WHY VISIT? Firstly, the prices at Telegrafas have not changed for three years now. Establishments that don’t raise their prices are few and far between, particularly in the restaurant business in Vilnius. Another selling point is the fact that this restaurant has one of the largest wine lists in Vilnius – in fact, it was recognized as the best in the Baltic States last year. Telegragas serves as the “embassy” of Ateliers wine house and has more than 500 wines on offer. If that amount of choice sounds a little daunting, there’s no need to worry. Lithuania’s most famous sommelier, Martynas Pravilonis, will be on hand to guide you. And last, but not least, the impeccable level of service at Telegrafas contributes to a memorable overall experience.
BRIEF MENU DESCRIPTION. Although chef Vytautas Alekna is increasingly focusing on the search for the identity of modern Lithuanian cuisine, European dishes still dominate Telegrafas’ menu (it is, after all, a hotel restaurant). In recent years, more grilled meat dishes have appeared on the menu.
On the first day of every new season, Telegrafas presents a new menu. Alekna finds nature, in all 4 seasons, to be his biggest inspiration, and specific ideas for the menu usually come from trips into the great outdoors: “I have been fishing since I was 4 and a boy scout from the age of 9 – these hobbies are a large part of my life, when I am not in the kitchen,” he explains.
And this love of nature, along with the international standards of the Kempinski hotel chain (Telegrafas is located in the Vilnius Kempinski), have led to a clear focus on environmental responsibility. Great efforts go towards sustainability both in the menu – wherever possible, products are sourced from local farmers, especially in the summer - and in the restaurant as a whole (you won’t find any plastic straws or paper napkins).
Finally, the food at Telegrafas not only tastes good, it is also healthy. Snacks are made without fat, and desserts without chocolate. For the main courses, healthy and interesting garnishes are offered instead of croquettes or French fries. For example, the 2019 summer menu includes healthy options such as ceviche de corvina, asparagus salad, kumato tomato gazpacho, black kingfish, chanterelle mushroom ravioli, and beer pie.
CULINARY HITS. A Telegrafas classic, Samogitian treasure (EUR 30) is still the one to go for. This is a venison dish from the forests of the Samogitia region of Lithuania. It seems almost impossible to replace this dish. Nevertheless, Alekna will soon seek to do just that when he introduces his second signature dish, a creation he has been perfecting for the last six months.
CHEF. Vytautas Alekna started his career eight years ago at River Side and La Esperanza. He joined the Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square from the very opening of Telegrafas and has been steadily climbing the ladder there ever since. This is his second year he as Head Chef. Vytautas received his training at the Michelin-starred Kinn Kinn (in Copenhagen) and has participated in numerous other qualification training events.