No. 4Sweet Root

TOP 30 PLACEMENT. Sweet Root has for the past five years responsibly and consistently nurtured respect for local Lithuanian products at a time when many restaurants were obsessed with imported ingredients. This approach alone means it deserves a place in the top five, and this year Sweet Root has been ranked fourth. The manager of the restaurant, Sigitas Žemaitis, notes that recent years for the restaurant were years of growth both outwardly and inwardly, enabling it to achieve a certain maturity.

Facts

Head chefJustinas Misius
His favourite spice  salt
Managing directorSigitas Žemaitis
Type of cuisineseason-inspired local cuisine
Working hoursIII-VI 18:00-23:00
AddressUžupio g. 22, Vilnius
Since2014
Capacity (seated)30 seats
Average hot dish pricedegustation dinner – EUR 75 /person
Terraceavailable
Breakfastnot available
Business lunchnot available
Dog friendlyyes

Place in 2016 No. 9
Place in 2017 No. 7
Place in 2018 No. 3

WHY VISIT? Five years ago, Sigitas, Vilius and Agnė took on the challenge of only creating dishes using local products. Sweet Root was the first restaurant in Lithuania to have its menu dictated entirely by the local nature and weather conditions. Today, many other restaurants are now following this example, a fact that makes the Sweet Root team very happy. “It’s better for all of us,” Žemaitis says.

As one of a select few restaurants only offering tasting menus, Sweet Root is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a vivifying gastronomic experience, especially one where you don’t have to make any decisions. Simply arrive, sit down, and the dishes will be brought to your table, each accompanied by their own intruiging stories.

BRIEF MENU DESCRIPTION. Four days a week, Sweet Root invites guests to enjoy a degustation dinner consisting of seven dishes and seven amuse bouches. The menu changes according to the season - different dishes are served depending on what’s fresh at that time. Since the restaurant’s opening, not a single dish has been repeated.

When asked how he finds inspiration to constantly create something new from the same range of ingredients, Chef Justinas Misius explains: “It’s a pleasant challenge for me each time to discover new product combinations and cooking techniques.” The chef uses a very limited range of seasonings, and instead tries to create flavours using his own homemade oils and vinegars. Five years of experience working with Lithuanian products means the approach now is less blind experimentation, and more a well-thought out balance of the desired flavours.

The degustation menu at Sweet Root costs EUR 75 /person. This price includes a welcome drink, mineral or sparkling water, and coffee or herbal tea at the end of the evening. The dinner takes about 3 hours.

CULINARY HITS. It’s impossible to say what you will get – the only item that doesn’t change is the freshly baked bread served with natural butter full of countryside aromas.

CHEF. The idea of working in the gastronomy sector came to Chef Justinas Misius back in school: “I wasn’t inclined to exact sciences, I was attracted to creative professions and art subjects, and finally the kitchen became a space of expression for me,” Misius says. Among chefs in Lithuania, Misius has received some of the most extensive training abroad, in the main at Michelin-starred restaurants. He has been at Sweet Root from the restaurant’s very beginning. Now in his fifth consecutive year, this is the longest he has stayed in any one place.