monastery.

The restaurant itself is a fine choice for those wanting to taste creative, modern Lithuanian cuisine. This year, Monte Pacis switched to using Lithuanian produce, not just for the ingredients in its side dishes, but for the meat and fish of its mains. What marks the restaurant out is the way in which every dish is a fearless weaving together of creativity and nostalgia. Just one look at the plate leaves diners saying, “Wow!”

Monte Pacis restaurant was awarded best wine list in Lithuania at the Baltic Wine Championship. On Sundays, brunches is served all day until closing. And if that doesn’t give you enough reason to visit, the excellent hospitality and top-tier service at this unique establishment should seal the deal.

BRIEF MENU DESCRIPTION. It took a few years for chef Rokas Vasiliauskas, a member of Lithuania’s new culinary generation, to switch to quality Lithuanian produce. Now, around 95 per cent of all produce used at Monte Pacis is Lithuanian. To achieve this feat, Rokas not only expanded the assortment grown in the kitchen garden at Pažaislis Monastery, but sought out committed local farmers. Lithuanian-raised ostriches and high-quality beef are just two of the items you’ll find on the menu. Rokas has also befriended a dairy producer in the local area.

Of course, Rokas isn’t just concerned about quality local produce, but the way ingredients work together. “My ideal menu idea is one that is interesting, and which appeals not only to gourmands, but to all restaurant guests,” he says. Many dishes, such as a pleasantly sweet dessert made from sour milk, potato and dill, provoke surprise when guests discover their ingredients. One of the restaurant’s winter hits is bacon served with a potato pancake in beer sauce, accompanied by horseradish and sauerkraut and served with a shot of vodka.

CULINARY HITS. nine-course degustation menu, EUR 55.

CHEF. While studying the culinary arts at Britain’s Derby University, Rokas Vasiliauskas worked at Michelin-starred restaurant Holbeck Ghyll. By the time he had completed his studies, Rokas already had five job offers. He chose the famous Enoteca in Barcelona (two Michelin stars, managed by Paco Pérez). Upon his return to Lithuania, he was hired at Monte Pacis and steadily climbed the career ladder until he was offered the position of head chef. At 24, Rokas is the youngest chef in the Top 30. His kitchen has managed not only to rank among Lithuania’s Top 30 Best Restaurants, but also to appear in the White Guide, which for two consecutive years has included Monte Pacis among the best in the Baltic States.