Saturday, July 05, 2008

La Boheme

No, 'tis not the opera, it's the new restaurant in Sv Ignoto street in Vilnius. It's taken over the space of the Stikliu Bociu folkloric type restaurant which was empty for years.

Last night it certainly was not empty - maybe it has only very recently opened. Part of the building has been divided off for some other business, maybe a club? La Boheme now has 3 rooms, all different in character, with one as a normal restaurant space full of young people, another as a more classy restaurant room (where I believe the posh people go - I gather the not so young Mr American Chamber of Commerce was spotted there, maybe post the July 4th event at the embassy) and finally a light semi-lounge type room, with an arrangement of sofas and low tables in the centre, and some bistro-type higher tables in front of a bench running round the sides. The bench is so high that people's feet do not reach the floor - what do they expect customers to do - have a Roman feast? The centre tables were taken up by a large musical group - saw bits of 'Jauna Muzika' there and others, some dressed as if they might be post-concert - but it was only about 8 pm.

The waitress was lovely, though she seemed to speak not that much English - not that that should matter in a restaurant in Vilnius, though most waitresses do. But when we asked for butter for our bread (getting margarine, presented in a way which suggested our request was unusual) we nearly got water first.

I had to spend some time translating the Lithuanian menu for my friends, which would have been easier had I thought of bringing reading glasses....Usually menus have fairly large type.

The food, frankly, was disappointing - and while the prices were sort of middling, for the quality of the food they were a rip-off. The bread was the soggy supermarket variety - we can do better than that, surely. My friends had the mushroom soup which they found lacking in mushroom essence. I had French onion soup which could have done with the onions being properly caramelised (ie flavour!) and a shot of white wine would not have been a catastrophe. More to the point, where were the cheese and the bread? Very thinning!

Followed by seafood risotto for one of my friends, a breaded bit of chicken stuffed with spinach for the other one, and prawns for me. The seafood risotto looked like all risottos, like someone had eaten it before - and it had obviously been thrown at the plate! Something green for decoration might have improved the appearance. My other friend's chicken looked like something taken out of the freezer - it almost bounced. The chips looked nice, though. My prawns ....I would not call 8 prawns round a small heap of salad an evening meal. Yes, it was from the menu's first courses, in the Italian style, but so was the risotto which would have been a lot more filling. The prawns were nicely presented and had a very nice sauce - but it was not a meal, and vastly overpriced at 19 LT.

It's ok for a beer hall and having a few snacks, but I wouldn't go there for a good meal!


Aras said...

I'm going there for dinner tonight, thanks for the tips.