No. 11Somm

TOP 30 PLACEMENT. Although this year Somm did not make it into the top ten, this in no way suggests any compromises have been made on quality. Rather, it shows that the number of great places to eat out in Lithuania is constantly going up. Somm continues to offer food and wine creations infused with the restaurant’s experience and ever-growing confidence.

Facts

Head chefMindaugas Saulis
His favourite spice  pepper
Managing directorNarimantas Miežys
Type of cuisineWine restaurant
Working hoursI-IV 17:00-23:30, V-VI 15:00-23:30
AddressPylimo g. 21, Vilnius
Websitewww.somm.lt
Since2016
Capacity (seated)65 seats
Average hot dish priceEUR 13 (starter – EUR 10)
Terraceavailable
Breakfastnot available
Business lunchnot available
Dog friendlyyes

Place in 2017 No. 14
Place in 2018 No. 9

WHY VISIT? Somm is managed by one of the most famous sommeliers in the country, Narimantas Miežys, and he is more than happy to define Somm unambiguously as a wine restaurant. But it’s important to understand that the menu is just as significant as the extensive wine list, which now has 460 different wines to try. “We do our best to find the perfect wine and food combinations,” he explains.

“There is a huge difference between a dish paired with the right wine, and that same dish served by itself,” Narimantas continues. “Our mission is to illustrate this difference and to educate our clientele.” Little surprise then that the restaurant employs six sommeliers. They have all taken part in sommelier competitions both in Lithuania and abroad, and some are prize winners.

BRIEF MENU DESCRIPTION. In addition to the hugely impressive and constantly growing wine list, Somm also offers a flexible à la carte menu. Roughly 60% of the menu doesn’t change, with the remainder altered daily based on the guests and the staff who will be there. “We source fresh fish for unique daily dishes. We also get fresh meat in which is not available on the regular menu, creating dishes on the spot which are served as daily specials,” Chef Mindaugas Saulis says.

This creativity and focus on fresh produce means Somm’s menu is reprinted daily at 16:00 – sometimes the chef has to reprint it twice a day. So, every day the kitchen prepares for the evening as if it was day one – nothing is pre-made and the recipes are refreshingly unpolished.

Dishes served in small skillets straight from the oven have already become Somm classics - these are undoubtedly among the most popular food choices. Offerings from the raw bar, which features a large selection of superior grade raw fish, seafood and meat, are also popular. New this year are a wider range of sharing options. “We want to encourage the joy of tasting, with people sharing flavours and opinions with one another,” comments Chef Mindaugas Saulis.

About 80% of the wine sold at the restaurant comes recommended by one of the sommeliers - diners simply tell them what they want and what their budget is. Those aspiring for an absolutely perfect pairing can try a degustation menu of four dishes paired with four wines (70 EUR/person).

CULINARY HITS. Either snail, shrimp, duck, beef knuckle, octopus, or portobello mushrooms served in skillets – EUR 8-14.

Chef. Mindaugas Saulis, like many other chefs in the top 30 ranking, started his culinary career by accident. Seven years ago, his mother-in-law opened a restaurant in Trakai. Knowing his passion for food, she offered him a job, despite the fact he was trained as an engineer. He started with mixing salads before venturing into more complex tasks. Subsequently, he gained experience working in restaurants in Holland. On his return to Lithuania, he joined the team of Egidijus Lapinskas at Time and Dine, before taking up the chef’s position at Somm.

Sommeliers. Somm employs 6 sommeliers. The head sommelier is Narimantas Miežys, winner of many sommelier competitions, who left his job at the prestigious Telegrafas Restaurant (at the Kempinski Hotel) for this project.