WHY VISIT? This restaurant is one of only a handful to boast a majority of loyal clients: 60 per cent of diners are returning customers. If that isn’t a good enough recommendation to visit Palanga, the restaurant’s location – its windows overlook pine groves – and an ambitious new chef, provide two more reasons to say yes.
BRIEF MENU DESCRIPTION. New chef Gediminas Ciūnys replaces Raimundas Dambrauskas, who worked at Palanga for a number of years. Gediminas exudes a passion for French cooking techniques and a reputation for absolute precision. Palanga aims to serve high-quality food that is not just delicious, but presented with visual flair. Gediminas’ dishes deliver on all those expectations – the chef pays a great deal of attention to the aesthetic of each plate. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Palanga’s dessert selections, Gediminas’ favorite playground.
The à la carte menu has a French feel, populated by elaborate dishes using traditional techniques. In the summer, a large proportion of dishes (80 per cent of all orders) are delivered to the table straight from the grill.
Ingredients change according to the seasons. The restaurant is situated in a very special location, and the chef often visits the forest beside the sea to pick herbs, blossoms and other natural gems.
CULINARY HITS. Guests who visited Palanga 16 years ago as teenagers now return with their own children. Some even request the dishes they used to enjoy back in the day, which the kitchen obligingly prepares. Guest favorites include duck soup with porcini (EUR 13) and the restaurant’s legendary Tiramisu.
CHEF. Gediminas Ciūnys is a graduate of the prestigious Cordon Bleu Institute in Ottawa, Canada. He is a stubborn maximalist who calls himself a “lone wolf”. He began his gastronomic career 11 years ago in Lithuania, in a kitchen under the direction of Jaroslavas Orševskis, current president of the Association of Lithuanian Restaurant Chefs and Confectioners.
Gediminas later honed his skills far from home, at restaurants in Iceland. There, his personal ambitions grew. It was his desire for mastery in the kitchen that later took him to Canada. This year, he replaced Chef Raimundas Dambrauskas at Palanga and formed his own team, which includes several respected cooks who have remained with the restaurant since it opened.