WHY VISIT? All the ingredients that make their way onto the dishes on the Nineteen18 menu have been carefully sourced from the restaurant’s farm – Farmers Circle – which is 75km from Nineteen18, near Ukmergė at Augustinų Dvaras (manor). “Nineteen18 is part of our farm and not the other way around,” explains the chef.
Along with a crack team of his fellow culinary professionals, Matas Paulinas took on an important task – to uncover the identity of Lithuanian cuisine: “The goal is not to recreate old recipes. It is important to create something for the future. I believe that we are lacking a modern identity and our generation can help lay the foundation for that.” For those eager to be part of this journey of gastronomic discovery, or to experience the out of the ordinary – Nineteen18 is most definitely worth visiting.
Diners will meet the entire restaurant staff. They can also witness how the restaurant performs its magic, as the kitchen is essentially in the same space as the dining area. Floor Manager Simonas Laukaitis will gladly direct you to your table past the open kitchen area.
BRIEF MENU DESCRIPTION.
Although the Nineteen18 menu leans heavily on ingredients from the plant kingdom, there’s still much on offer for even the most jaded meat lover. “Of course, there are meat choices on the dinner menu. However, vegetables have that versality that is so essential for creativity, and that is why you’ll find so many on our menu,” says the chef.
Matas’s dishes are an amalgamation of his inspirations and interests, bringing together disciplines are diverse as geography, biology and chemistry. There is also quite a bit of art in his creations: “A dish has to be visual,” notes the chef. It turns out that his grandfather was a painter and sculptor, and that in his childhood, Matas used to draw quite a bit. When you see his dishes, it quickly becomes obvious that he has a clear understanding of colour.
The food in Nineteen18 does not reflect the cuisine of a single region in Lithuania; rather, it is a combination of the best of those region’s closest to it, Aukštaitija and Dzūkija. And for every degustation menu he puts together, Chef Paulinas first does a deep dive into the region that acts as its inspiration, covering the region’s culture, history, geography, even stretching to its economy.
Chef. Matas Paulinas is an energetic and bold personality in the kitchen. His résumé includes 10 years of experience working at restaurants in Copenhagen, Dubai, Oslo and Monaco, and some of those included one or two star Michelin restaurants. This wealth of experience has helped him create his own unique style of cooking, with Matas thoroughly analysing every single ingredient.