No. 13Saint Germain

TOP 30 PLACEMENT. A consistent high flyer since the Top 30 restaurant list first appeared, Saint Germain climbs two places to this year’s number 13.

Facts

Head chefGediminas Švenčionis
Managing directorDainius Vasiliauskas
Type of cuisineFrench
Working hoursI-VI 11:00-00:00, VII 11:00-23:00
AddressLiteratų g. 9-32, Vilnius
Since2005
Capacity (seated)40 seats
Average hot dish priceEUR 22 (starter EUR 14)
Terraceavailable
Breakfastweekends from 11:00
Business lunchnot available
Dog friendlyonly on the terrace

Place in 2016 No. 10
Place in 2017 No. 20
Place in 2018 No. 15

WHY VISIT? Of all the restaurants in the Top 30, Saint Germain is the only one that has barely introduced a single new dish. That’s not for lack of imagination, but because every choice on this well-loved Vilnius eatery’s menu has been perfected to the tiniest detail. It’s those details that keep clients coming back, year after year. Consistency, they say, is an indicator of skill.

The restaurant’s wine list is somewhat more active than its à la carte menu, and is constantly updated. Here, you can taste a wide selection of wines from around the world, with 25 available by the glass. Four types of champagne are also available by the glass, while bottles of bubbly occupy two pages of the restaurant’s formidable wine list. Certified sommelier Rytis Grigaitis is on hand to recommend and explain everything from the 15-page selection.

BRIEF MENU DESCRIPTION. Seasonal cooking may be in vogue, but not here. This restaurant has two aims – quality on the plate, top-class service. “Saint Germain has never been about what food is in season. High-quality meat, fish and seafood travel to the restaurant from all over the world,” says restaurant owner Dainius Vasiliauskas. He adds that if a new item is added to the menu, something else must be removed. And no fixture of the menu can be replaced by unless something better is created in its place. That, as it turns out, is not so easy. This is the reason Saint Germain has earned the distinction of having the most stable restaurant menu in the city. One à la carte dish – rabbit à la ferme – returned to the menu this year, and became an instant culinary hit. The year’s only other innovation is a new aging cooler for meats.

CULINARY HITS. Beef tartar (EUR 13); gazpacho (EUR 9); creamy porcini soup (EUR 9); beef Stroganoff (EUR 23); tuna fillet with tomatoes (EUR 23); mushroom risotto (EUR 17); rabbit à la ferme (EUR 23).

CHEF. As with the restaurant’s classic French cuisine, consistency is the theme in the kitchen too. Gediminas Švenčionis says he reached his full maturity as chef at Saint Romain, where he has worked now for more than 14 years. Before that, he honed his craft at the Hazienda Steakhouse and the restaurant Tores.

Like others in the experienced team at Saint German, sommelier Rytis Grigaitis has been with the restaurant for a number of years. He didn’t find his calling as a sommelier immediately, training first in graphic design and political science. But after solidifying his grasp of the sommelier’s art with the impressive wine list at Monte Pacis near Kaunas, he can be justly proud of his achievements.